Final day of cycling (day 5): Hyde to Middlemarch – 15 November 2016
It poured with rain overnight but the morning dawned cold with heavily overcast skies. We set out after breakfast for the final 30km hoping the rain would hold off and it did! The open Strath Taieri plain was flat riding with green farming land along the way.
We stopped at various points of interest – the Hyde train crash site, the ganger sheds and for this little hedgehog plodding along across our path.
We loved this bike structure in the paddock – it made us think of the Tour de France for some reason!
The 30km flashed by and before we knew it we were in Middlemarch, the end of the Otago Rail Trail! We rode around the quiet little town before settling on Quench cafe for a delicious post trail lunch.
The rain started as we were making our way to the Trail Journey’s depot, so we were very lucky! We were made very welcome at the office where we handed our bikes back, reclaimed our luggage and had a hot shower before changing into normal clothes again. We settled in for a few hours of relaxing while the rain tumbled down outside. During our time there Grant was offered a job by the hardworking Claire and Sandra and he seriously considered taking it! They were very patient with us and we appreciated their efforts.
It was lovely to be able to relax and we used the time to complete our feedback forms on our experience on the rail trail. Our only suggestion would be to offer an extra day, at maybe Wedderburn, to enable cyclists to take in the local area a bit more (a less rushed curling experience and maybe St Bathans), and more access to Wifi (for updating blogs) but apart from that we had nothing – it was all so good and a well run organisation.
We were driven to Pukerangi Station (in the middle of no-where) as we were taking the Taieri Gorge train down to Dunedin. This was a 2 hour train ride through the rugged gorge down to the coast. We crossed amazing viaducts and bridges, went through tunnels and were given a running commentary along the way. It was spectacular and so interesting given the ride we’d just done along the old rail line. How amazing to be able to experience history this way.
We arrived in Dunedin at 6.30pm and made our way to our accommodation for the next two nights at the Chapel Apartments, an old church converted into luxury apartments.
So that’s the end of our rail trail journey – I do hope you have enjoyed our adventures! Thanks for coming along for the ride 🙂
I will continue to blog about the rest of our trip so if you’re interested keep an eye out on my blog.
The cycling tour links can be found here: