Rail Trail Bridges, Tunnels and Viaducts

Trip Start Jan 29, 2012
Trip End Apr 18, 2012

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Where I stayed
Hayes Engineering Works and Becks Hotel

Flag of New Zealand  , Otago,
Saturday, March 31, 2012

DAY 62, 63 – Fri 30, Sat 31 Mar 2012
We were probably the first to get away this morning – it's such a lovely spot it is hard to leave!! However we’re heading towards the Rail Trail now so can’t dally. The road to Alexandra is so different now than when we were here before. The dam had just been built and the lake was only starting to fill so it wasn’t the way it looks now with boats whizzing about and picnic spots along the lakeside.
We left Alexandra and went on a back road through to Oturehua where we camped at Hayes Engineering Works (which is an Historic Places Trust site where the Hayes wirestrainer was developed).After a bite of lunch we went back to Auripo on the Central Rail Trail and set off for a walk towards Lauder. The section we were walking on went through two tunnels and over a viaduct – we did about 10km by the time we retraced our steps and got back to the car. We saw about 50 cyclists as we walked along including a school group. There was also a farmer and his wife moving a small flock of ewes with his ute and dogs so we said "Hi" as we went past. There was a narrow cutting through the rocks that we walked through and had a feeling of being watched .... looked up and there were the sheep peering down at us. Funny!! As we walked in the dark through one of tunnels on the way back we heard a rumbling sound!! It was the ute coming through and there wasn't much room to get out of his way. We waved our torches about so he’d see where we were!!! We weren’t expecting that!!! The Rail Trail was an easy enough gradient for walking so very pleasant. We met another couple walking the other way but everyone else was on bikes. Tonight we were the only vehicle at the parkover.

Wooh! It was a bit chilly this morning with Bruce scraping the ice off the car windscreen! We’re heading to the other end of the Trail today so drove north into the Maniatoto and the fog!! We stopped at Waipiata Domain but didn’t feel comfortable about camping there so went on further towards Hyde. There were minivans and trailers all over the place dropping cyclists off along the Rail Trail and heaps of B&B/ accommodation places. It’s certainly been a boon for the small towns along the Trail. We left the car and van parked by Tiroiti station where we joined the Rail Trail towards Hyde. There was an interesting stone bridge right at the start as well as another tunnel and viaduct. The fog cleared as we walked and it got really warm as the day progressed. We met about the same number as yesterday and when we got to the Hyde Hotel there were crowds having a late lunch in the sun. As we arrived a group of cyclists we’d talked to earlier gave us a cheer – I don’t think they had been there long before we arrived!! The 6km back to the car was a bit of a mission as it was very hot and no shelter from the sun along the track. We decided we were a bit vulnerable parked by the side of the track so headed off to Becks Hotel where we could camp and have a meal (didn’t feel like cooking after two days walking!!).
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