This section of the Otago Central Rail Trail encounters interesting features and landscapes, including extensive views of the Kakanui Mountains and Ida Range.
The trail continues along the Maniototo Plain to the village of Waipiata – a good location for side trips to Patearoa and Paerau/Styx.
Between Waipata and Kokonga it passes the former 2km-wide Taieri Lake, the demise of which began with silt build-up from gold mining activities. Basalt stone was mined from the hills to build Dunedin’s grand railway station.
As the trail enters the beautiful Taieri Gorge, it follows a scenic river course to Tiroti, and passes the old Red Dawf Hut, a former railway workers’ shelter at Daisybank.
At Tiroiti, check out the carefully preserved Cap Burn stone bridge with its stone abutments and iron trusses.
The trail crosses the 91-metre long, 32-metre high Price’s Creek Viaduct. Built of concrete and steel in 1963, the viaduct replaced an older wooden bridge. Price’s Creek tunnel soon follows. It is 152 metres long and fully bricked.
The trail then opens out onto the Strath Taieri plain. Cone-shaped hills east of the river were caused millions of years ago by erupting volcanoes.
The Hyde Station site is situated on flat ground, 2km from Hyde Village. Take a side trip to Macraes Flat to view a modern mining operation.
Key Information & Distances
Ranfurly to Waipiata - 7.5km
Waipiata to Kokonga - 10.5km
Kokonga to Tiroiti - 8km
Tiroiti to Hyde - 6.5km
Car parking: Ranfurly, Waipiata, Kokonga, Tiroiti Station sites, Daisybank, Hyde Village
Information Panels: General – Ranfurly, Hyde Station Sites, Historic interpretation – Ranfurly, Hyde, Waipiata Station sites, Ranfurly Straight Gangers’ Shed, Waipiata Gangers’ Shed, Kokonga Gangers’ Shed
Information Centre: Ranfurly i-Site, Ranfurly. Phone 03 262 7999
Tip: Bring a torch to explore the tunnel
Alternative Route: Price’s Creek Viaduct alternative route: original rail track accessed through gates at each end of the viaduct – suitable for horses.