KiwiRail (plus added Taieri Gorge Railway) October 2011


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Time for lots (and I mean lots) of rail photos from New Zealand – most taken around Dunedin/Port Chalmers, expect where noted. The lighting wasn’t good on a lot of them, so there’s been some post-processing. I must say it … Continue reading

Dunedin – transport

It won’t be of interest to many of you, but needless to say for those that know me I took a few pics of buses and trains whilst in Dunedin … here’s some of the shots (the bus ones are just to show the variety – not well composed though as most were rushed, and some are from the phone).

Custom destos seem to be the thing with Citibus
I remember this old girl being introduced new into the fleet – note the old desto number (St Clair 7 … not 27 as it now seems to be)
… and again …
Dodgy shot, but interesting desto
There were Dennis Darts a plenty, but this was the only one that seemed to have the Dennis badge on the front. The others I think were all in the standard Citibus livery.
… like this one

An Ansair midi?
Shot in Oamaru, but it was the bus we got back from Dunedin to Christchurch

I also notice Taieri Gorge Railwayhave boosted their fleet with some of the curvy type carriages and a new (for them) parcel van, and also them expanding with trips to Palmerston – good to see them doing well. Not sure I like the new livery on DJ1227 though …

Dunedin – Orokonui ecosanctuary

Having seen on previous visits most the attractions Dunedin has to offer, it was nice to hear of a new one – the Orokonui ecosantuary. It’s quite a clever wee idea actually – take a bit of native bushland, put a Jurrassic Park like fence around it, add walking tracks, and an info centre half built from old 40′ shipping containers, and you have an attraction! I’m sure there’s a bit more to it than that, as they have provided feeding stations for the birds, etc – overall it made for a pleasant (if slightly rushed, as we got there late) afternoon, and we saw quite a few native birds while there (some too quick for the camera).

Dunedin – Glenfalloch gardens

Something I had been meaning to do on previous trips was to visit Glenfalloch Gardens on the Otago Peninsula – sadly I didn’t get around to it, however this trip we did. Last time I was there was when I was a kid, and all I remembered about it was the peacocks wandering around the place – we saw no peacocks this time, but I don’t know if it’s because we didn’t explore the whole place, or if they just don’t have them there any more.

We started out (oddly enough) at the main entry, looked at the bridal garden (where Jing must have left the map), and then went on a long walk up to the top of the hill – not good for my tibial stress fracture, but there you go. By the time we returned, we were too exhausted to look around the main area any more, so it’s still a bit of a mystery to me.

One observation – I literally think we saw more bees in the few days in Dunedin, than I have seen in 14 years in Sydney … odd. Plenty of bees seen elsewhere in NZ also.

Enjoy the photos …

Dunedin – architecture

Dunedin is well known for it’s historic architecture, amongst other things, and of course although we had taken many photos on previous trips you can visit Dunedin without visiting Otago University, the Octagon, and the Railway Station for a few snaps.

Otago University:

And at other times we had looked around elsewhere, including visited Robbie in the Octagon:

And headed to the Exchange:
I used to think this was a hideous building, but it has grown on me. It is the only building of this age that I can think off that looks like it has stood the test of time.

Dunedin – general

So, what did we do whilst in Dunedin you ask? There was a fair bit of eating (as with the whole trip) … Nova cafe in the Octagon was good:

Burger King was a pleasant surprise with “almost” wedges being an option instead of “fries”, tomato sauce readily available, comfy seating, awesome Hawaiian Chicken burger (my arteries are clogging just thinking about it), and of course being able to mix your own raspberry and coke:

And needless to say we had fish and chips from Forbury Takeaway.

We visited Signal Hill lookout …

Looked into the mouth of the port to find a set of teeth …

Did some unintentional bird spotting …

And drove to Waihola for no real reason …


More to come …


Dunedin – home. When I last visited (four years ago) I was worried – the city centre seemed to be dieing a slow painful death with the likes of Penroses and DEKA (Nathans and maybe even Woollies? when I was a kid I think) partitioned off into market-like stalls, and all the big shops moving out into the southern part of the one-way system with mega-stores.

This visit was quite different though – the mega stores are still out there, and there may even be more of them. My dislike for them has changed to a realisation that they are for Dunedin’s benefit, with one big store with a wider range replacing maybe two or three little stores with bugger all selection, and replicating each other – yes, the shopper has more choice.

The even better news is it no longer seems to be killing the city centre – George Street looks busier than ever, and the replacement of the shell of DEKA with Wall Street mall is a vast improvement, tidying up the area and providing a proper environment for stores.

I can’t say however I am such a fan of the glass portion of the facade, with painted on windows of days gone by – in historic Dunedin a proper historic style facade would have been far more in keeping.

Now I see the city centre recovering so well, I wonder how far down Princes Street the benefits may be felt in the near future? Maybe not so rosy, as I have come to another realisation that distances in Dunedin are not what they seem – it may only be a five to ten minute walk from say the Golden Centre to the Octagon and beyond, but to locals this is massive and imposes an almost insurmountable barrier they cannot pass. It’s not until you spend time in big cities overseas that you realise how ridiculous this is, however with Dunedin existing on a smaller scale, it is what everyone grows up to expect.

I won’t even start on South Dunedin, but to say its future looks as grim as its past.

More to come …