A Look Back: A Trip ‘Over the Garden Wall’

DUNEDIN, New Zealand — Arriving at the Dunedin train station on a November day in 2019 was a harbinger of what would come on a trip over the Otago Central Railway.

At the appointed hour, the train swiftly departed from the railway station, designed by a man nicknamed “Gingerbread George,” whisking travelers past a decidedly urban landscape. That quickly changed once the train switched from the mainline track to a spur line once part of the Otago Central.

As soon as the train departed from the greater Dunedin area, the landscape quickly changed. It’s no longer urban. In fact, it becomes more stunning with each passing meter.

Before long, we approached the first of many railroad tunnels and narrow passageways adjacent to steep cliffs.

The Otago Central Railway constructed the line between 1877 and 1921. In doing so, the railroad created an engineering marvel that required viaducts and tunnels.

The line may be primarily an excursion line for tourists, but it offers some of the most beautiful vantage points in New Zealand.

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About Todd DeFeo 397 Articles
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and The Travel Trolley.