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Dunedin Railway Station

Dunedin Station, Dunedin

Dunedin Station in Dunedin is one of the city's most recognizable buildings.  The station's size speaks to a time (the turn of the twentieth century, to be exact) when Dunedin was a much busier city than it is today.

Dunedin Railway Station
Dunedin Railway Station

History

Although built in 1904, Dunedin Railway Station looks much older, having been designed in the neo-Baroque style of the day. The station's landscaping, with kempt lawns and beautiful flower gardens, highlights its old-world grandness.

George Troup, the first official architect of New Zealand Railways, designed the station. His efforts earned him the nickname "Gingerbread George" as the station does somewhat resemble an ornate cake or gingerbread. The structure rose out of reclaimed swampland.

Local basalt and Oamaru stone were used in the construction to give the building its distinctive light and dark effect. The southern end of the building is topped by a 37 metre-tall clock tower.

The interior is also ornate with a mosaic floor in the booking hall made from 750,000 Minton tiles imported from Staffordshire in Britain and a porcelain frieze depicting scenes from the railway made by Royal Doulton, another famous British brand.

The platform is also the longest in New Zealand at almost 500 metres.

The decline in rail traffic since its opening means that the station now has other uses. It serves as a restaurant, and New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame is on the top floor. The sports include not just the obvious rugby, cricket, and soccer but also yachting and sheep-shearing!

The station may no longer have regular passenger services, but it is the terminus for the delightful Taieri Gorge Railway.

Dunedin Station
Dunedin Station dates from the early 20th century

Taieri Gorge Railway

The Taieri Gorge Railway is the country's longest tourist railway. Operated by Dunedin Railways (owned by Dunedin City Council) it runs from Dunedin Station through the picturesque Taieri Gorge along the Taieri River in Otago.

The 60 km route to Middlemarch runs along what once was the Otago Central Railway. Highlights include the restored Wingatui Station and Wingatui Viaduct, the largest wrought iron structure in New Zealand, built in 1887.

Altogether a return trip takes about four hours with two departures daily. For the latest information check dunedinrailways.co.nz

Dunedin Railways also operates another line, the Seasider tourist train along the coast to Palmerston.

1920s style carriage at Hindon.
1920s style carriage at Hindon

Access - Getting There

Dunedin Railway Station
Anzac Square
Dunedin Central
New Zealand

Other places of interest in Dunedin include Larnach Castle, the Chinese Garden, and St. Paul's Cathedral.

The platform is the longest in New Zealand.
The platform is the longest in New Zealand

Hotels in Dunedin

Some recommended places to stay in the city include the Victoria Hotel Dunedin, the Kingsgate Hotel, and the Law Courts Hotel.

Out at Larnach Castle, the Larnach Lodge & Stable Stay has individually decorated rooms some of which are in the converted stables at a more budget level.

Camp Estate offers modern rooms in a Scottish-style manor house complete with crystal chandeliers and a grand marble staircase.

Book a Hotel in Dunedin - Booking.com

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