We set off on day 2 in sunshine with a leisurely 35km on the cards.
In our very near future was one of the fabulous Central Otago mountain ranges, the Raggedy Range. Thanks to tunnels, this was traversed with relative ease.
Never far from your thoughts is the Rail Trail’s former life. Isolation, challenging terrain and climate would have made construction a feat of endurance. Remains of camps and work sites can be seen here and there and the more enduring structural legacies along the trail leave you at times in lengthy contemplation.
Such as when you’re navigating long dark tunnels.
And gawping at big viaducts.
Down in the Ida Valley we stopped at the Idaburn Dam for an explore. This water reservoir (used for irrigation) was in a fairly dry state on our visit but is famous for hosting winter sports and a winter motorcycle rally – brrr. I love its historical touches including the shed containing racks of old skates. A couple of years later we stopped by here in winter.
A few kms on we reached the highest point on the trail and passed (twice) 45 degrees south latitude. Then it was downhill to our stop for the night: Wedderburn.
This very small place is great. Cute cottages, historic station buildings, and a pub – all you need for a short stay.
Wedderburn is a good example of the Northumbrian place names in Otago. In case you were wondering, Wedder means castrated sheep.
Station stamps collected from: Ida Valley, Auripo, Oturehua, Wedderburn. Two days down, two to go.