The Taeri Gorge line is an amazing feat. Built in the 1880s with just pick and shovel, horse and cart. In some places progress was barely half a metre a day, and the men worked in temperatures that varied from minus ten degrees in winter to plus forty degrees in summer. This workmen’s shack, grandly titled Reefs Hotel, is the smallest building to have been registered by the N.Z. Historic Places Trust. It was also used by local landholders to wait for the train when the central Otago line was the only ink to Dunedin and the coast. The chimney was necessary in the bleak Otago winters and was originally much taller than the section now remaining.
And it is a wonderful trip for photographers with its 10 tunnels and numerous bridges. If you decide to travel, snag the back platform on the trip out (there isn’t one on the way home, it’s a guard’s van) and take plenty of batteries and storage media.
Notches Bridge and tunnel #9
There is a fuller selection of images on my Flickr set on the Taeri Gorge railway