The perfect pause for Rail Trailers to rest and refuel
Hyde was originally called ‘Eight Mile’ because of its distance from the Hamiltons Gold Mine where during the gold rush era many of the town’s residents found work. At Hyde itself, extensive mineral deposits were discovered for glass making and fine pottery. A china clay pit is still worked to this day. Hyde is also home to Cooks Transport where a 24 self-service RD petrol and diesel is open to the public. As remote as Hyde may seem, its main street, Eton Street, is in fact State Highway 87 that runs from Highway 85 at Kyeburn (15km east of Ranfurly) to State Highway 1 at Mosgiel. For Rail Trailers, Hyde is perfectly positioned to rest and refuel as the nearest food and refreshments are 29km to the north at Waipiata and 27km south in Middlemarch.
With no suitably level ground in Hyde, the railway station had to be located 2km away on a flat area big enough to on and offload wagons. The original station building is owned by the Otago Central Rail Trail Trust and open to the public to explore railways memorabilia. A few kilometres south of the station on June 1943, of the 113 passengers on board the Cromwell to Dunedin Express 21 lost their lives when the train failed to take a bend. Hyde is also an ideal step off point for a visit to historic Macraes Flat and the enormous 24/7 Macraes gold mine.
Early European miners peppered the Taieri river with gold and then on sold the mining rights to some Chinese gold miners who were led to believe it was a substantial claim. The Chinese gold miners built a tunnel to divert the river and make it easier to mine the gold. Whilst the diversion tunnel was laboriously and successfully constructed to the Chinese miners dismay the effort was in vain when the “planted” gold ran out shortly afterwards.
At the Hyde Station Site take time to admire the old station building, which has recently been purchased by the Otago Central Rail Trail Trust and is open to the public. Although this was the main station for Hyde, there was a passenger halt at the township where the line crossed the main road. This halt was closed in 1978.
You can get to a good location from the Macraes road bridge. The Taieri river has brown trout in plentiful supply.
The single most important resource when travelling the Central Otago Rail Trail
A beautifully crafted book with amazing photography by Peter Andrews showing Central Otago as it truly is, one of the most rugged, extreme and beautiful locations on the planet. Stunning scenery, amazing and important historical and current information, detailed maps, lists of accommodation, frequently asked questions, where to eat, how far between towns, etc. It’s all in here.More Info