Hyde - Middlemarch

Hyde to Middlemarch   Distance: 27 km 

  • The section from Hyde to Middlemarch can be prone to strong winds, especially over spring and summer seasons. Generally though, winds are from the north which means a helping push. But should there be a head wind, you can take a break to rest and read the information panels in four gangers’ sheds:-  Scrub Burn, Rock and Pillar Access, Strath Taieri and Rock and Pillar Station .
  • Due to a lack of flat land at Hyde, the station is 2km down the line. Here is a well maintained station building and a number of original stock wagons. The station site also has road access from State Highway 87.
  • Past the Hyde Station is ‘Straw Cutting’, site of the Hyde railway derailment that on June 4th, 1943 claimed 21 lives and injured 46. Around 200 metres along the trail from here is a memorial area with a commemorative stone cairn. This also makes a convenient meeting place for Rail Trail cyclists and support vehicles.
  • As you approach the flatter farmland of the Strath Taieri Plain you’ll ride over Five Mile Creek, the rail’s last substantial bridge.
  • The Strath Taieri is flanked by the majestic Rock and Pillar Range to the nor-west and Taieri Ridge to the south-east.
  • Another good meeting point for support vehicles and cyclists is at the Rock and Pillar Gangers Shed where the Rail Trail crosses State Highway 87.
  • Regardless of wind direction, it is rewarding sight to see Middlemarch getting closer and closer, and where fine food, beverages and country hospitality await you.
  • Congratulations. You’ve done it. 153km.  
Hyde Station

The Hyde Station is 2 km from the township of Hyde and still contains some of the original stock wagons.

Site of the fatal Hyde railway disaster

Past the Hyde Station is ‘Straw Cutting’ the site of the fatal Hyde railway disaster that occurred on June 4th 1943.

Memorial Site

The memorial cairn to the 21 people killed in the Hyde railway tragedy of 4 June 1943. The location of the cairn is about 500 metres south of the site of the tragedy.

Five Mile Creek

The last substantial bridge you will cross is over ‘Five Mile Creek’.

Rock and Pillar Mountains

The majestic Rock and Pillar mountains are to the nor-west with the Taieri Ridge to the south-east.

The Rail Trail Guide Book

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.

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