Depending on which direction you want to go, Middlemarch is either at the beginning or end of your Otago Central Rail Trail experience
Scenery alone is enough to make Middlemarch a must stay. Located at the southern end of the Strath Taieri Plain, this rural centre of around 300 is dominated by the towering bulk of the Rock and Range (1450m) to the west, the Taieri Ridge to the east and to the south, the Maungatua (892m) Range. Little wonder Peter Jackson featured this scenery in ‘The Hobbit’. Just a taster of points of interest in and around Middlemarch is Sutton Salt Lake, the only inland salt lake in New Zealand, the remains of a 1873 gold mining submarine, albeit an ill-fated venture, a sheep yard built of schist rock, interesting public artwork, fish waiting to be caught in the Taieri River, southern hospitality at its warmest and lots more besides.
The Strath Taieri Hotel in Middlemarch is a friendly country hotel with that traditional atmosphere - "the genuine article". Located opposite the Middlemarch Railway Station and just 200 m from the beginning of the Otago Central Rail Trail, we offer great food, great entertainment, great ambience - be sure to visit us!Rates:
Double room (2 people) B&B: $90 per night
Single room (two beds) B&B: $50 per person
Middlemarch Lodge is ideally situated just 200 m from the Otago Central Rail Trail. We offer local area tours, transport to and from local airports and towns, and cycle tour support. Enjoy quality accommodation and being looked after by your hosts Donna and Annie, who will ensure you have everything you need for your stay.
Experience Otago with us at Middlemarch Lodge and ToursRates:
King (with en-suite) $180
Queen with en-suite $180
All bookings include complimentary light breakfast.
Beds fully made up, towels & toiletries supplied.more info
Annandale Bed & Breakfast is located in sunny Middlemarch offering stunning mountain views.
This character home is conveniently located just 400 m from the Otago Rail Trail at Middlemarch and is close to the Rock & Pillar Ranges for day walks.
Double $130.00 per night
Single $90.00 per night
Continential Breakfast is included in the price.more info
Whether you are starting or finishing the Otago Rail Trail or trekking in the area; this is the perfect place to wind down after your trek or recharge and get ready to go. On approx. 10 acres it is the site of the historic Sutton School circa 1898 closing in 1958 ; later run by a charitable trust for different groups. Just less than an hour north of Dunedin and only 5kms from Middlemarch (being the beginning or the end of New Zealand's original Otago Rail Trail, it is a great way to hang out after a day of exploration. The place offers tranquility, views of the Rock and Pillar, the Sutton Salt Lake walk and of course star gazing.Rates:
Star Gazers Accommodation $54 p/p includes a basic continental breakfast, linen, internet, off street parking. Full kitchen, lounge, dining areas, BBQ
Great food awaits you. Located on State Highway 87 towards Dunedin.
Ph: 03 464 3224.
Located directly opposite the train station on Snow Ave, The Middlemarch Hotel offers two bars with food and a great atmosphere. Rail Trail photos can be found in the bistro area.
Ph: 03 464 3800.
Groceries, milkshakes, cold drinks, ice cream. 16 Aberafon St. Open every day 9 am - 7:30 pm.
Ph: 03 464 3611
When the gold rush was on in 1873, miners were desperate to keep working even over the cold winter months when the Taeiri River was running high and ice cold. It was decided the best plan of attack was to build a submarine which could be lowered into the Taeiri River. With an open area at the bottom of the submarine, the ambitious miners could work their pans and hopefully make a fortune. Tragically the oxygen supply run out and 3 of the 4 miners died on the first launch. The museum also has farming and war memorabilia which is located on Aberafor Street just around the corner from Cycle Surgery. Ph: 03 464 3853
All the original railway station buildings have been very well maintained. It is arguably the best example of how things were when the line was in its glory days. Many photo opportunities are located in this historic area which is 100 meters from the Otago Central Rail Trail start/finish point.
Browse the town and you will find two churches, the war memorial, small grocery shop, and sheep and horses grazing on empty sections.
You can view the impressive Rock and Pillow Range from the township (snow caped over winter months).
The Sutton Salt Lake is New Zealand's only inland salt lake, with water about half as salty as seawater. The Sutton Suspension Bridge which crosses the Taieri River has impressive stone abutments is located on Harcus Road. The Sutton Military Campwas used for artillery training purposes between 1913 and 1955.There was once accommodation for 3000 troops. The historic slab stone sheep yards located on Murrays Road is also worth a visit. Rail Trail Planner providing detailed tours, transport and scenic 4 wheel driving excursions. Ph: 03 464 3755 or 027 251 0049.
Swimming pool is located in the Middlemarch school grounds and is the complex used by the Middlemarch Swimming Club. Contact: Steph Macaulay. Ph: 03 464 3366
For a small rural town, Middlemarch has done very well to maintain its public tennis courts available for public use.
Middlemarch Bowling Club. Contact: Nola Tisdall, Ph: 03 464 3883
From October to April the train travels from Dunedin to Middlemarch and return on Fridays and Sundays. The other 5 days of the week the train does a return journey from Dunedin to Pukerangi, 23km south of Middlemarch. Over the winter months (May – September) the train travels daily to Pukerangi. Refer to the Taieri Gorge Railway (www.taieri.co.nz or Ph 03 477 4449) for exact timetable details.
Middlemarch Singles Ball, not just on the Middlemarch calendar but the world map. From small beginnings in 2002 the ball is held every second year on Easter Saturday.
Cattle, sheep, wool, dog trials, showjumping, in hand horses, hunter round the ring, led rein,small ponies. Great prizes for High Jump and Round the Ring, Supreme Champions for the Horses, Horses do not have to have height certificates, classing is run under Pony Club Guidelines, and are not eligible for Horse of the Year Classes. Home Industries Champions. Spouse Carrying competition and Lawn Mower Races as well.
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