Fodor's Expert Review Taieri Gorge Railway
A route along the now-closed Otago Central Railway runs from Dunedin to Pukerangi and Middlemarch, home of the annual Middlemarch Singles' Ball; each year this very train imports young city gals up to a dance with lonely Otago sheep shearers. The highlight of the trip is the run through the narrow and deep Taieri Gorge, with 10 tunnels and dozens of bridges and viaducts, all of which can be enjoyed from open-air viewing platforms. Also available is a seasonal Seasider route from Dunedin up the coast to Palmerston. The train runs every day; check the timetable for its destination. Reservations are essential. Cyclists can connect at Middlemarch to the wonderful Otago Central Rail Trail (see box).