Trail Places

Ngapuna

Originally only a small wayside station, (built to keep the sun off the farmers’ milk cans that were waiting for the train pick up), this signals the very last lap for some – only 6.2 kms to Middlemarch.    

 This is a good place to stop and look out for the Taieri Pet – look up, not down – it’s a cloud, not an animal. Known to avid cloud-spotters, this is a very rare and world famous “lenticular billow” cloud. It is formed by very strong, high altitude NW winds that can roll over the series of “block mountains” and valleys to the west of the Strath Taieri. You may see fascinating clouds in many places along the Trail – and of course, it’s a great excuse to stop again!

You can also look up to see the site of Otago’s first ski field on the flat-topped Rock and Pillars. From the 1930s to the early 50s, hardy cross-country skiers would arrive at Rock and Pillar station and climb with their ski gear (no tows) to the “Top Hut.” A bigger “Big Hut” was built, but skiers moved on to other loftier downhill ski fields. It is still used by cross-country skiers, but also by trampers, rock climbers and botanists.