A great start to Otago cycle trail network & heritage trails
Middlemarch there are plenty of things to do. A town where welcomes are guaranteed. Visitors are appreciated for the effort turning up. Middlemarch with its gold mining heritage, artefacts, relics, drop dead goregous scenery and plenty of things to do and see is well worth the detour. The museum is a great place to start your exploration with brochures, handy tips from the volunteers and one of kind gifts. Then its out into the great outdoors to explore.
WHAT TO DO IN MIDDLEMARCH, HIGHLIGHTS
- Sutton Salt Lake winter views with a great cycling and walking trail
- Walks and tracks from short easy strolls to multiple day tramps to the top of Rock and Pillars Range
- Photographers dream location, landscape panoramic views a speciality
- Stargazing with very little light pollution
The Otago rail cycle trail starts at Middlemarch. Other activities include visiting the remote tussock lands of Te Papanui Scenic Reserve and exploring the many side roads. The town has an excellent volunteer managed museum with craft galleries and cafes serving flat white coffees with the best of them. The town boasts of a golf course and swimming pool. During summer when the Taieri Gorge Train arrives pop up craft shops open at the heritage railway station specialising in local artisan goods. The town is beguiling weaving a spell over visit.
MIDDLEMARCH’S FAMOUS ADOPTED LOCALS
- DWARFS FROM LORD OF RINGS, Andy Serkis, who played Gollum, is quoted as saying “aid, “I can honestly say this is my favourite place in the whole of Middle-earth.” For those visitors who are not aware of Sir Peter Jackson and his film credits, Middlemarch certainly helped put him on the map.
- Gold rush era has numerous tales of scandalous goings on, check out the local museum for details.
WHERE TO TAKE A SELFIE IN MIDDLEMARCH
- Two merino Oamaru stone sheep forever waiting outside the local pub. The sheep are straddling schist pillars
- Middlemarch Singles Dance (Easter) hopeful romantics are invited to town
- Strath Taieri A&P Show (March)
MIDDLEMARCH FOR KIDS
- Taieri Gorge vintage train
- 4WD Farm tours
- Swim under the photogenic Sutton Suspension Bridge
- A & P Showgrounds has an astro-turf sports field, vintage tractor and contemporary play equipment
WEATHER IN MIDDLEMARCH
- 156 in town & 600 in the wider Strath Taieri region (sheep shearing season sees town population increase by 300
JUDGMENT ON MIDDLEMARCH
Spend a day or two exploring the district.
Every town adds to the richness of things to do and see. For more details about the region check Dunedin & Otago Region nearby attractions and events.
WHO TURNED UP AND NAMED THE MIDDLEMARCH?
Perhaps the town’s name was favourite author, George Elliot’s novel Middlemarch. Another idea is the name is from the obsolete word “march” meaning a boundary, the location is between two rivers. Then another theory for the town’s name is the redoubtable John Turnbull Thomson surveyor of Maniototo area, might have been recalling the Middle March region of his native Northumberland.
Getting to Middlemarch
Dunedin 80km 1 hour
TOWN MOTTO OF MIDDLEMARCH
- “Middlemarch rocks” The pun is great with its references to being the coolest place in Central Otago as well as Rock and Pillar Ranges.
MIDDLEMARCH’S SOCIAL MEDIA
- Explore Middlemarch, Hyde, Pukerangi, Clarks Junction and Hindon and experience rural New Zealand just one hour from Dunedin.
TRAVEL PACK INFORMATION
- Local brochure is a gem, visitors are informed where the local keys are. It’s help yourself and we trust you to behave responsibly.
BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE
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