Middlemarch is a small rural township with big skies and a striking backdrop of the Rock and Pillar Range. One of Otago's most distinctive upland landscapes, the ridge is dotted with impressive giant schist 'tors' or pillars and featured in Peter Jackson's film, The Hobbit.
There is an unhurried pace in the streets and yet there is plenty to do. Browse in the museum for a sense of the area's proud rail, farming and gold mining history. Fish for trout on the Taieri River, enjoy a lazy round on the 9 hole golf course, choose from mountain walks or township walks or visit a working sheep station on a Heritage and Farm Tour.
The Sutton Salt Lake, 10km out of town is well worth a visit. A 40-60 minute walk will take you around New Zealand's only inland salt lake, tucked into a shallow basin amongst Sutton's incredible tor landscape.
Middlemarch is particularly well known these days as the start or finish point for the Otago Rail Trail, New Zealand's iconic multi day cycle tour. Visit the Middlemarch Tourist Hub for all the information you'll need on Rail Trail operators including cycle hire outlets, transport options and accommodation along the way.
If you also need an energy boost, there is a great selection of eateries to satisfy your food and coffee desires, served by friendly and welcoming staff.
We offer Taieri Gorge train trips to Middlemarch every Friday and Sunday during the summer season (October to April inclusive). To find out what there is to do during your one hour stopover in Middlemarch, visit Explore Middlemarch.
“The scenery was just gorgeous!”
“The line is a wonderful and unique piece of NZ history and a fantastic way to spend an afternoon.”
“Wonderful trip, great commentary, would recommend without hesitation.”