From its inception until the 1950s, steam locomotives were the main motive power on New Zealand's railways. The Kingston Branch was a major railway line in Southland, New Zealand. Its construction began in 1864 and it passed through Lumsden in 1876. A few remnants of this fabulous steam train heritage can still be seen in Lumsden.
The Lumsden Railway Station - now preserved as a tourist information centre
The original New Zealand railways water tower -which harks back to the days when puffing trains refilled tanks before continuing their journey. The tower is close to the Lumsden Station and is often photographed in winter dripping in frozen icicles.
A large Yard Crane built in 1908 by Applebys from Leicester.
A short wooden trestle bridge across Lumsden Creek built to carry both road and rail traffic. This small but attractive bridge can be seen near the northern town entry.
It is possible to enjoy a short stroll along the Oreti River while staying in Lumsden by walking along short gravel roads behind Lumsden. The river can be accessed from 2 main points in Lumsden.
Albion Street on the north side of Lumsden which passes the Lumsden Camping Ground and ends on the pebble banks of the river.
On the south side of Lumsden follow Pluto Road West which also ends on another section of the Oreti River.
Walking along the banks of the Oreti River looking at the birds, colourful pebbles and swirling water is a most pleasurable experience enjoyed by both tourists and locals.
The Southland of New Zealand is famous for its trophy trout, crystal clear waters and river access. Over 35 excellent trout fishing rivers, streams and lakes are within 1 hours drive of Lumsden such as the Aparima, Mataura, Nevis, Oreti, Upukerora, Von, Waiau, Waikaia and Waimea, Fishing novices and experts from all over the world regularly base their fly fishing trips from Lumsden.
The Oreti River is a braided glacial river that winds its way past Lumsden in split runs and deep pools. It is a picture perfect place for walking, fishing or sightseeing. The river can be accessed Albion Street and Pluto Road West. Another access point is behind the Lumsden Recycling Centre on the south side of town. Fishing licenses are available for sale at the Lumsden Pharmacy along with some fishing supplies.
The Oreti River travels for over 171kms and slowly curves its way through the open plains of the lower South Island. It is home to large brown trout and flocks of gulls, ducks and other water birds. The Oreti River has been identified as an Important Bird Area because for much of its length it supports breeding colonies of endangered Black-billed Gulls.
Pairs of paradise-duck are commonly sighted as well as other wetland and water birds. The paradise shelducks are typically observed flying in pairs. They are very vocal birds, with males giving a characteristic ‘zonk zonk’, while females make a more shrill ‘zeek zeek’ while flying or as a warning to intruders.
Lumsden has its own long 9 - hole golf course which is maintained beautifully by the local members. During summer a competition is run on Wednesday evenings at 6.00pm and Saturday mornings. Visitors are made to feel very welcome. The club is about 5km out of town on Highway 6 to Invercargill. Drop in to the club to contact members to organise a round.
For further information about the activities available in Lumsden, please visit southlandnz.com