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  #1  
Old August 2nd, 2012, 01:15 PM
Amster12345 Amster12345 is online now
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Default Princess excursion choice in Dunedin, NZ

I am on the Princess Australia/NZ cruise New Years 2013. We've worked out what we want to do at most stops, but had some disagreement on this one. The Taieri Gorge railway sounded good to me, but the rest of the family wants to save a bit of money and take the city drive and Olveston House tour.

If you have been on this train or the Princess excursion - Is the train trip worth the time and money? Do you see a lot of great scenery? Should I go it solo? Help!
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Old August 2nd, 2012, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Amster12345 View Post
I am on the Princess Australia/NZ cruise New Years 2013. We've worked out what we want to do at most stops, but had some disagreement on this one. The Taieri Gorge railway sounded good to me, but the rest of the family wants to save a bit of money and take the city drive and Olveston House tour.

If you have been on this train or the Princess excursion - Is the train trip worth the time and money? Do you see a lot of great scenery? Should I go it solo? Help!
One of the classical rails journeys of the world.
Built by hand with horse and cart, during the gold rush, through "unbelievable scenery".
Expensive - yes.
Worth it - definitely, every penny - not to be missed.
Even worth going on your own and let the family save their money.
Enjoy!
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Old August 2nd, 2012, 07:29 PM
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Yes, The Taieri Gorge trip is great and much cheaper booked through the actual Taieri Railway website. They even provide a bus pickup from the ship for a few extra dollars.

If you want to save money, and like historical places, Olveston House is fantastic. Takes you back in time and is full of treasures gathered from around the world. I am considering visiting it again next March.
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Old August 2nd, 2012, 07:47 PM
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You can only book this privately if you are the only cruise ship in town that day. If there are two cruise ships, they will both be fully booked by them
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Old August 2nd, 2012, 09:04 PM
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Amster12345

The Taieri Gorge train trip is a "must" It is comparable, scenic wise, with the Durango - Silverton train in America except that is pulled by a diesel loco and not steam.
By booking on line with the Railways it will cost you approx $95 compared with approx $195 through the ship. KIds cost approx $145 with the ship and they are free if booked on line.
The web site for bookings is taieri.co.nz/bookings
As Sandy noted, a shuttle bus is provided by the railways from the ship to the Dunedin Railway Station for (in April this year) $5 each way. For another $25 the bus will take you on a City Tour when the train returns from the Gorge in the afternoon before returning you to the ship.
Two trains go to the Gorge. The ship's train leaves from the wharf next to the ship and the Railway's train leaves from the Dunedin Railway Station 20 minutes behind the ship's train. The ship's train only goes as far as Puckerangi. The Railway's train passes the ship's train at Puckerangi and continues on further up the Gorge to Middlemarch where it stops for an hour before returning to Dunedin. Lunch is available at Middlemarch at the small pub and a cafe/bakery.
The payment arrangements are that you pay when you collect the tickets at the Station just before boarding the train.
There is another train trip that leaves at the same time (0930) called the "Seasider" This train goes along the coast from Dunedin to Palmerston and is very scenic. It does not cost as much for tickets as the Gorge train and it returns to Dunedin at about 1-30 pm which gives you a couple of hours to look around Dunedin if you want to, before returning to the ship.
If you want further details about the train trip e mail me on whymayor@hotmail.com

John
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Old August 2nd, 2012, 09:06 PM
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If you discover the cruise ships have fully booked the train, you could book for yourself as suggested at the higher ship price. If they run it the same way as our experience you will be seated for your journey and lunch as a sole traveller at a table for 2 or 4 with a supplied box lunch, generous wine and friendly companions to share the experience. Here is the link to the Taieri Gorge Railway to check if they do have an independent booking train running when you are in port.

http://www.taieri.co.nz/bookings.htm

Cheers Colleen
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Old August 2nd, 2012, 10:23 PM
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How do we know if there are 2 ships in port that day? Interested myself in doing the train direct.
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  #8  
Old August 2nd, 2012, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tickford View Post
How do we know if there are 2 ships in port that day? Interested myself in doing the train direct.
Check out the cruise schedule for Port Chalmers, the port for Dunedin, in Otago , New Zealand.

http://www.portotago.co.nz/1.html

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Old August 2nd, 2012, 10:48 PM
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Dunedin by classic car is a great one. You get driven around the city in a beautiful out classic car (we were in the same one the Queen rode in when she visited NZ) and you visit the old train station, Olveston (you get the tour), Speight's Brewery (tour and help yourself tasting), and an old church. It was such a great way to see it and the driver gives commentary as you drive around.
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Old August 3rd, 2012, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johndon View Post
Amster12345

The Taieri Gorge train trip is a "must" It is comparable, scenic wise, with the Durango - Silverton train in America except that is pulled by a diesel loco and not steam.
By booking on line with the Railways it will cost you approx $95 compared with approx $195 through the ship. KIds cost approx $145 with the ship and they are free if booked on line.
The web site for bookings is taieri.co.nz/bookings
As Sandy noted, a shuttle bus is provided by the railways from the ship to the Dunedin Railway Station for (in April this year) $5 each way. For another $25 the bus will take you on a City Tour when the train returns from the Gorge in the afternoon before returning you to the ship.
Two trains go to the Gorge. The ship's train leaves from the wharf next to the ship and the Railway's train leaves from the Dunedin Railway Station 20 minutes behind the ship's train. The ship's train only goes as far as Puckerangi. The Railway's train passes the ship's train at Puckerangi and continues on further up the Gorge to Middlemarch where it stops for an hour before returning to Dunedin. Lunch is available at Middlemarch at the small pub and a cafe/bakery.
The payment arrangements are that you pay when you collect the tickets at the Station just before boarding the train.
There is another train trip that leaves at the same time (0930) called the "Seasider" This train goes along the coast from Dunedin to Palmerston and is very scenic. It does not cost as much for tickets as the Gorge train and it returns to Dunedin at about 1-30 pm which gives you a couple of hours to look around Dunedin if you want to, before returning to the ship.
If you want further details about the train trip e mail me on whymayor@hotmail.com

John
Agree with everything John says. You will be advised by email from the Taieri Railways if your booking is successful or if you have to book through the ship.
BTW John, Only on certain days does the train go on to Middlemarch. Their calendar shows the train schedule.
See also other threads on these boards about this subject.
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  #11  
Old August 3rd, 2012, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by finetuneit View Post
Dunedin by classic car is a great one. You get driven around the city in a beautiful out classic car (we were in the same one the Queen rode in when she visited NZ) and you visit the old train station, Olveston (you get the tour), Speight's Brewery (tour and help yourself tasting), and an old church. It was such a great way to see it and the driver gives commentary as you drive around.
Which old church did you visit?
How long was the excursion?
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Old August 3rd, 2012, 02:01 AM
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On our Taieri Gorge trip last March, our train just went to Pukerangi where there were markets. Snack foods and drinks were available to buy on the train.
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Old August 3rd, 2012, 02:51 AM
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Hugh & Chris

On the day in April that we went on the train there was a third train for the day going to the Gorge. It left after we got back in the afternoon so it would not be suitable for the ship people.
We liked Dunedin best of all the ports we called at in New Zealand.
It was a funny thing that when we landed in Auckland there was a bloke on the footpath selling tickets for the Gorge train in Dunedin. We struck him again in Wellington. He was fairly well informed as he told us exactly how many seats were left on the Railways Train. He was not selling the ship's tours. He was obviously following the ship from Port to Port. I dont know who he was representing, probably the Tourist Commission as they are very well organised in NZ.

John
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Old August 3rd, 2012, 07:50 AM
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The Trieri Gorge railway trip is one of the World's great railway trips not to be missed. Price includes lunch served on the train . Train departs and returns to shipside . Go for it .

Caveat Emptor : Just take the the train trip option . Give the train trip and Larnach Castle option a miss . Larnach Castle is a tourist rip-off . It is not a castle at all, rather a stately old homestead on the Otago Peninsula, calling itself a castle - sort of self made legend in it's own lunchtime !
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Old August 9th, 2012, 09:04 PM
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I just purchased this excursion through my Royal Caribbean ship sailing Nov.

Why? From my research.....Stops for photo's/smokers. Pick up/drop off at the ship. Wine and dine included ( I'll make good use of the wine ). The ship will wait for you. Good photo takes on board the train. Weather protected.

Wondering? Gave up the chance to see the Lord of the Rings sight due to time constraints. Never saw the movie. Hope I made the right choice!

Last edited by Nhsaltshaker; August 9th, 2012 at 09:05 PM.
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Old August 9th, 2012, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Nhsaltshaker View Post
I just purchased this excursion through my Royal Caribbean ship sailing Nov.

Why? From my research.....Stops for photo's/smokers. Pick up/drop off at the ship. Wine and dine included ( I'll make good use of the wine ). The ship will wait for you. Good photo takes on board the train. Weather protected.

Wondering? Gave up the chance to see the Lord of the Rings sight due to time constraints. Never saw the movie. Hope I made the right choice!
Good choice to take the train journey. If you are comfortable with the ship prices, then go for it but many people can save considerably - particularly families by booking privately (when only 1 ship in port).
The train journey is only a half day so no-one will miss the ship departure even if you did it privately.
To get free wine and a lunch box is not worth the extra $100pp in my view. Besides you get to see the magnificent Dunedin railway station and if you didn't want to do a town tour, you are able to walk thru the township, walk to the 1st Church, visit Cadbury Chocolates and take a shuttle back to the ship from The Octogon (5 minutes from station).
If you do take the ship's train, do a little walk through Port Chalmer's before boarding the ship.
Also, there is a quirky little scottish pipe band that farewells the ship from Port Chalmers - don't miss it.
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Old August 10th, 2012, 08:46 AM
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Agree with most of the above except Hugh what are you thinking!!! Cadbury's chocolate from Dunedin is disgusting Did you taste it? Ick.

If you want to do the train privately, just ring Murray at Taieri Gorge and he'll sort you out and the cost of the call is negligible.

Cheers
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Old August 10th, 2012, 01:06 PM
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Agree with most of the above except Hugh what are you thinking!!! Cadbury's chocolate from Dunedin is disgusting Did you taste it? Ick.

Cheers
Di
Is that why Chris looks so sick
IMGP1155copy_edited-1.jpg
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Old August 10th, 2012, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Sandielle View Post
Yes, The Taieri Gorge trip is great and much cheaper booked through the actual Taieri Railway website. They even provide a bus pickup from the ship for a few extra dollars.

If you want to save money, and like historical places, Olveston House is fantastic. Takes you back in time and is full of treasures gathered from around the world. I am considering visiting it again next March.
Sandy

We will be visiting Dunedin on Voyager next year - and thinking of having a look at Olveston House (although I think it may pale into insignificance compared to some "houses" we have seen recently in the UK and Germany )

My question is - just how many other passengers will visit the house - either independently or on a ship's tour??

Barry
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Old August 10th, 2012, 06:09 PM
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Sandy

We will be visiting Dunedin on Voyager next year - and thinking of having a look at Olveston House (although I think it may pale into insignificance compared to some "houses" we have seen recently in the UK and Germany )

My question is - just how many other passengers will visit the house - either independently or on a ship's tour??

Barry
Barry, unfortunately heaps - on the day we were there, anyway. There were local tours as well as ship's tours. However, it was all organised very well and the various groups did not clash. Lol, it was not Hampton Court, more like Bernard Shaw's house, but crammed full of interesting things.
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