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  #21  
Old April 8th, 2013, 04:23 PM
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Hugh I have a question for you, regarding the Train to the Blue Mountains, when I check the web site for the stations to leave from in Sydney, I have no idea which station I should be looking for. If we are staying on Pitt Street at the Meriton Apartments where should we pick up the train. Thanks. I am not certain if we will do the train option but would like to know incase we do.

Gay
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  #22  
Old April 8th, 2013, 07:58 PM
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The trains to the Blue Mountains only leave from Central Station. You can catch a train from Town Hall Station to Central and change.

The website is http://www.cityrail.info
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  #23  
Old April 8th, 2013, 10:13 PM
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Thank you, I saw a list of stations but not knowing which would be close to our planned location I had no idea which one to put in.. I didn't see Central from that Link.
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Last edited by Desert Cruizers; April 8th, 2013 at 10:15 PM.
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  #24  
Old April 9th, 2013, 04:58 AM
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This might help. Hope it works.

http://www.131500.com.au/plan-your-t...nerRemember=1&
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  #25  
Old April 9th, 2013, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Cruizers View Post
Hugh I have a question for you, regarding the Train to the Blue Mountains, when I check the web site for the stations to leave from in Sydney, I have no idea which station I should be looking for. If we are staying on Pitt Street at the Meriton Apartments where should we pick up the train. Thanks. I am not certain if we will do the train option but would like to know incase we do.

Gay
Hi Gay,
You need to search for the Blue Mountains Line, Central to Bathurst. You would need to catch the earliest possible train - it is about a 2 hour journey each way. Catch any train from Town Hall station (around the corner from the Meriton) to Central Station and you can purchase your ticket at Town Hall.
Check the website in case there is track work on otherwise you will end up on a bus for part of your journey.
Try this link for the Blue Mountains Line
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  #26  
Old April 9th, 2013, 09:29 PM
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Default Which side of the train

My DH and I are booked for the Taheri Gorge Railway tour in early November, taking it from the Cruise Ship. My main concern was that the ship docks at 8.30 and the train departs from Dunedin at 9.30. If the ship is on time or even a little late it only gives you 1 hour to disembark, find transport to Dunedin, arrive at the Train Station and get on the train, cutting it a bit fine we thought. For the extra it is costing us we get more time on the train (albeit only 20 minutes each way), lunch and peace of mind. We thought it was worth it and we are unlikely to be back that way any time soon as we have previously done a 5 week land based tour of NZ and extensively toured the South Island but missed the train trip last time, don't want to miss it this time.

Back to my title, does anyone know which side of the train is the best to sit on to get the best viewing opportunities?

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  #27  
Old April 10th, 2013, 05:23 AM
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Mum & Dad said it didn't really matter but maybe the right side. They swap people around on the way back anywa.y
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  #28  
Old May 9th, 2013, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cassamanda View Post
On weekends there seems to be a Friday/Sunday double that goes all the way to Middlemarch, otherwise they go as far as Pukerangi twice a day.
According to their website on our port day the train goes all the way to Middlemarch but I cannot figure out what time that train gets back to Dunedin. Is it much longer? Will there be time? Is there benefit to going all the way to Middlemarch?
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  #29  
Old May 10th, 2013, 08:02 AM
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When I worked with them for our cruise excursion in the spring, I just emailed them and asked the questions about times, etc. You might want to consider that.
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  #30  
Old May 20th, 2013, 09:47 PM
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Lightbulb Booking direct with the Taieri Gorge Railway

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Originally Posted by cassamanda View Post
Worth every cent but can be done by yourself at 1/3rd the cost. Ship's price is a ripp off. There are 2 trains -one for the ship that leaves from the dock at Port Chalmers and one for the public from the most photographed train station in the world at Dunedin. If there are 2 ships in port then you have no option but to take the ship's tour.
Very easy to get to the station using the shuttle bus put on by the railway. There is also an optional town tour available for minimal cost at the end of the train trip that takes you all the way back to the gangway.

All you miss out on is a boxed lunch and drinks. The public train has classic carriages and a small cafe/bar. Commentary is given on both trains and they both go to the same destinations depending on the day. See the fares, timetable, booking etc here. Why not send them an email.
Thanks for this money saving tip. I'll be in Dunedin on Friday, Nov 22, 2013 on the Celebrity Solstice. Celebrity wants $199 USD for their excursion, about $243 NZD. I just made a reservation direct with the railway for less than half. Here is my confirmation info.

"Hello,
I am happy to confirm your booking on the Taieri Gorge Railway for 2 adults for a return journey to Middlemarch, on the 22nd November 2013
The train departs from Dunedin Railway Station at 9:30am and arrives back into Dunedin at 3:25pm.
The fare is NZ$107.00 per adult. Total cost is NZ$214.00.
There is no need to pay until the day of travel.
Your report time at Dunedin Railway Station is 9:15am please. You can pay and collect your tickets then.
Thanks - we look forward to having you aboard!"

The "Pukerangi Summer AM" train is not available that day. I'm assuming the Solstice excursion is using the rolling stock normally used for the
Pukerangi train.
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  #31  
Old May 21st, 2013, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercruiser View Post
Thanks for this money saving tip. I'll be in Dunedin on Friday, Nov 22, 2013 on the Celebrity Solstice. Celebrity wants $199 USD for their excursion, about $243 NZD. I just made a reservation direct with the railway for less than half. Here is my confirmation info.

"Hello,
I am happy to confirm your booking on the Taieri Gorge Railway for 2 adults for a return journey to Middlemarch, on the 22nd November 2013
The train departs from Dunedin Railway Station at 9:30am and arrives back into Dunedin at 3:25pm.
The fare is NZ$107.00 per adult. Total cost is NZ$214.00.
There is no need to pay until the day of travel.
Your report time at Dunedin Railway Station is 9:15am please. You can pay and collect your tickets then.
Thanks - we look forward to having you aboard!"

The "Pukerangi Summer AM" train is not available that day. I'm assuming the Solstice excursion is using the rolling stock normally used for the
Pukerangi train.
On our date next March, there are two ships in port, so both trains are being used for ships excursions.

I did email them and a tourist train, Silver Fern, is available for a 1.5 hour ride in the morning and can be booked directly with the train company.

Does anyone know anything about this option? It would leave time in the afternoon to visit penguins.
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  #32  
Old May 21st, 2013, 07:33 AM
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Default Dunedin Silver Fern

Dunedin Silver Fern

Has anyone been on the Dunedin Silver Fern 1.5 hour trip?

The Taieri Gorge Train (DD19) Celebrity excursion is $199.00 USD with lunch (6 hours), or $255.00 USD with Larnach Castle, and $239.00 USD with city tour. The train booked direct would be $99.00 NZ (Approx. $80.00 USD), but on our date we can only take the trip on the Gorge train through the ship because there are two ships in port and both have the excursion, but there is another shorter option which can be booked directly with the rail company, which is the Dunedin Silver Fern which goes along the Otago Harbour, climbs hills and goes through the Waitati surrounds. The cost is $50.00 NZ (approx. $40.00 USD).

I emailed the rail company and received the following information,

"We have a really nice railcar called the Dunedin Silver Fern and this travels on the spectacular north line to Waitati and back. This trip is high up above the countryside so you get spectacular countryside and village and coastal views.
If you go to our website www.taieri.co.nz there are some further details on the front page."

"90 minute round trips from Dunedin Railway Station in the centre of the city departing at 10am and at 11.50am which would suit you perfectly if you want to take another activity such as the Penguins."

"The station is 12km from the wharf and there are shuttles every 5 minutes or so."

http://www.taieri.co.nz/images/dunedin-silver-fern.pdf
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  #33  
Old May 21st, 2013, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jade13 View Post
On our date next March, there are two ships in port, so both trains are being used for ships excursions.

I did email them and a tourist train, Silver Fern, is available for a 1.5 hour ride in the morning and can be booked directly with the train company.

Does anyone know anything about this option? It would leave time in the afternoon to visit penguins.
Sounds like a good alternative, might even consider this myself as we will be in Dunedin on Sunday 23 March. Think this might be a new service as I hadn't seen it on previous timetables. Will give us time to walk to Speights Brewery for taste of local fare
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  #34  
Old May 21st, 2013, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercruiser View Post
Thanks for this money saving tip. I'll be in Dunedin on Friday, Nov 22, 2013 on the Celebrity Solstice. Celebrity wants $199 USD for their excursion, about $243 NZD. I just made a reservation direct with the railway for less than half. Here is my confirmation info.

"Hello,
I am happy to confirm your booking on the Taieri Gorge Railway for 2 adults for a return journey to Middlemarch, on the 22nd November 2013
The train departs from Dunedin Railway Station at 9:30am and arrives back into Dunedin at 3:25pm.
The fare is NZ$107.00 per adult. Total cost is NZ$214.00.
There is no need to pay until the day of travel.
Your report time at Dunedin Railway Station is 9:15am please. You can pay and collect your tickets then.
Thanks - we look forward to having you aboard!"

The "Pukerangi Summer AM" train is not available that day. I'm assuming the Solstice excursion is using the rolling stock normally used for the Pukerangi train.
Hello again Mercruiser,
Nice to see you got the booking organised direct. Don't forget to email them about details of the shuttle from the ship to the station and you might also include any other roll call members.
Regards, Hugh
PS. Alaska is getting closer now that both cruise legs have been booked.
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  #35  
Old May 21st, 2013, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cassamanda View Post
Hello again Mercruiser,
Nice to see you got the booking organised direct. Don't forget to email them about details of the shuttle from the ship to the station and you might also include any other roll call members.
Regards, Hugh
PS. Alaska is getting closer now that both cruise legs have been booked.
Cassamanda, Nice to hear from you. Thanks for reminding me about the shuttle. I'll check with them on that. I've already let my roll call know about booking the train.

I'm looking forward to hearing about your Alaska trip. As usual this time of year, Princess has been tempting me with last minute (less than 60 days) offers for Alaska cruises out of Seattle and Vancouver. We'll probably take advantage of one of these next summer.
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  #36  
Old May 21st, 2013, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercruiser View Post
Cassamanda, Nice to hear from you. Thanks for reminding me about the shuttle. I'll check with them on that. I've already let my roll call know about booking the train.

.
I had emailed them and they said it is about $20.00 NZ round trip and about every 20 minutes.
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  #37  
Old May 22nd, 2013, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercruiser View Post
Cassamanda, Nice to hear from you. Thanks for reminding me about the shuttle. I'll check with them on that. I've already let my roll call know about booking the train.

You can arrange to have your entire roll call on the same shuttle.

I'm looking forward to hearing about your Alaska trip. As usual this time of year, Princess has been tempting me with last minute (less than 60 days) offers for Alaska cruises out of Seattle and Vancouver. We'll probably take advantage of one of these next summer.
Our plans have changed somewhat over time but will still have 7-9 days around Anchorage/Seward/Kenai NP etc followed by the southbound then 7 days Rockies. We are meeting up with friends from Toronto in Vancouver and joining up with them on the Hawaii cruise. They were originally going to do the Vancouver R/T on Radiance whilst we toured the Rockies but since Radiance is now chartered for that cruise they are now doing the last southbound on Milly prior to jumping onto Radiance for the Hawaii.
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  #38  
Old May 22nd, 2013, 07:33 AM
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I know some of you have mentioned visiting the penguins while in Dunedin. We just did that on Feb. 14th of this year and at that point they were almost ready to leave the nest. They looked full size. I would just double check to make sure that penguins are there during your time. I would hate for you to get there and find out that either they haven't begun laying their eggs or even not hatched yet or have left the nest, depending when you go.
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  #39  
Old May 22nd, 2013, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Valley Girl of VA View Post
I know some of you have mentioned visiting the penguins while in Dunedin. We just did that on Feb. 14th of this year and at that point they were almost ready to leave the nest. They looked full size. I would just double check to make sure that penguins are there during your time. I would hate for you to get there and find out that either they haven't begun laying their eggs or even not hatched yet or have left the nest, depending when you go.
I think March will be a problem so emailed a couple of places to find out.
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  #40  
Old May 23rd, 2013, 10:09 AM
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I was disappointed in the train…not as scenic as I was lead to believe. The HAL excursion car was nice and you were "treated" to lovely things to eat and drink, but those in the other cars had the benefit of windows that opened for photos…just an FYI. However, the HAL excursion did have the train meet you right at the dock, whereas the "other tourists" had to take a cab or get into town which was a bit of a distance away to get to the station (which is definitely worth seeing.) I didn't really think the trip was anything special.
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