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Dunedin/NZ Options, Potentials, History

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From the Travel Section of the London/UK Guardian two days ago, they had this headline: “Bellbirds, books and baroque architecture: visiting New Zealand’s oldest city Dunedin” with this sub-headline: "The South Island destination has gothic buildings and golden beaches, with plenty of wildlife, delicious food and live music." 

 

Here are some added story highlights: “Settled by the Scots and known as 'the Edinburgh of the south', Dunedin has long had a reputation in New Zealand as the country’s avant garde student haven, a gritty post-industrial city now home to artists, musicians, academics and more than a handful of eccentrics. Odd is acceptable in Dunedin – applauded, even.  The small city of 120,000 sprawls around the pristine Otago peninsula, which hosts significant threatened populations of sea lions, penguins, seals and rare birds, including the world’s only mainland albatross colony.”

 

We enjoyed our sampling of Dunedin, including their famed, fun train station.  This profile outlines many options to consider for visiting this area.

 

Full story at:

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2019/jul/05/new-zealand-oldest-city-dunedin-bellbirds-books-baroque-architecture

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Sydney to NZ/Auckland Adventure, live/blog 2014 sampling/details with many exciting visuals and key highlights.  On page 23, post #571, see a complete index for all of the pictures, postings.  Now at 222,640 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

 

 

From this story are many pictures, including this one for Larnach Castle on the ridge of the Otago peninsula near Dunedin.:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger/better!)

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Posted (edited)

We did the rail trip from Dunedin.

 

We originally booked it on our RCI cruise.  It was $229pp.   We subsequently booked it at a NZ tourist office in Wellington and cancelled the RCI tour.  We paid $99. instead.  Same jouney, different train.  Just about every person on the independent train tour came from the ship and had either purchased a private tour with transfers or like us, bought our tickets a NZ tourist office.

 

The  only difference was that we had to take the local bus into the train station (RCI had their train dockside), and RCI provided a box lunch.  Our ride was a bit longer.  We had a running commentary.  At the last stop, prior to turn around,  the Rotary put on a barbeque lunch (for a fee).  It was excellent.  And there was a pub next to the station.   That night, on board ship many who had been on the RCI trip were a little upset and felt ripped off.  They either saw our train or heard about it from table mates.  They could not reconcile the difference in price.

Edited by iancal

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On 7/8/2019 at 11:10 PM, iancal said:

We did the rail trip from Dunedin.  We originally booked it on our RCI cruise.  It was $229pp.   We subsequently booked it at a NZ tourist office in Wellington and cancelled the RCI tour.  We paid $99. instead.  Same jouney, different train.  Just about every person on the independent train tour came from the ship and had either purchased a private tour with transfers or like us, bought our tickets a NZ tourist office.  The  only difference was that we had to take the local bus into the train station (RCI had their train dockside), and RCI provided a box lunch.  Our ride was a bit longer.  We had a running commentary.  At the last stop, prior to turn around,  the Rotary put on a barbeque lunch (for a fee).  It was excellent.  And there was a pub next to the station.   That night, on board ship many who had been on the RCI trip were a little upset and felt ripped off.  They either saw our train or heard about it from table mates.  They could not reconcile the difference in price.

 

Wonderful follow-ups by Iancal.  Many good options to consider.    During our Australia-NZ 2014 sailing and adventure, we did not spend a large amount of time in Dunedin.  We did the overnight Queenstown excursion that worked out super well.  Below are a few of my visuals from what saw in and around Dunedin.  More to come!!

 

Keep up the great sharing and posting. 

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

SE Asia/Mekong River, Etc.!  Live/blog from early 2018, first adventure through SE Asia, stops in Hong Kong and Bangkok, before exploring all over Vietnam and Cambodia, seven days sailing on the Mekong River. Now at 47,925 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2591474

 

Here are some of the highlights in Dunedin with their rail station and its many special design touches. As our guide, John, explained, Dunedin was very rich at the time from its gold and other resources. Why did they make it so fancy? Because they could!! You can see some of the fancy tile work, a stained-glass window, etc., in these pictures. They do not build things like this these days. In the final picture, you can see John with some of the folks from our Central Ohio travel group in front of this landmark and unique building structure.:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger/better!)

QueentownExcurA5_zpsd170426b.jpg

 

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QueentownExcurA4_zps5e1ccf8c.jpg

 

QueentownExcurA7_zps1cc651ca.jpg

 

QueentownExcurA3_zpsd99d641b.jpg

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On my live/blog, here is what I shared about this town: Dunedin is the second-largest city of NZ's South Island. It is still considered to be one of the four main cities of the country for historic, cultural and geographic reasons. Dunedin was the largest city in New Zealand by population until about 1900. The 2013 city population is a little over 120,000. The harbor and hills around Dunedin are the remnants of an extinct volcano. Nearby is the Otago Peninsula, rated by TripAdvisor as one of the area's best activity points with its wildlife, sights and nature options. Another top-rated option is its Taieri Gorge Railway.
 
The city's largest industry is higher education, being home to the University of Otago, New Zealand's first university, started in 1869. Next to our ship's docking point were a huge loading area full of logs ready to be shipped out. Busy port!

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

For latest live/blog, see “Holy Lands, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Dubai, Greece, etc.”, with many visuals, details and ideas for the historic and scenic Middle East.  Connect at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2607054-livenautica-greece-holy-lands-egypt-dubai-terrypix’s/

 

Here is one of the highly distinctive, historic building in Dunedin. It is the First Church. Located in the heart of the city just south of the city center, it is the city's main Presbyterian church. Regarded as one of the most impressive of New Zealand's nineteenth-century churches, its multi-pinnacled tower/spire rises to 185 feet tall. It was completed in 1873.:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger/better!) 

QueentownExcurA11_zps15ae55b3.jpg

 

As the Solstice sailed away from Port Chalmers, the port nearby to Dunedin, here were a few of the special views we enjoyed with the perfect weather as the sail-away was completed. We were on the top deck of the Solstice. Great vantage point. Recognize some of the birds perched on these rocks as we depart the area. The black birds look to be Cormorants. Right? Are some of these Emperor penguins? Finally is a view of the lighthouse and steep cliffs we saw as the Solstice entered the Pacific Ocean.: 

QueentownExcurA2_zpsc348692d.jpg

 

QueentownExcurA_zps920bd2b6.jpg

 

QueentownExcurA1_zps04653248.jpg

 

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On 7/8/2019 at 8:10 PM, iancal said:

We did the rail trip from Dunedin.

 

We originally booked it on our RCI cruise.  It was $229pp.   We subsequently booked it at a NZ tourist office in Wellington and cancelled the RCI tour.  We paid $99. instead.  Same jouney, different train.  Just about every person on the independent train tour came from the ship and had either purchased a private tour with transfers or like us, bought our tickets a NZ tourist office.

 

The  only difference was that we had to take the local bus into the train station (RCI had their train dockside), and RCI provided a box lunch.  Our ride was a bit longer.  We had a running commentary.  At the last stop, prior to turn around,  the Rotary put on a barbeque lunch (for a fee).  It was excellent.  And there was a pub next to the station.   That night, on board ship many who had been on the RCI trip were a little upset and felt ripped off.  They either saw our train or heard about it from table mates.  They could not reconcile the difference in price.

Hi Lancal

can you tell me where the NZ tourist office to located that you used to purchase your train tickets. Than you

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Posted (edited)

I forget.  Might have been Wellington.  After than, we stumbled across NZ tourist offices in a few other places.  They could have been local offices but they all seemed to sell tours for other areas.  

 

Suggest you try googling NZ tourist offices-perhaps they have a list of locales that you can match up with your itinerary.  The train trip was fine, not certain that we would do it again. But...they did have many tours.  We wish we had found this office a few port stop earlier!

 

That train station is amazing.  We spent time just wandering about inside and out.

 

Edited by iancal

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On 8/3/2019 at 1:07 PM, iancal said:

I forget.  Might have been Wellington.  After than, we stumbled across NZ tourist offices in a few other places.  They could have been local offices but they all seemed to sell tours for other areas.  Suggest you try googling NZ tourist offices-perhaps they have a list of locales that you can match up with your itinerary.  The train trip was fine, not certain that we would do it again. But...they did have many tours.  We wish we had found this office a few port stop earlier!  That train station is amazing.  We spent time just wandering about inside and out.

 

Appreciate the excellent follow-up from iancal to the question from SingBill.  Very helpful and especially true about that spectacular Dunedin train station.

 

Just completed yesterday, for our first time, flying into Calgary, seeing Jasper/Banff National Parks, doing the Western Canada Rocky Mountaineer rail adventure, having three days in Vancouver, then sailing up to Alaska, doing a post-cruise excursion to Denali, etc.  After that on our priority list is a first-time trip for exploring in early 2020 various South Pacific islands, including Fiji, Samoa, Bora Bora, etc.   Would commence this 18-day cruise in mid February from Auckland.  We plan to get there a week ahead in order to explore more of New Zealand's North Island and be escaping from the Midwest winter cold.  In 2014, we did Wellington, Napier/Cape Kidnappers, Tauranga/Rotorua and Auckland/Waiheke Island, etc.  Will welcome all good suggestion for other exciting opportunities and fun locations in NZ's North Island.  More good photo opportunities??

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Just completed Calgary, Jasper/Banff National Parks, Western Canada Rocky Mountaineer rail adventure, Vancouver, sailing up to Alaska, post-cruise excursion to Denali, etc.  Lots of visuals and details!!  That live/blog is at: 

www.boards.cruisecdritic.com/topic/2682584-live-terryohio-silver-muse-alaska-canadarockies-pix’s/

 

Or, you could simply do a quick Google search with these terms: 

“Live Terry/Ohio Muse Alaska”

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Terry, there's a typo in the link you posted:  a "d" in the midst of cruisecritic in the link.  I'm just now catching up with your travels.

Appreciate Barb catching of this "goof".  Have corrected and will update the other posts with this better link.

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

CORRECT LINK

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2682584-live-terryohio-silver-muse-alaska-canadarockies-pix’s/

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Posted (edited)

Actually, you can book direct with Dunedin Railways:

 

https://www.dunedinrailways.co.nz/

 

My wife and I did our own DIY trip to New Zealand a few years back, but we had planned to meet my Mom and her friends in Dunedin, as they were coming on the Sun Princess. We purchased tickets online a few weeks prior to our trip. The Sun Princess had to change their itinerary and course the day of embarkation of the cruise due to a storm in the Tasman Sea. Dunedin Railways actually emailed me to ask if we were on the cruise and offered to change the date of our tickets, so one benefit of booking directly with Dunedin Railways is that they are well aware of any itinerary changes of your cruise, and at least in our instance, were quite flexible about changing the dates.  I got this email while riding the Sydney train from the airport to Circular Quay where we met my Mom and her friends for lunch on embarkation day. Suffice it to say, they had no idea their itinerary had been changed, until I told them. We did not end up meeting my mom in Dunedin, unfortunately, but we still went on our schedule Dunedin Railways journey, as planned.

Edited by leongcpa

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