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A great day
The bus was on time,the train trip was great. And the packed lunch was very fresh and tasty
Train ride was disappointing: there was really nothing much to see. Some carriages were not air-conditioned. We booked a package with lunch box, which we did not receive and got NZD 20 refund instead. Otago Peninsula is beautiful, and worth much more than Taieri Gorge: make the former your priority.
From the time we were picked up for our Taieri Gorge Railway journey it was an enjoyable experience. The views along the way were magnificent and one that you would always remember.
great way to see the area
The tour was well organized. Rides were prompt and friendly whenever they were needed. The accommodations were clean and more than satisfactory. The view in TeAnau was great. Even in the rain the Milford sound tour was outstanding. The boat captain went out of his way to make it the best experience. I loved the train through Taieri Gorge. The old cars were magnificent , the engineer kept us ready with our cameras for the best views. I would do it again
The whole day was perfecttly organised by Chris, owner of Back to Nature Tours. He collected us in good time for the comfortable 'vintage' train from Dunedin's beautiful railway station and was there to collect us from the platform when we got back early afternoon. The train had a dining car, so we went through spectacular scenery on the way out with coffee and biscuits, and back sitting on the opposite side this might not be possible with a full train unless you negotiate with passengers across the way with a NZ minced beef pie and glass of NZ Chardonnay. There was a 'live' commentary, i.e. by a man on the train with us it was interesting and appropriate but not as detailed as the optional recorded commentary on KiwiRail trains. There were a few stops where we could climb literally down from the train and take photos. In the afternoon Chris took us on a tour of the Otago Peninsula, on some roads that wouldn't have been possible with our own transport. He was very knowledgeable indeed about wildlife, and pointed out interesting views, buildings, birds etc that we would have driven straight past if on our own. We had the tour to ourselves because bad weather had prevented a cruise ship from coming into Dunedin - we felt very fortunate to have Chris's exclusive expertise, but it would still be excellent if the minibus had been full. Chris was also enjoyable to talk to about general NZ topics - and provided super experiences the following day because he recommended the fantastic Toitu Museum and a brilliant fish restaurant, The Reef.
Pick up and drop off at the cruise ship terminal was very smooth and on time. Bus driver/tour guide was very informative. The train ride through the Taieri Gorge was wonderful, scenery was amazing.
Great views but the volume on the speaker system needs to be turned up, train staff very polite and friendly.
We thoroughly enjoyed this trip. If it Dunedin it's a must for beautiful scenery. Would highly recommend and the plus is the train station. We arrived a few hours early to spend time admiring the architecture. This was a perfect way to spend the afternoon.
Doing what: Taieri Gorge Railway from Dunedin
The train trip was great but, even better was the tour given by the local tour company. They were very informative and took us to places you normally don't get to see on normal tours. The vehicle was clean and comfortable and the driver, owner was great!!!
Our local guide Chris was great and took us around the key areas of Dunedin and was very knowledgeable of the whole area. My husband and I were the only ones on the tour which was great because he tailored the trip to our interests. The train ride was beautiful and would highly recommend getting the lunch packs as they were great value for money. Overall a really great day trip.
P Ho Hong Kong
Tour was confirmed on 9 May 2015 and Ms Shireen Bosch has first contacted me on 11 May and 9 Jun. Received clarifications and reminders on 19, 24, 25 and 26 Aug. Got full documentation from reception on the day following check-in upon request. Received another copy of itinerary on morning of 28 Aug. Up to this moment, reference was made to my booked itinerary. After a busy day in town, I was shocked to receive another itinerary which has turned my whole itinerary upside down, ie going by rail to Dunedin and having the Milford Sound Cruise on Day 3 instead of Day 1. We were confused about the pick-up time, as 6:45 am for the original itinerary and 9 am for the revised itinerary and we had to call your emergency hotline at late hours. The pick-up service was 15-20 minutes late. We were at panic and had to call the emergency hotline again. After the railway journey, there was no pick-up at the station and we had to seek assistance from the staff of the Railway Station. Finally when a taxi picked us up and brought us to our hotel in Dunedin, the taxi driver asked us for taxi fare ... We just lost confidence in VIATOR and we felt so helpless. We called your emergency hotline again to get reassurance from your staff Olga. Thanks to Olga's kind assistance, the rest of our journey went smoothly. One deep regret though was we were unable to visit the Glowworm Cave at Te Anau. The original itinerary would drop us off at our hotel at 5:15 pm in Day 1 but the revised itinerary dropped us off at our hotel at 6:45 pm, which made it impossible for us to join the Cave tour. It is a shame to have missed it as the Cave was just about 15 minutes' walk from our hotel. We booked this 3-day tour with consideration of an early evening arrival at Te Anau on Day 1. Had we known of this revised itinerary, we would have made good adjustments to our journey well in advance. Ms Shireen's explanation of an oversight is hardly acceptable. Our time and money to travel is limited!
An excellent experience. Just wish I had more time to stay overnight in one of the stops. Got lots of video and a few digital photos on the train.
The tour outside Dunedin with Chris was superb. I was his only tourist so we, indeed, had a relaxing time.
Heartily recommend this adventure.
Tour guide, Chris, was excellent for day trip. Rail trip certainly revealed the rugged terrain of New Zealand and how difficult it must have been for early settlers to make a living in such a beautiful but challenging land.
It was largely by public bus. I could have saved 900 by booking myself. The hotels booked were in a number of cases below the standard advertised. Too much travel in the number of days. Had I booked myself I'd have stayed at least two days in every place. I feel like it was a bit of a con really.
This tour was amazing!
Great weather and very accommodating and knowledgable guide made it a memorable trip
The tour was fantastic. I ended up being the only person on the tour that day as it was during Christmas and consequently the guide tailored the tour specifically for me.
One of the main things to do in Dunedin. Lengthy tour. Some good pictures along the way but would not do it again. Would have preferred to stay longer in Queenstown instead.
Taieri Gorge trip: meals on the train were snack-sized and overpriced. Scenery beautiful.
Otago Peninsula day trip from Dunedin: Our driver Chris was charming and interesting. His love for and knowledge of the area was enjoyable.
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