4.5 star rating: Recommended 18 Reviews

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  • Location:Dunedin, New Zealand
  • Duration:8 hours (approx.)

Taieri Gorge Railway and the Otago Peninsula Day Trip from Dunedin

Ride the Taieri Gorge Railway on a 4-hour round-trip route from Dunedin to Pukerangi, and take a guided tour of the Otago Peninsula by minivan in the afternoon. The train steams through vivid South Island landscapes including the Taieri Plains and Taieri Gorge, stopping en route for photo ops plus a leg stretch in Pukerangi. Then dig your toes in the sand at Otago’s gorgeous beaches and keep a lookout for oceanic wildlife. Upgrade to include a gourmet boxed lunch.


  • Full-day excursion with Taieri Gorge Railway journey and sightseeing in the Otago Peninsula, from Dunedin
  • Travel aboard the Taieri Gorge Railway for spectacular mountain scenery of New Zealand’s South Island
  • Admire the Renaissance Revival architecture of Dunedin Railway Station
  • Stroll along the sandy beaches of the Otago Peninsula during your afternoon tour
  • Pickup and drop-off available from Dunedin hotels or Port Chalmers cruise port
  • Small-group tour with a maximum of 19 people ensures customized attention from your guide

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Taieri Gorge Railway and the Otago Peninsula Day Trip from Dunedin

Taieri Gorge Railway

After hotel or cruise port pickup in Dunedin, you’re transferred to the Dunedin Railway Station. Before your train departs, you have approx. 30 minutes to meander the 19th-century train station whose exquisite Renaissance revival style was designed by the architect known as ‘Gingerbread George.’

Ticket in hand, board the Taieri Gorge Railway and take a comfortable seat in a heated carriage that is equipped with sizable windows and restrooms. En route to Pukerangi, the train motors along the Taieri Plains, crossing over bridges and viaducts that span canyons such as Taieri Gorge, then curves around mountains, slowing down at scenic locales for a better glimpse of the South Island’s rugged wilderness.

Throughout the 4-hour round-trip excursion, listen to informative commentary about the historical and natural features of the region. Visit the open-air platform cars for unobstructed views, and stretch your legs at a stop or two. Enjoy a gourmet boxed lunch (if option selected), or purchase your own sandwiches, snacks and beverages at the onboard cafe.

Once your train reaches its destination, take about 15 minutes to wander around while the engine is switched for the return journey to Dunedin, where your guide awaits.

On arrival, hop aboard your minivan for a guided tour of the Otago Peninsula, including visits to several spectacular beaches where you can stroll the shoreline in search of penguins and other New Zealand wildlife before returning to your Dunedin hotel or cruise port in the late afternoon.

Customer Reviews


5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

A great day
The bus was on time,the train trip was great. And the packed lunch was very fresh and tasty


5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

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.

Dee T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

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.

Michael J P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

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.

Ted BJ Cruises

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

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!!!

Tishani S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

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.

G. Paul W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

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.

Weldon B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

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.

Anne P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2014

Chris Roberts was the epitome of what every Tour Guide should aspire to. His attention to detail was meticulous and his PR skills first class. He started as a Tour Guide and finished as a friend. A most enjoyable experience.

George C

4 star rating: Recommended January 2016

great way to see the area

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Tour code: 6586DND4


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