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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 May 2016

Chris, the owner and our tour guide was wonderful. His love of the land and his knowledge was complete and well communicated. We found sea lions on the beach, he was able to take some pictures of my husband and I. The train ride was also very informative. I ordered a box lunch for the morning train ride which was well worth it. They do have a diner car on the train, but as soon as you could stand outside on the train, I did that, I also think they might have sold out of sandwiches. You can however bring your own picnic. Back to Chris's part I highly recommend this tour.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

A wonderful tour that allows you to experience the spectacular interior scenery of theTaieri George, as well as an afternoon drive along the picturesque Otago Peninsula. The provided lunch option was good and the price was a great value for an all day tour. We were returned to our ship on time.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Very pleasant day. Railway was very scenic and relaxing. afternoon trip to peninsula was very interesting and personal in small group

Graham R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

Great trip on the train , scenery was breathtaking ane train comfortable and staff was subperb, Les took us on our mini van tour around the peninsular this was very informative , Les was a great host and took us out of the way , this trip is well worth the cost .

Sheila T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

the views are spectacular and the drive around the peninsula had great views. The tour guide was very good and showed us a lot of interesting things.

Ingrid J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

A very interesting and enjoyable tour! The tour guides were very knowledgeable and entertaining. The views from the train ride were spectacular. The city tour was very interesting as well, with great views.


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.

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