Taieri gorge is well worth a visit - this trip will enthral rail enthusiasts as well as nature fans as the historic, restored train makes its way over 14 bridges up the gorge. The scenery is spectacular and for those wanting a bite to eat or a drink the friendly team on the train is there to serve.
We used Back to Nature to organise the trip for us and they topped of the trip with a tour of Otago Peninsula and a visit to some penguins.
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.
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.
Very pleasant day. Railway was very scenic and relaxing. afternoon trip to peninsula was very interesting and personal in small group
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 .
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.
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.
A great day
The bus was on time,the train trip was great. And the packed lunch was very fresh and tasty
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A good trip up into the highlands around Dunedin. Train travel like this is unique.
Ross K Australia
Great train trip. It's best to get a seat on the right of the carriage to have the best views.
The commentator was American and although his commentary was okay, his accent was annoying. The endpoint of the journey inland was a little disappointing. There was nowhere to sit, just a few CWA stalls selling useless trinkets. We had to wait there while the train shunted for our return journey.
Appuswamy R Australia
The train Journey was interesting more from historical perspective than from sceneries. The running commentary was great with lot of information conveyed in a jovial manner to reduce the monotony of constant confrontation with boulders and Gorge. After motoring through various parts of South Island where there was abundance of greeneries and waterfalls this trip offered another side of boulders and Gorges. Yeah something different for sure!.
Great train trip and fantastic trip to the peninsula where I was lucky enough to see two bull sea lions, some fur seals and some penguins. Thanks to my guide Chris.
Great views but the volume on the speaker system needs to be turned up, train staff very polite and friendly.
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.
Great weather and very accommodating and knowledgable guide made it a memorable trip
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