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.