More Southern Road n Rail 2019
25 October - 1 November 2019Download PDF Itinerary
Join us to explore rail history as we travel through Blenheim, Christchurch, Oamaru, and Dunedin.
This is part two of our immensely popular South Island train tour. We take in the steam and craft festival at Pleasant Point and enjoy train travel on the Dunedin Railways Seasider and Taieri Gorge excursions.
Friday 25 October - Ferry Crossing to the South Island
A leisurely start from all destinations today .We are transferred to Wellington and meet at the Interislander ferry terminal for an afternoon sailing across the Cook Strait to Picton. Upon reaching Picton we make the short journey to Blenheim, our destination, to settle in before dining in tonight.
Saturday 26 October - Christchurch Steam Scene
This morning we travel through to Christchurch.We spend the afternoon at another best kept secret of the Canterbury region, Steam Scene, part of the Canterbury Steam Preservation Society’s project based at McLeans Island, Harewood. Here we journey on a bush tramway, headed by their restored Fowler steam locomotive, and experience the magic of their large live steam exhibition hall facility containing many stationary steam engines and boilers. This includes various items from the old Christchurch Gas Works, several marine engines, sawmill engines, pumps and a very unique experimental engine from Canterbury University. We dine in tonight at our Christchurch hotel.
Sunday 27 October - Two Railways Plus a Craft Day
This morning we travel south to visit The Plains Vintage Railway and Historical Museum situated in the Tinwald Domain at Ashburton.here we enjoy a train excursion on an Edwardian era train. Some of the key heritage exhibits available here include an extensive vintage tractor collection, the Lynn Museum of Woodworking and Ornamental Turning, and the buildings that make up the quaint pioneer country village.
Monday 28 October - The Seasider and Dunedin City Sights
As we head to our Seasider adventure, we detour off onto the roller-coaster Coast Road.Passing through the small settlements of Karitane, near the mouth of the Waikouaiti River, Seacliff and Warrington before returning to SH1. We report to the historic Dunedin Railway Station for the Waitati Seasider excursion. The harbour and spectacular cliff tops overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Blueskin Bay are particularly beautiful and the best way to see this is by train. A picnic lunch is included today. On our return we board our coach for an hour’s city sights, before returning to the Octagon where we can choose our afternoon’s entertainment. Highly recommended are the two free museums; Toitū Otago Settlers Museum - a museum of social history dedicated to telling the story of the people of Dunedin and the surrounding area, whose character, culture, technology, art, fashion and transport shaped New Zealand’s first great city. This museum has fourteen themed galleries that feature interactive displays and powerful narratives tracing the human history of the area, from the earliest settlers to the most recent arrivals. Another great choice is the Otago Museum - described as one of the world’s best museums - where we can discover the richness and vibrancy of the southern region through outstanding collections covering culture, nature and science. The extra special feature of this museum is their Discovery World Tropical Forest, including over 1,000 butterflies (cost not included in entry), together with their other galleries: Southern Land, Southern People, Tangata Whenua - People of the Land, Pacific Cultures, People of the World, Maritime, Animal Attic, and Nature. We dine in tonight at our delightful Dunedin hotel based just off the Octagon, home for the next three nights.
Tuesday 29 October - Taieri Gorge Excursion Dunedin Railways
This morning we return to the historic Dunedin Railway Station for our excursion on the Taieri Gorge Railway.The journey takes us through the rugged and spectacular Taieri River Gorge, across wrought iron viaducts and through tunnels carved by hand more than 100 years ago, and is supported by full commentary, photo stops and on-board refreshments. (A picnic lunch is included today). Pukerangi is the end of the line today, before retracing our journey by train back to the city.
On return to the Dunedin Railway Station, the rest of the afternoon is ours free to enjoy at our own cost and leisure. For those who want to indulge in art, shopping and culture - Dunedin has many great choices. We dine in once more.
Wednesday 30 October - Dunedin at Leisure
This morning we visit with the Dunedin Heritage Light Rail Trust, an organisation formed to make the return of the Mornington Cable Car a reality.We view the beautifully restored cable cars, hear about the work of the dedicated volunteers, and take in the wonderful photographic views over the city. Our coach today takes us out to view the beautiful beaches of St Kilda and St Clair before taking the “high road”, a scenic drive on the Otago Peninsula, providing magnificent views of remote beaches and bays. We then drop down into Portabello to take the “low road” back to the Octagon, where lunch is at our own cost and choice. The remainder of the afternoon is once again ours to explore, shop, or perhaps pick up a trail map to discover Dunedin’s amazing street art – a series of world class murals adorning the city’s buildings. Later we gather together once again for dinner in our hotel.
Thursday 31 October - Oamaru Steam and Rail to Christchurch
This morning we depart for the Moeraki Boulders .Here we get to enjoy a walk on the beach to view these geological phenomena, some measuring up to 4 metres. We also have time to enjoy morning tea at the lovely café on site (included in the tour cost).
Historic Oamaru is our next stop. Late morning we join Oamaru Steam and Rail at the Harbourside Station for a train excursion that takes us on a journey back in time with a trip on their "vintage train" from the Historic Precinct to Oamaru’s Victorian Harbour. We have time for lunch within this fascinating part of Oamaru (own cost and choice) before departing for Christchurch, our final destination today. We dine in tonight.
Friday 01 November - Travelling Home
An early start from Christchurch this morning as we retrace our steps up the Pacific coastline to Picton.Allowing time for lunch (own cost and choice). We join an afternoon sailing which returns us to Wellington. Here we farewell fellow travellers and are transferred to our respective home towns.
The cost of the tour includes
- 2 course or buffet dinners
- All Breakfasts
- Morning teas on most travelling days
- All coach travel
- Steam Scene – steam train excursion and working steam museum
- The Plains Vintage Railway – steam train excursion and entry to other museums on site
- Pleasant Point Railway – steam train excursion, Model T Ford rail car, craft day
- Seasider – Dunedin Railways excursion including picnic lunch
- Taieri Gorge – Dunedin Railways excursion including picnic lunch
- Dunedin Heritage Light Rail Trust – visit
- Oamaru Steam – train excursion from Historic Precinct to Victorian Harbour
- Moeraki boulders and morning tea