"Some Little Trips on "Fun" Trains" Top 5 Page for this destination New Zealand Transportation Tip by Kakapo2
New Zealand Transportation: 275 reviews and 255 photos
As already mentioned, we do not have a real railway network in New Zealand which would be suitable to travel the country. You might see a lot of railway lines, and even bridges which are shared by trains and cars, but most are only used for the transportation of goods, containers and coal (from the West Coast to Lyttelton).
Apart from the three scenic tourist trains TranzAlpine, TranzCoastal and The Overlander there are some more little train trips available. To make it look more impressive they even include the Wellington Cable Car in some lists ;-)
The Kingston Flyer - Out of service since mid 2009
This is a vintage steam-train journey between Kingston and Fairlight on the southern shores of Lake Wakatipu, 48km from Queenstown. It operates daily from October to May.
Phone (03) 248 8848, freephone (0800) 435 937
Update Nov. 2009
As said, the Kingston Flyer is covered in cobwebs at the moment. The operating company went into receivership, and the train including land are up for sale. They do not tell you how much they really want for it but do not expect anything under NZ$ 2.5 to 3.5 million. So if you have always wanted to own a train and railway line, and some nice land not too far away from Queenstown, and have some spare money, this could be your chance ;-) The Kingston community want to save this heritage icon, let's hope it can be saved.
The Driving Creek Railway
This is a little trip in Coromandel Town through replanted native forest and offers great views over the Hauraki Gulf including Waiheke Island. It operates daily.
More info and photos on my North Island page and on:
Phone (07) 866 8703
The Taieri Gorge Railway
This is a 77km journey starting daily (except Christmas Day) at Dunedin's historic railway station. It leads through the spectacular Taieri River Gorge, across old viaducts and through tunnels carved by hand more than 100 years ago. You can make the return journey to Pukerangi, or Middlemarch, or use the train as the one leg of your journey to or from Queenstown and Central Otago on the connecting Track & Trail coach. You could also use the train to the starting point of the multi-day bicycle or tramping (hiking) tour on the Central Otago Rail Trail from Middlemarch to Alexandra or Clyde. Return fare to Pukerangi NZ$67, to Middlemarch $75 (one child free with each accompanying adult/price as April 2007).
Phone (Dunedin Railway Station) 03 477 4449
This train operates every Wednesday (Oct – April) and runs along the coast from Dunedin to Palmerston, and return. Departure from Dunedin is at 9.30am, and you will be back at 1.30pm. Cost for the return trip is $ 68 (until Sept. 2009). Prices and timetables on the Taieri Gorge Railway website. The winter service on selected dates is practically non-existent. Last winter, for example, the Seasider operated on exactly one day.
They also offer a Railroad to Gold Tour. It starts with the Seasider Trip from Dunedin to Palmerston. From there you travel by coach to the Macraes Gold Mine and Pukerangi, and from there by train via the Taieri River Gorge to Dunedin. Cost is NZ$ 175.
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