Tuesday, 16 September 2014

A rail journey

When my son let us know they were coming over for a holiday he said he would love to give his wife some sort of a surprise, a trip somewhere special or horse riding perhaps. We arranged horse riding for them but he decided that maybe he should warn her about that and we'd all try to think of something else.

And then my daughter rang and she said she had found half price tickets on the Taieri Gorge Railway. Yippee. We got the vouchers and headed into town and booked our seats. We didn't tell them where were going, just told them not to arrange anything for that day, so it was a surprise for both of them.

On the day we headed in to our beautiful railway station and boarded the train.  We had a choice of heritage carriage or observation carriage, we opted for the heritage seeing as we were able to move around if we wanted to get photo's. These carriages date from 1912 - 1923 and are done out in wood panelling and have open platforms at each end. Comfortable, authentic and fun.

A friend of ours was on the train as a guard so he sat down for a few minutes to have a chat. He hadn't seen our son for a few years and they enjoyed having a bit of a catch up. Then he was away to do his commentary.

Anyway once out of the city the train turns inland and heads west and into the hills. For a start we travelled through farmland, sheep, alpaca, horse studs (racing) and cows. 

Then it was into more rugged country with deep ravines and rivers  on one side and high hills on the other. 

There were 12 tunnels in all and 19 bridges or viaducts to be crossed on the way.

We passed one hotel and several workers houses that are now only used as holiday places or getaways for fishermen. Sue, the dog, is a statue in honour of the working dogs in the area. Can you see the bath down by the river in the picture of the house below? You might have to blow the picture up a bit. (It's the smallest white thing in the trees).

The two green bins are very posh longdrops (toilets), the red shed is the hotel. 
During the summer tourist season the train normally runs through to Middlemarch where it turns around for the return journey. We only went as far as Pukerangi but that was still a four hour return trip. We got off here for a bit of a wander while the engines changed ends so we could begin the return journey. (Pukerangi is a Maori word meaning Hill of god).

I didn't wander too far though as I'm always worried that the train will leave without me. I'm a bit wimpy that way.
 Then it was all aboard... 

...and we headed back the way we had come.

We all enjoyed our day out on the train and it was a good way for them to start their holiday. Our son hadn't been on the train before either so it was all new for him as well as his wife, and it was great to be able to do something neither of them expected. 

Have a great week.

Joining with:


  1. Sounds like it was a fun adventure for all of you. We took a similar train ride in Alaska when we visited. Unfortunately there was still a lot of snow in the mountains and there were 2 avalanches that came down after we passed which caused a bit of a delay as they had to have a second train come and clear the tracks before we could get back down. But the scenery was beautiful.

  2. I would love a ride on that train! What a great idea to entertain guests. I'm with you on fear of missing the train. I would be first back on board.

  3. What a great surprise day out for your visitors, as it was for you too. Nice to come along with you in pictures. : )

  4. I'm so glad all of you had such a wonderful day, together, on an awesome train.

  5. I love these trips you take us on! And I wouldn't roam very far from the train either. Not wimpish at all - sensible security, I call it, and nothing wrong with that. X

  6. Awesome post! I've ALWAYS wanted to go on a train trip. Something so awesome and exotic about it. I'd love to write a book while on a train thru the mountains.... sigh

  7. My Japanese son is a great train rider. As so many people in Japan are. His goal is to ride on every train line.
    In fact when I stay with family he always plans at least one wonderful train trip for me.

    cheers, parsnip

  8. What a great trip. I must keep that one in mind. It's a nice way to see the countryside.

  9. Such beautiful scenery! And what a nice surprise! Lovely that the train has such a great history. Enjoyed the post!

  10. It looks really lovely. I love the rugged terrain.


  11. Hi Diana! Oh, how nice to hear from you! What a lovely little journey on the olden train! We love trains and the scenery looks just beautiful! I'm sure your family had a great time. Hope all is well in your world.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  12. Great trip to surprise you son and his wife! The scenery is wonderful.

  13. What a great day out! I love trains and so seldom have had the opportunity to ride in one. Lovely scenery!

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  15. What a splendid train trip! I loved your pictures and that you got to surprise your son! Thanks for your post.


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