Tuesday, April 02, 2019

NZ Cruise Day 4 Dunedin

Off the ship after three days finally after mooring at the walk off Port Chalmers, Dunedin.


New Zealand has huge Radiata Pine forests. I think in North America they are called Monterey Pine. The country exports a huge amount of timber, as we discovered as our ship moored at Port Chalmers, Dunedin and subsequently.


This was the only organised ship tour we took, a train trip on Dunedin Railways along Taieri Gorge to the nothing there Pukerangi. The train departed right from the port.


Looking back at our ship.


A stylised image of the famous Kiwi bird adorns the back of this bus.


On our way.


I am not sure where we were here, looking out from the train.


Dunedin Station as we briefly paused to load on some supplies.


An old steam locomotive. Upon our return when we paused at the station and I took photos of the loco, but this one from the train is the best.


A snack. Our volunteer carriage hosts were husband and wife couple Paul and Kaye, and they were just lovely and such good hosts. Given how much the tour cost, it is amazing that so many so many on the train are volunteers. Some who do the same task are paid if there is a shortage of volunteers. I am not sure that I like Princess Cruises making money off the backs of volunteer labour who do it for love of the train, the journey and the people. Kaye was just brilliant. I did question her about her role and struck a chord with her when I asked if some passengers treated her like paid staff. She replied, yes, but she now ignores them and she doesn't respond to Americans raising their hands and snapping their fingers. 


Farms. Marie, here are some resting sheep. I tried to take sheep photos but they were out of focus and this is the best of them.


The trip was terrific. What great scenery.


Sadly, I cannot remember the story about the dog this statue commemorates.






I had no idea our train was so long.




It is expensive, but non native and invasive gorse bush is at times controlled by a chemical drop from helicopters. There are no roads, so helicopter is the only access. This lone pine tree is splitting the rock below, but it will be very expensive to remove.



We have reached our terminus, but some trains go on further.


Market stalls of locally made things to sell to us. Seems a little third world. The area was as dry as an old chip, so smoking was not allowed, which did not stop some Asian men from smoking who probably could not understand the announcements on the train. No one challenged them.


Two diesel engines hauled our train followed by the power and storage car.


This is our carriage.


Back on board, it was lunch time.


The bottles of wine were small, so we had two. I poured my second glass as if it was a full bottle of wine, and then there was little left for a second drink for R. When I did with the second bottle, he became quite annoyed. I would be too.


This house is interesting. It is off the electricity grid and has always been. It has never had a telephone wire and does not have mobile phone coverage.

There is not even a road to the house. The road stops at a nearby train tunnel and people coming or going to the house have to walk through the train tunnel. There has always been a way of ensuring people are not in the train tunnel when a train comes through.



On our return, the locos had moved from our end of the train to the other end. I was amazed at the length of our train.


Dunedin Station is just gorgeous. Our train paused there for half an hour and we had a look around. We took a little walk on the streets in the hope of finding a NZ Telecom Spark phone shop, but to no avail. I am another day without internet. So character building. No, fuck off. I want internet.










It was not far back to port on the train but there was much waiting for other trains at sidings on the single track. The carriage we travelled back on was somewhat newer. I don't think the train had any old carriages like Diane and Bill travelled on a couple of years ago. The injuns look the same though.


Home, well to our ship.

30 comments:

  1. Gorgeous pictures!!! That lunch looked absolutely delish! LOL - I woudl want internet too! HA!

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    1. Annsterw, yes, we are now almost dependent on the internet to live.

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  2. I loved the station at Dunedin. Would like to have travelled to it by train. Can't believe you didn't get photos of sheep!

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    1. Maire, it was I guess we were mainly in cities and towns that we didn't see sheep really.

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  3. Loved the scenery.
    Your ship looks quite futuristic, but the train is lovely.
    I suspect that if I was R I would simply have annexed your glass of wine as my own when you sinned for the second time.

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    1. EC, the ship was built I think in 2002. It has been owned by a few companies and has of course been renovated. I did offer R my glass, but he refused.

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  4. On the topic of volunteers working on the train and the high ticket prices - the same thing happens with the various tourist railways in Australia. The money that comes in gets ploughed back into the maintenance of the trains and track. You can easily spend $100,000 on restoring a steam locomotive for service.

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    1. Marcus, yes, I know. I didn't really explain it. Booking the train yourself from port to where we went return is about $130. Booking the ship tour where you are given food and drinks and the company of volunteer hosts, $330. Aside from food and drink, where does the $200 go?

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  5. Amazing scenery. We did the train trip up in Alaska. It was a beautiful trip.
    There were no volunteers on our train or bus Just very young, college age workers.

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    1. Maribeth, and the young workers would not be well paid, I guess, and rely on tips.

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  6. My sister in law said the statue of a dog commemorates the first ever formal dog trials, which were held in the south island 150 years ago.

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    1. Hels, no, that isn't the case. I wish I could remember, but it wasn't that.

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  7. Living where I do in North Idaho I seen plenty of pines and fir tree and never heard of either one. So I google it and it a lot farther south.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Dora, yes, too cold for them where you are then.

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  8. You have to love a nation that erects monuments to dogs!

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    1. It seems to be done in NZ and here, Cro.

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  9. Cheryl3:59 pm

    The train ride looked like a great tour especially with commentary from local people, the markets at the stop seem a little incongruous to me though.The railway station in Dunedin is the most beautiful one I have seen.

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    1. Cheryl, I guess they make enough at the market stalls for it to be worth their while. Nothing of interest to us. If it is not the most beautiful station in the world, it must be near the top.

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  10. It is lovely scenery.
    Volunteers doing a mighty job whilst tourist have to pay for them to volunteer - doesn't sound right to me.
    Love the train station, certainly a grand building.
    Oh dear me, no internet again. Travelling Australia is much like that in so many places, but thank goodness it's improving each year.

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    1. Margaret, I don't mind paying for the train with its volunteers, but the cruise company profiting from volunteer labour is not right. You would know very much about poor internet coverage.

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  11. Is there any significance to the people dressed in period costume in photo 35?
    It is a stunning country, love the gorges.

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    1. River, people were having photos taken with them. I guess they work for a fee or tips.

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  12. I'm loving this visual trip Andrew, you took excellent photos. New Zealand is so beautiful! Dunedin train station is a gem. Sounds like you enjoyed it very much.. most of the time ✨

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    1. Grace, thanks. Certainly I enjoyed getting off the ship and seeing a little of NZ.

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  13. Volunteers are often exploited. I remember a volunteer at a soup kitchen complaining to me the church folk who ran it sat back and gossiped while well meaning volunteers did the work, until she was done with it. A friend volunteered with a local hospice until she got fed up with their slogan "no one dies alone" which was totally bogus. She quit over the phony claims, the work all being done by volunteers while paid employees stood around, seems the same always, in volunteer capacity. The scenery is lovely! Beautiful!

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    1. Strayer, not unlike where R volunteers. The couple of paid staff are hopeless.

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  14. The Dunedin station is stunning.
    I feel for the volunteers who get "mistreated" by some tourists.

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    1. Sami, it is a stunning building, but underused as I don't think there are suburban trains, not that Dunedin is that big. From what I saw, it is only used for tourist trains.

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  15. Beautiful scenery, Andrew. I love trains; once took a scenic tour through autumn colours near Ottawa (capital city of Canada). It's a memory I cherish. Another time my mother and I did an overnight trip to relatives and it also is a good memory for me. I am not a happy traveller the rest of the time but it is hard to resist a train trip :)

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    1. Jenny, train travel is relaxing and stations nice places, unlike very stressful airports. We did the Rocky Mountaineer train and it was a great trip.

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