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.
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.
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
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.