After morning pickup at the cruise port in Dunedin, transfer to the Dunedin Railway Station, a 19th-century Renaissance revival-style building designed by an architect nicknamed ‘Gingerbread George.’
Have about 30 minutes free to see the historic station, then use the provided ticket to board the Taieri Gorge Railway. The train is equipped with heated carriages, large windows and restrooms, as well as open-air viewing platform cars. Chug along the Taieri Plains, crossing bridges and viaducts that span the Taieri Gorge and other scenic canyons. The train hugs the curves around the mountains and slows down at scenic viewpoints, providing great vantage points on the South Island’s rugged wilderness.
Hear informative commentary about the the region during the train ride, which takes two hours each way. You can upgrade to include a gourmet box lunch, or purchase refreshments at the onboard cafe. At the last station, you'll have about 15 minutes to check out Pukerangi before the return journey to Dunedin.
Upon you return to Dunedin, your guide meets you at the train station and takes you on your afternoon tour of the Otago Peninsula. Make stops at several locations with sweeping views — photographers will love the postcard-perfect scenery. Visit beaches where you may glimpse whales, dolphins or some native New Zealand wildlife, then return to the cruise port in the late afternoon.