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  #1 (permalink)  
Old December 29th, 2001, 09:03 PM
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Default Taieri Train?/Dunedin/Legend March 3

We will be on the Legend on March 3 from Auckland to Sydney.

We are looking at the Taieri Gorge Train tour out of Dunedin. But the RCI price is $130 US, while the train company lists the cost on its website at @ $23 US. Has anyone taken this tour? Do you know if you can book it yourself?

There are 6 of us and we want to keep costs down as much as possible.

I am also interested in any other tour info for the ports on our trip: Auckland, Tauranga, Christchurch, Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney.

Thanks, Beth
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old January 29th, 2002, 11:29 PM
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Default Re: Taieri Train?/Dunedin/Legend March 3

My husband and I were on the Legend last January and we sailed with an other couple. All four of us took the more expensive Taieri Gorge Train tour in Dunedin, booked through RCCL. It was worth every penny. This train is a charter train, staffed by local volunteers, that serve unlimited champagne and a nice lunch.. They are also very knowledgeable. We made several stops for picture taking etc.
The regular train is just a simple train ride to the area, without stops and/or refreshments. You'll be missing the local flavor, I think.
Go for the ships excursion, it was a wonderful day. The train left right from the pier and dropped us off there as well.
Happy Cruising, Ginnie
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Old January 30th, 2002, 07:14 AM
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Default Re: Taieri Train?/Dunedin/Legend March 3

Thank you, Ginnie! We have decided to take that tour.

Any other recommendations for us for sights or tours in the other ports? Did you write up a trip review? We'd love to read it.

Thanks again, Beth
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Old February 3rd, 2002, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: Taieri Train?/Dunedin/Legend March 3

Hi Beth,
I never did write a review of our cruise, as I was not feeling well towards the end of our 30 day cruise. I had a serious Asthma attack and was glad when we got home. Thank God, we were flying business class from Auckland to Los Angeles and on to New York.
We started our cruise with our friends in Singapore on 1/13/01 for 16 days to Sydney, as we had never been to the Great Barrier Reef.
We stayed on board from Sydney to Auckland for 14 more days, as we had missed almost half the ports on our 1998 Auckland to Sydney cruise because we encountered 2 cyclones . We had sailed late in the season, late March, early April. We had signed up for the Transalpine Tour in Christchurch, but high winds from the first cyclone prevented us from going there.When our tour was canceled and our money refunded, we wanted to sign up for the Taieri Train in Dunedin, but it was sold out. When we left Dunedin we encountered the second full fledged cyclone in the Tasman Sea. We were crawling along at 7-9 knots per hour and missed the Fjordland all together, as well as Hobart. We had 50-60 ft. seas at times,. We did go to Melbourne and when we arrived in Sydney, the Captain was just as glad as we were to get off. He was a relieve Captain, he told us. This cruise was on the Sky Princess, ans she sailed very well, considering the circumstances. The force of the waves broke a forward ship railing on the top deck. The doors to all the decks were locked, as it was too dangerous to go on deck.
This was the reason we stayed on board last year, as we wanted to see the ports we had missed.
On our first cruise we took a cab in Tauranga with an other couple, and we also went Jet boating there. That was a lot of fun, to say the least.
When we were on the Legend last year, we visited friends in Melbourne, people we had met on our ill fated cruise.They showed us their city and surroundings.
A tour of the Opera house in Sydney is a must, I feel. We were lucky enough to hear a rehearsal of a Johann Strauss concert, on our tour. We also took a harbor cruise, which we liked very much.
We walked around the waterfront in Hobart, very interesting and also took a harbor cruise there. Halfway on the cruise we got off and had lunch in a revolving restaurant, that had a casino on the ground floor. We then reboarded our cruise a couple hours later, with no additional charge. I had asked the ferry Captain for a transfer coupon, as we were reboarding later. He looked at me and with a devilish grin said: I wont forget YOU. I took it as a compliment.
We did take the Transalpine Tour this time in Christchurch, and we loved it. It is very costly, but the scenery was awesome and we had a wonderful lunch in the middle of nowhere, that we still talk about.
We and our friends did a lot of touring on our own. Taking cabs for a couple of hours, and having them drop us off at a winery for lunch etc, not so regimented.
We encountered wonderful local people and some memorable characters in both New Zealand and in Australia. We just love it down under, the people are so friendly and helpful.
Beth, I hope I didn't bore you with my "longwinded" story of our trips down under. I was reliving our times there.
By the way, we had perfect weather the second time around. The South will be cooler than the North, so bring some sweatshirts and a windbraker with a hood and a folding umbrella, for the occasional shower.
I know, you will just love it. I'm sorry that I jumped around so much, it all came back to me, as I was typing this.
We sailed the Legend over New Year's 1998 from Honolulu to Ensenada, and are filling in the missing link this year by sailing from Auckland to Honolulu on 3/31/02.
Happy Cruising, Ginnie
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Old February 4th, 2002, 07:49 AM
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Default Re: Taieri Train?/Dunedin/Legend March 3

Not bored at all, Ginnie! Lots of great information, thank you.

I certainly hope our weather is more like your second trip than your first! We have already planned to pack layers of clothing and to take lightweight jackets and plastic ponchos.

It's less than a month now, I'd better start putting my mental lists on paper, I think. We have not gotten our docs yet - my husband is convinced it's because they want to upgrade us (wink, wink). I wish I understood a little better how they select who to upgrade.

Thanks again!

Happy Cruising to You Too!
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