Tag Archives: Radiance of the Seas

Circumnavigating New Zealand — Traversing Taieri Gorge


Maniototo at Puderangi

Time to head back from the Maniototo plateau and plain, through the Taieri Gorge, for return to Dunedin. And on this return trip you’ll see much more of Taieri Gorge than on Monday’s article.

Taieri Gorge

The Taieri Gorge was formed by the Taieri River, a little of which you can see here:

Taieri River

Our ride was of course aboard the Taieri Gorge Limited, which is a line run by Dunedin Railways:

Dunedin Railways’ Taieri Gorge Limited

Along the way we had some fun crossing tall train trestles:

Taieri Gorge train trestle — one of several

Now let’s enjoy some of the views if this wondrous, rugged terrain:

Taieri Gorge

Taieri Gorge

Taieri Gorge

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Circumnavigating New Zealand — Taieri Gorge to Pukerangi


Pukerangi Station panorama

In 2020 we returned to Dunedin, New Zealand aboard the Radiance of the Seas, the Royal Caribbean ship upon which we circumnavigated Australia. But since we’d already toured Dunedin’s city centre the previous year, this time we headed over the the railway station for a trip through Taieri Gorge aboard Dunedin Railways, formerly known as Taieri Gorge Railway. Today’s trip was on the Taieri Gorge Limited.

Taieri Gorge Limited

The full-length run to Middlemarch occurs once or twice a week, depending on the season. All other trips go to Pukerangi, a stop (hardly a “station”) the lies on the high Maniototo plain on the other side of Taieri Gorge itself. On this day we were taking the round trip to Pukerangi back to Dunedin.

Taieri Gorge rail map

Today you’ll see mostly Maniototo plain at Pukerangi, as the platform between cars was too packed to get photos on the way up. Instead, I concentrated on securing a place there for the trip back. What few photos I did manage to snag on the way up included these of Taieri Gorge, through which meanders the Taieri River:

Taieri Gorge rail trip

Taieri Gorge rail trip

Taieri Gorge rail trip

But nearly as impressive were the views atop the Maniototo plateau:

Maniototo plateau at Pukerrangi Station

Maniototo plateau at Pukerrangi Station

Maniototo plateau at Pukerrangi Station

 

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Circumnavigating New Zealand — Fiordland 2020; Doubtful Dolphins


Doubtful Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

We’re now heading into Doubtful Sound in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park. As I mentioned Monday, the views here did not for the most part compete with those over in Milford Sound, but there were some nice exceptions:

Doubtful Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

I will give a thumb’s up to the flora here, though. It seemed a bit more colorful than what we experienced earlier in the day:

Doubtful Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

Doubtful Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

And while the mountains seemed smaller, there were still some dramatic shots to be had:

Doubtful Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

Being a wider, longer fiord, Doubtful Sound’s waters were not quite as glass-like as we had encountered in Milford Sound, but there were still on the calm side:

Doubtful Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

So, am I glad we came here this day? You bet! Why? Because . . . dolphins! Lots and lots of dolphins!

Doubtful Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

Our ship had apparently stumbled through a pod of dolphins, and I suspect some fish may have been stirred up in our wake. Or perhaps the pod were just in a playful mood:

Doubtful Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

Doubtful Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

At any rate, the ship’s passengers were abuzz at the sight. And I was fortunate enough to have a great seat in the back of the ship because cold drizzle had sent me seeking shelter a short while earlier.

Doubtful Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

We’ll finish up Fiordland with this week’s Fun Photo Friday before moving on to our next New Zealand destination next Monday. Until then, one last look at Doubtful Sound for today.

Doubtful Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

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