New Zealand train travel and other questions

Old Jan 20th, 2008, 04:47 PM
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New Zealand train travel and other questions

1)Is there a train that goes from Auckland to Rotorua and also to Taupo? Is the train recommended over taking a bus? I have 6 active seniors in my group and we are trying to figure out the best mode of travel. We will fly from Rotorua to Christchurch..
2)is Taupo a must see?
3)I have heard a lot about the Alpine train, does it go to Franz Joseph? how long is this train ride and do you get on in Christchurch?
4)Is Kaikoura a good side trip from Christchurch? how long would it take to get there is we went on a guided tour?
5) I get sea sick... should I skip the whale watching and just let my friends go as I putter around?
I have been to the South Issland visiting friends in the past
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Old Jan 21st, 2008, 12:22 AM
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The Tranzapline train goes from Christchurch to Greymouth (and back). Here's the site for more details:

http://www.tranzscenic.co.nz/services/tranzalpine.aspx

From Greymouth, you can drive or take a bus to Franz Josef.

Kaikoura is 183 km from Christchurch - the drive takes between two and three hours one way depending on stops.

Sorry, can't help with your other questions.

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Old Jan 21st, 2008, 06:36 AM
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You might want to study the travel system in NZ.

http://www.tranzscenic.co.nz/default.aspx

http://www.railnewzealand.com/

http://www.seat61.com/NewZealand.htm

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Old Jan 21st, 2008, 11:37 AM
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1) No, there's no train from Auckland to Rotorua and Taupo. But you can take a bus instead.

2) Only you can decide that. I've heard Taupo's a pretty place, but I skipped over it during my own trip.

4) Kaikoura's wonderful. It takes about 2 1/2 - 3 hours to get there from Christchurch; you can get there by bus or by train. Given the travel time, I'd plan on staying at least one night there, rather than trying to do it as a daytrip (especially if you're going to be using public transportation rather than driving).

5) If you're very prone to seasickness, you might want to pass on the whale-watching trip. If you do want to try it, you can check on the day of the trip to see if the sea is rough, but of course you risk not being able to get a ticket if the trip has already sold out. Kaikoura's very pretty, though, and there's a seal colony you could visit, so you wouldn't be missing out completely if you don't go on the whale-watching trip.
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Old Jan 21st, 2008, 01:42 PM
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Thank you so much for the great tips.I will check out the information you provided asap.
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Old Mar 27th, 2008, 03:06 AM
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Intercity buses in NZ are good, cheapish and a fine way to go if there isn't a train. Be aware too that there are "shuttles" - ie minibuses - that ply some of the popular routes, especially in the South Island. That's how I got to Kaikoura from Christchurch. No need to take a tour. When are you going to there? I remember the approach to Kaikoura from the south in September as really spectacular. Cos there's these snow capped mountains that come almost down to the sea.

Taupo - not a must see.

Tranzalpine travels Christchurch to Greymouth. Brilliant journey. Take a bus from Greymouth to Franz Joseph?

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