Great New Zealand Steam Train Journeys Beaultiful New Zeaand Milford Sound
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Feedback from travellers on our Great New Zealand Steam Journeys:

> Click here to view a video of what our passengers think of their journey

My name is Margaret Oliphant. I originally come from Glasgow.

I left Glasgow in 1967 to come to Australia with my husband and two children.

And now Iím a grandmother.

Q: ďWhat made you choose this holiday?Ē

Actually I saw it in the seniors newspaper and I liked the idea of this. I left it sitting on the table for Len to see when he came home from work.

Len: ďand then she said youíre going to New Zealand whether you like it or not!Ē

Thatís not true! He said actually I fancy that steam train journeyÖand I said oh thatís great so do I!

Q:Ēand what are your thoughts about it so far?Ē

Oh Iíve loved it! and I will certainly come back to New Zealand.

Q: ďWhat have been the high spots for you?Ē

I think everything actually. Iíve thoroughly enjoyed it.

Len: ĎShe likes New Zealand Chardonnay!Ē

I feel very much at home actually in New Zealand as itís so like Scotland, I canít believe it. People have told me that over the years that New Zealand looks like Scotland and now I know it does!

Margaret and Len: Victoria Australia

 

I'm Jim Beggs and this is my wife Betty. We have been in the railfan group since 1966 and have been to China chasing the big QJ and all the other big steam trains and I went back to China in 1982 and thoroughly enjoyed steam there and we saw this one with the brochures from AHRS and thought this would be a good way of seeing New Zealand steam.

Q: ďWhat do you think of the steam youíve seen so far?Ē

The steam we have seen so far is awesome, in the size thatĎs running on 3ft 6ins gauge and some of the locos have been very good and there has been quite a good variety of locos all in the one place together. This one has been really terrific. Iíve really enjoyed the whole trip.

Q:ĒWhat about you Betty?Ē

Well I think weíve been very lucky to have a lovely lot of people in our group. I donít think we could have had a nicer lot of people. We have all got on well together. Itís been a terrific trip. I can thoroughly recommend it. We are really pleased we did come.

Jim and Betty: Victoria Australia

 

I am Verna Benefield. I am an ex kiwi but havenít been in the South Island for over 50 years. I saw this advertised in a brochure sent to me and havenít seen the South Island and think steam trains are super, so thought Iím going to do it.

I live in the northern beaches in Sydney and have loved this trip. I really have thoroughly enjoyed it.

There have been lots of lovely highspots. Up to the turntable. That big opening because the people up there impressed me. Another thing I have loved about the trip is the enthusiasm of the people. When you look out the train window you see all these people with their cameras and waving at us itís just great!

Verna: Sydney Australia

My name is Peg Gwatkin Williams and I came out to Australia 8 years ago. Iím 73 and all my friends thought I was quite mad! Iíve got a daughter out here. Thatís why I came. My daughter and I did a youth hostelling trip around New Zealand 20 years ago and I fell in love with it, particularly the South Island. I live next door to Verna. She said she was coming and I said Iíd come with you if you want company.

I think one of the highspots was the trip down on the Earnslaw, going down that lake. It was such a beautiful spot. Oh I donít know, the fact that everyone has been so nice, so friendly.

Q: Youíre not a steam fan are you?

Iím a motor car fan!

Q:Have you felt that thereís been enough in this holiday for you?

Oh Yes Plenty, Thereís been plenty in this holiday for me. I do love the steam trains, but I donít go out of my way to photograph them!

Peg: Sydney Australia

 

My name is Elaine Woodward and we come from a little town north west of Adelaide called Moonta, which is known as Australiaís Cornwall and I picked up this leaflet from our tourist office where I work as a volunteer.and I took it home and I rang and I said we want to come and I told my husband that night that we were coming! We have thoroughly enjoyed the trip. I am very much interested in the architecture and also railways because I exhibit model railways in Adelaide and its given me a lot of ideas for new layouts for my European trains. We are looking very much forward to the next few days and weíll be very sorry to go and I encourage anyone to take this trip. My husband has a disability and a walking stick but it hasnít been too hard on him but we have loved the country. This is our second trip and we are now thinking of a third trip next year because there is so much we still want to see.

Elaine: Moonta, South Australia

My name is Jenny Donohoe and this is my partner Jim Powell.

We live in Helensburgh which is about 50 kms south of Sydney. New South Wales, Australia.

We discovered this trip on the Sunday and we were booked on the Monday. Thatís how keen we were, what was that about 9 months ago, January, Early February, Yes in January, We were so excited about it because we are not only train buffs, but love photography so grab any excuse to get out the camera!

So Iím the still person. I take the stills and Jim does the video. Over to you!

Jim: Iíve enjoyed this trip immensely because of the flexibility of the whole trip. For all those that love the train, like myself and Jenny, there have been other excursions. Just in Dunedin alone our group went to three different places. We split up and I donít know of any other tour thatís ever been able to do that, where you can split people up to fill their whims and wants of what theyíd like to do, and itís been just great.

Highspot for me was Queenstown itself. Weather was just perfect and the trip on the Earnslaw was great for an old seafarer like me. Milford Sound was the other highspot. Weíd die to go there again! The weather was amazing. To have that misty rain Öit was a surreal it was like being in South Pacific a Bali Hai type feeling. Really Good. Iíve just loved it! The Taieri Gorge was fantastic as a train trip, probably the best of the train trips, but weíve loved every minute of it,

Jenny and Jim: Helensburgh Australia

 

Hi Iím Terry Jaggers. Iím a Londoner living in Singapore. Weíve come to New Zealand, my wife and I, to celebrate her motherís 80th birthday and so decided we wanted something very special to do, so we looked on the internet and this trip came up, so being an old buff of the LNER we thought a journey back into the days of steam would be really exciting and indeed itís just been a fantastic trip. All four of us have really enjoyed the flexibility of being able to do a variety of things, but for me the climax was really Milford Sound. I had never been there before and to see the water pouring over the cliffs. To see that at full water potential was really, really good. I have not seem sights like that since I was in Africa at Victoria Falls. That was a real highlight. The rest of it has been fantastic. The organisation and the train trips have been really spectacular, so all in all a fantastic journey.

Terry: Singapore

Iím Alan Filmer from Australia New South Wales. Iím what youíd call a steam enthusiast and have worked with steam all my life. I started as an apprentice and have worked in loco shops in Newcastle and on boilers all over the world. I was surprised to see the size of the locomotives here on the small 3ft 6ins gauge. Iím used to the Queensland scale where they are rather smaller locos than these. This has been a very well and truly organised trip. Excellent!

Alan: Diamond Beach Australia

 

Hello Iím Andrew ward and this is my partner Enid Cornish.

Weíve been travelling on train trips like this for a long time now and have been through Canada, South Africa, Indonesia and a number of other countries but have enjoyed ourselves immensely in the South Island of New Zealand. For 2 reasons in particular: From my point of view Iím an avid rail enthusiast and am also an architectural historian, so for me to go to Dunedin Railway Station and see that wonderful old building built in 1906 and see a range of steam engines older than the station itself going right up to the modern locos of the 1950ís, was a real feast, that not many countries could put together. So in that sense, itís been a very enjoyable experience for me.

Enid: And for me too of course. I see it from a slightly different perspective. Iím not quite so enthusiastic in terms of rail as Andrew is but I like engines and particularly steam engines. They really are the nearest thing I think to a live animal so I like being near them.

The bus trip part was saved by having a wonderful funny driver, Peter, who never loses his cool and is an expert, and of course Paul our wonderful leader. They are both very well informed.

The Taieri Gorge was wonderful, that was lovely. I stood on the outside of the balcony most of the time and I just had this feeling. I actually said to myself out loud. ďDamn itís good to be alive on a day like this and doing an activity like this.Ē Yes it really is a wonderful experience.

Andrew: Iíd forgotten so much of the wonderful landscape that you can see here, and I agree with Enid, if weíre talking about highlights, that scenically you canít beat Milford Sound, even in the hostile weather conditions which we had, it was really wonderful to be there. But if I had to summarise the whole trip, it would have to be the Dunedin experience, and the combination of the wonderful industrial history of that city, the warehousing, the commercial buildings, the churches, the hotels, still very old and contemporary with the steam trains , which we came to see. I think if Dunedin can continue to see its image in those terms then itís a wonderful tourist asset and that would be my highlight.

Andrew: Victoria Australia

Enid: Vancouver Canada

Hi Folks. Iím Steve Lindburg and this is Lorraine Mc Phee and weíre from Toowoomba in Queensland. Weíve done a fair bit of travelling but we decided to come on this tour as it was something a bit different. We wouldnít consider ourselves to be railway enthusiasts, but certainly we found the aspect of having train travel in it to be very appealing, particularly historical trains and steam. That was very much an attractive added feature and induced us to come along.

Highspots: There have been many things about the trip that Iíve really enjoyed. Itís been terrific right through. Going to Queenstown was a highspot as it was a terrifically interesting place. Spectacularly scenic and most attractive. We really enjoyed going on the vintage steamship the Earnslaw on the Lake. That was a real treat to see that magnificent big triple expansion steam engine working away there. It was a real step back in time and it was a wonderful thing to see. I think another terrific highlight was the trip up the Taieri Gorge on the steam hauled train as well. That was a spectacular trip and a terrific experience.

Lorraine: Highlight for me was the Earnslaw, as even though Iím not into steam trains, I just love old technology. I had my head stuck down over the balcony looking at the Earnslawís engines for quite a while and really enjoyed that experience as it was like going back in time. Iím a wildlife carer and very much into wildlife but I love the old technology and always have and this is terrific because of the involvement in old technology.

New Zealand has always been for me: ďIíll do that when I retireĒ but this inspired me to come to New Zealand. Iíve definitely loved the South Island and was interested in the South Island because it resembled Scotland and I have been to Scotland many times and really enjoyed it. The accommodation and the arrangements and the professionalism of the tour itself has been really, really extremely high and one is made extremely comfortable by coming straight off the steam trains and trips on to excellent accommodation and excellent standards of the rooms and food.

Steve: Particularly the Dunedin Scenic Circle Hotel was absolutely excellent, it was faultless. Tremendous food, and Iíve been particularly impressed with the quality of produce here in New Zealand. Really high quality and itís made for wonderful meals wherever weíve been. All those aspects of the tour, all the organisational stuff, the accommodation and coach arrangements and so on, theyíve been terrific. Itís been first class. Itís been the best organised tour Iíve ever been on. Really very impressed with all that. It would be very remiss not to recognise the effort that has gone into organising all the steam train excursions as well with this. Obviously a lot of people have put a lot of effort into this and a huge amount of co-ordination was involved in bringing it all together and its been very impressive and a real privilege to be part of it .

Steve and Lorraine: Toowoomba Australia

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