Great Scenic Railways-New Zealand
Great Scenic Railway Journeys travels to New Zealand to ride the rails. Like in most other countries, the railroads played a crucial part in the development of New Zealand. From the Rainforests of the North Island, to the beautiful coasts and rugged interior of the South Island, it was the railroad that opened the way. Award-winning musician and train aficionado David Holt hops on board to show how history was created and how it is now being preserved. Could this be the greatest scenic railway journey of them all?
No. of Episodes: 3
The journey starts in the Franklin District and the Glenbrook Vintage Railway located just outside of Auckland on the North Island for a true taste of what railroading was like in New Zealand a hundred years ago and to meet dozens of dedicated volunteers who restore carriages and steam engines for future generations to enjoy. The next stop is one of the most unique railroad journeys in the world, the Driving Creek Railway, founded Barry Brickell an artist, who originally moved to the hills of the North Island area in search of the right sort of clay for his craft. When he found it, however, he had to create a way to get it out of the hills and his railroad was born. A ride on Driving Creek will also give you a glimpse at some of the native plants Brickell vowed to bring back to this lush rainforest.
Itís time to enjoy a ride across the country, from north to south, east to west. Setting out in the north the Overlander takes you through the heart of the island, past snow-capped peaks and fields as far as the eye can see, before the InterCoastal whisks you down the east coast of the South Island where youíre so close to the sea you can almost touch the waves. Then take a break and get a close look at some of the largest mammals on the planet, sperm whales, this time from a boat. Back on board, the Tranz Alpine takes you for an awe-inspiring trip across the remote high country of New Zealand, before you embark on a distinctly slower paced trip through the Canterberry region for an experience what travel was like in an earlier age. Last stop is the town of Waipara, north of Christchurch, home to the Weka Pass Railway. Here passengers get to carve their way through millions of years of geological history and take in the breathtaking limestone formations on offer.
Situated in one of the most beautiful spots in New Zealand, the Flemish Renaissance-style Dunedin Railway Station is the starting point for a trip through the Taieri Gorge; traversing 20 high viaducts and plunging in and out of tunnels. Next up, a trip back to the days of the gold fever. The Kingston Flyer was designed to be a fast transport from the gold fields of the interior to the coastal city. While the gold rush slowed to a trickle by the time the line itself was actually completed, it was one of the fastest lines in the country. (Currently The Kingston Flyer historic line is closed.) Finally, climb aboard the century-old TSS Earnslaw for a gentler ride.
For more information on Great Scenic Railway Journeys visit www.gsrj.com
1 Greenbrook Vintage Railway and Driving Creek Railway
Sunday 15 December 2013 at 16:30
2 Tranz Scenic Lines and The Weka Pass Railway
Sunday 22 December 2013 at 16:00
3 Taieri Gorge and The Kingston Flyer
Sunday 22 December 2013 at 16:30