Saturday, October 27, 2012

Silver Fern Railcar trip to Waitati

This weekend we took a trip on a different train: the Silver Fern Rail Car.  It was a fairly impromptu trip which slotted neatly between the tennis practice in the morning and the Flippaball (like waterpolo) in the mid afternoon.

1980s sundress from Toffs $4
Pink cardi from Savemart
Cowhide bag from Hospice Shop
Selection of bangles from various thrift stores
denim jacket and sneakers both retail
Here I am on the platform ready to depart. I am wearing a sundress (yes it was lovely and sunny today) which I bought from Toffs about a month ago and have not yet worn due to the wet spring weather. 

I love all the variations in the signs at the station - a pleasant mix of vintage and modern. 

The train meandered out towards Port Chalmers and then up over the hill towards the picturesque village of Waitati which nestles against the edge of the Blueskin Bay.  Photos taken from a moving train are never 100% successful - the one below is when we stopped.  

On the return journey I tried to capture some of the views to Purakaunui (above) which is a tiny settlement on the coast.  It was utterly breaktaking, which sadly does not photograph well from a train even when traveling at a very sedate 25km/hr due to line maintenance.  Many of the settlements on the Coast have a history dating back prior to the arrival of the settlers in the 1840s.  Blueskin Bay is apparently named for a heavily tattooed Maori who lived there.  Doctors Point is named for the medical staff who purchased one room cottages to hideaway in the weekend.  

Port Chalmers reminds me of Toy Town when I am on the hill overlooking the main street - you can see some tiny cottages in the centre of the picture.  

The rail car is very comfortable, dare I say POSH compared to other trains I have travelled on.  The seats are nicely upholstered and actually can be turned around so you can enjoy the journey without facing backwards.  We were served complimentary tea and coffee and there were also snacks for hungry 11yo girls.  We said no to the souvenirs, but truthfully for the first time I felt like happy visitor.  It was such a lovely trip and the rocking of the train was very relaxing.

Because the railway is so close to the water, and in places on a causeway across lagoons, there is an interesting perspective on the harbour.  Below is a shot of the peninsula looking up to the Soldiers Monument.  

Dunedin's railway station is the highest category of historic building and with good reason.  It has been photographed by thousands of tourists.  The mosaic floor in the foyer is spectacular....

....and so are the stained glass windows ....

In front of the station are gardens with roses and rhododendrons and manicured box hedges which must be between seasons because the flower beds were bare rather than the explosion of colour we are used to seeing.

The station looks across to the Court House (grey and white building in centre) and the prison (red brick building on far left).  I feel so lucky living in such a beautiful city.  

I do wish, however, that the weekends were longer.  There does not seem to be enough time to spend with my family.  Too much time is spent on boring housework and chores :-(  Now the evenings are getting lighter, I am going to be better organised with washing and other things, to free up time in the weekend.  

Hope you have all had a good weekend.  What did you get up to?


  1. I LOVE trains and the Dunedin station is my absolute favorite, so beautiful! This train journey looks awesome, I've very jealous.

  2. How lovely! we must look into that train ride when we next come down-we love that part of the coast/port chalmers, and in fact Dunedin is even higher in my estimation than ever as a place for a fix of big old buildings now ours are all gone or going. Yipee for (nearly) summer!

  3. The train journey looks beautiful. Weekends should definitely be for enjoyment, not chores! xxx

  4. What a scenic journey, sounds like a perfect weekend trip. x

  5. WHat a lovely sunny, scenic trip - i LOOOOVE train travel! Sarah xxx

  6. Wow, love the scenery! Great post.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger


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