The Southerner travels between
Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill daily and takes in the
beautiful scenary and magic of many places along the way. From
the Canterbury Plains with the snow covered Southern Alps, to the
rugged Otago Coastline to the rolling hills of Southland, when
riding this train you can see it all.
Departing Invercargill shortly
before 8:30am your day starts by passing through the industrial
and residential areas of Central and East Invercargill before
heading into the bright green Southen Countryside famous for it's
dairy farms and produce. Passing through many small settlements
on the way. The first stop is Edendale which is known for the
cheese and milk products from the Dairy factory. Mataura and its
paper mill is next followed by Gore, home of Country Music and
the Trout Fishing Capital of New Zealand.
After winding your way through
the rolling hills of Southland and South Otago you will find
yourself in Balclutha on the banks of the mighty Clutha River.
Once you have passed through Milton and skirted the shores of
Lake Waihola it's on to the Edinborough of the south, Dunedin.
Dunedin is the home of
scarfies, during the Education year being home to the oldest
University in New Zealand. Along with the magnificent turn of the
Centurary Railway Station and Carisbrook (The House of Pain for
many visitng Rugby and Crickect teams) Dunedin is also the
gateway to the magnificent Taieri Gorge. For more information on
this please Click Here.
Once leaving Dunedin you skirt
around the edges of the magnificent Otago Harbour before heading
into the hills. After passing through three tunnels and
travelling around the edge of Blueskin Bay you will find yourself
in Seacliff's, which is appropriately named with it's big cliff's
and the raging Pacific Ocean below. The Sceneary you will see
between Dunedin and Oamaru is just amazing and definitely the
best part of the trip.
Next it is in to Merton where
you will see the Southbound Southerner express which left
Christchurh earlier in the day and the crews change over. The
Invercargill crew will head back down South and the Christchurch
crew will take you to your final destination.
Shortly after leaving Merton
you will pass through the small settlement of Palmerston and then
will soon find yourself at Shag Point where you will once again
enjoy the beauty of the Pacific Ocean and the Otago Coastline
before heading away from the coast and into Oamaru.
Oamaru is home to the White
Stone and has still has the historic buildings being used today.
Oamaru is also home to a colony of Penguins and a fleet of
fishing vessels. After crossing the Waitaki River you will find
yourself in South Canterbury and will find yourself passing
through many small settlements before reaching the town of Timaru.
Timaru has an attractive man
made harbour which is a busy port. Caroline Bay, which you pass
shortly after leaving Timaru Station is well known for the
carnivals it hosts between Christmas and into the New Year with
rides, attractions and outdoor concerts.
After leaving Timaru, and the
coastline you will find yourself on the mighty Canterbury Plains
with the Southern Alps in the background. After passing through
Ashburton where the cafe counter closes for the day and crossing
the Rakaia river you will soon find yourself on the outskirts of
After crossing 313 bridges,
passing through 7 tunnels and seeing the great sceneary of
Southland, Otago and Canterbury the day's journey has come to an
end. Christchurch is widely known as the most english city
outside of England, and also as The Garden City is situated on
the banks of the Avon River. Christchurch has many tourist
attractions including The Antartic Centre, Gondolas, Airforce
World, The Arts Centre and Orana Wildlife park. It is also the
gateway to the Ski fields and attractions of the Southern Alps
and departure points for The Southerner's sister trains, The
Tranzapine and The Tranz Coastal.