Wednesday, 25 April 2018

10 great train journeys you've (probably) never heard of.

Humpback whale in Kaikoura, 
New Zealand (Shutterstock)

From cheap chugs and remote hill stations to mini palaces on rails, these are the lesser-known rides you need to hop aboard...

1: Coastal Pacific, New Zealand.

Route: Picton to Christchurch.

Duration: 5.5 hours.

Taking the ferry from Wellington (North Island) to Picton (South) is a wise move: it’s one of the world’s best ferry rides, ending in the idyllic wooded cove of Picton Harbour. Even better, it connects with a superbly scenic train ride. A few minutes after disembarking, you can be on the train to Christchurch, ready to enjoy the scenery from an open observation car.

The diesel Coastal Pacific grinds up a long incline through hilly sheep country to Dashwood Pass and rolling hills of vines stretching to the ocean. Passing lagoons of pink salt pans created from what was Lake Grassmere, the train rejoins the coast and runs alongside the dunes to Kaikoura. Many break the journey here for a boat trip to see dolphins, seals and sperm whales feeding off nutrients funnelled by an underwater canyon.

South of Kaikoura, the train enjoys another long stretch of sea views before turning inland, passing through farming country dissected by long lines of poplars, planted to shelter crops from the wind. Seaside suburbs escort the train to Christchurch.

2: Golden Chariot, Southern India.


Full story at Wanderlust.

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