Rail Cruising: Self Drive Railway in Rotorua

Well this is cool  – New Zealanders are quite good at inventing new ways to make money from tourists – the bungy jump is of course the most famous one. But this is the newest: self-drive on a railway with a petrol-hybrid smart car! The rail cruiser was designed to run on a disused stretch of 20km of rail near Rotorua from Mamaku to Turakenga. You don’t quite get to drive – you get a break, but the cars run automatically and you can’t stop them except in an emergency. You are however very close to the bush which had to be hacked back to re-open the old line.

I’m a bit of a train geek and am happy to boast that I’ve travelled on some of the worlds slowest trains (the wood-burning “express” in Paraguay and the “toy train” to Darjeeling) and fastest (the TGV to Seville and the London-Paris Chunnel connection). But I’ve never been on a car on the train tracks…

Silk Road Planned Travel Route

Planning a Silk Road Itinerary – 3 Months Travel Along the Silk Road

It started with a documentary The Silk Road, and as often happens, after that, we kept on seeing documentaries about places we’d not heard of before: the Pamirs, Penjikent, Sogdiana, as well as some that we had heard of but wasn’t exactly sure were they were: Kashgar, Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva. I admit at the time…
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Best Currency Card for Travel

UPDATED August 2019  Often living in a small country at the end of the world is advantageous. But  not when you are looking for a great deal on cards to use when travelling.  Americans and Europeans have heaps of options for cash-back, point-hacks etc etc. New Zealand not so much. Until very, very recently we…
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Vietnamese visa - issued at SGN Airport

Vietnamese Visas for New Zealanders

My Vietnamese visa issued on arrival at SGN Short answer – yes you need a Vietnamese visa if you travel on a New Zealand passport. (If you are a dual citizen of the UK or some European countries – you can  fly in (not  a land crossing) for 15 days without a visa). Page ContentsFirst…
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