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Overlander Trail

Phyllis Murphy, the social convenor of Vision Probus Club in Tauranga, recently arranged a trip to National Park in the Overlander train.

A coach load of Probians left Tauranga at 7.15am en route for Hamilton Station (formerly known as Frankton Junction). On arriving, morning tea was served by Phyllis and helpers and when the Overlander arrived we boarded, took over ‘our’ carriage and headed south.

We travelled through the green, grassy dairying area of the Waikato before climbing through the hilly, sheep-covered areas of the King Country. At one stage we had to stop then creep very slowly past an LPG wagon that had sprung a leak and was being emptied by workmen into a waiting tanker.

From Taumaranui, we climbed 636m in only 52km to National Park, the steepest gradient being 1:50 on the last 17km where the famous Raurimu Spiral is situated.

Having heard that there could be a crowd of travellers all wanting their lunch at the same time, some of us had taken sandwiches with us, which, by the time we arrived at 1.00pm had all been eaten. Those who hadn’t brought any food had plenty of time to buy lunch and eat it before the north-bound train arrived to take us back to Hamilton.

A weary, but very happy band of travellers arrived back in Tauranga at about 8.00pm.