I took the excursion train up the Taieri Gorge. Like the Arthur's Pass excursion, this was well worth while, with most impressive scenery. Of course, it wasn't cheap, but it departed from the wharf, alongside the ship. The line is operated as a tourist attraction, and seems well patronised and very well organised. The return trip took over 4 hours, but this included some stops. In addition to the 15 carriage special train operated as an excursion for the cruise passengers (who were supplied on board with coffee, soft drinks, beer and lunch with white wine), the normal train operated two trips, both of which we saw (one at the terminus, and one on our return) and both were well patronised.
The gorge scenery can only be appreciated from pictures, one of which is here and I'll post more when I can (now done).