The ultimate experience

Auckland - Christchurch

19 Day Ultimate Rail, Cruise and Coach

Ultimate Small Group Escorted Tour


This small group tour combines rail, coach and an exclusive overnight cruise. Experience the thrill of steam on the Glenbrook Vintage Railway; the wild spirit of the coast on the Coastal Pacific; and the magnificent Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine, one of the world’s great train journeys. Experience the majestic Doubtful Sound on an overnight cruise on the Fiordland Navigator with plenty of relaxation time to take in the serenity. From the bright cities of Auckland and Wellington to the geothermal centre of Rotorua; the stunning beauty of the glaciers and Fiordland to the Otago Peninsula this tour has it all.

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19 Days
Call For Pricing

Price valid on selected dates and is subject to availability at the time of booking. Please call for details.

19 Day Ultimate Rail, Cruise and Coach
Call For Pricing

Your Itinerary

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
  • Day 9
  • Day 10
  • Day 11
  • Day 12
  • Day 13
  • Day 14
  • Day 15
  • Day 16
  • Day 17
  • Day 18
  • Day 19

Day 1 : Arrive Auckland (D) 

On arrival into Auckland you will be met by a Grand Pacific Tours representative and transferred to your hotel. This evening enjoy a complimentary pre-dinner drink as you meet your travelling companions. 

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Auckland 

Day 2 : Auckland - Bay of Islands (B,D) 

Board the luxurious Ultimate Coach and enjoy a city tour of Auckland, dubbed the ‘City of Sails’, before travelling to Matakohe to enjoy a visit and informative talk at the Kauri Museum. Travel via Whangarei to Paihia, situated in the beautiful Bay of Islands. Enjoy a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the location of the signing of the treaty between the Mãori tribes and the British. 

Hotel: Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands (2 nights) 

Day 3 : Bay of Islands (Free Day) (B) 

Today is a free day. Choose from the many optional activities available, including the Cape Reinga coach trip via Ninety Mile Beach or a spectacular scenic flight. This evening is also free, you may like to enjoy a relaxing dinner cruise (optional). 

Day 4 : Bay of Islands - Auckland (B,D) 

This morning you will explore the scenic beauty of the Bay of Islands including an island visit aboard a luxury catamaran. Cruise to Cape Brett and the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’, keep an eye out for dolphins and other marine life. On return to Paihia, travel south, call into the Parry Kauri Park to see a magnificent example of a Kauri Tree before returning to Auckland. 

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Auckland 

Day 5 : Auckland - Rotorua (B,D) 

This morning travel to Glenbrook Vintage Railway for a nostalgic 15 kilometre trip back in time on a beautifully restored vintage steam train. Visit the restoration workshop followed by a delightful morning tea. Depart Glenbrook and travel through the magnificent countryside of rolling hills and green pastures famous for dairying. Continue to Rotorua to visit the National Kiwi Hatchery, for a unique behind the scenes tour of the world’s largest kiwi hatchery.  

Hotel: Regent of Rotorua (2 nights) 

Day 6 : Rotorua (B,SD) 

Today begins with a gondola ride and breakfast at Skyline Rotorua where spectacular views are on offer. There is also time for a thrilling luge ride! Next stop is Agrodome for an action-packed hour of farming entertainment and education that is unlike anything you’ve seen before. Enjoy some free time this afternoon before travelling to Te Puia to see the boiling mud pools and awesome geysers that Rotorua is famous for. This evening experience an entertaining Mãori Hãngi and Concert. 

Day 7 : Rotorua - Wellington (B,D)

Travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway to the spectacular Huka Falls. Continue to Lake Taupo for some free time to enjoy this scenic lakeside town. Travel via the Tongariro National Park and then continue south to NZ’s capital city, Wellington. 

Hotel: InterContinental Wellington (Premium Room for 2 nights) 

Day 8 : Wellington (B) 

A highlight this morning will be time to explore Gallipoli: A Scale of War exhibition at Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum. Cutting edge technology brings these stories to life through the eyes of New Zealanders who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Reboard your Ultimate coach for an extensive city tour which showcases the history and culture on show. Enjoy free time this afternoon and this evening is also at leisure.

Day 9 : Wellington - Kaikõura - Christchurch (B,D) 

This morning board the Interislander Ferry, cross the Cook Strait and enjoy the scenery as you travel through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton. Join the Coastal Pacific, a truly spectacular rail journey that follows a thin wedge of land between the Pacific Ocean and the Kaikõura Ranges. Meet your Ultimate Coach in the fishing village of Kaikõura for the journey to the garden city of Christchurch. 

Hotel: The George (2 nights) 

Day 10 : Christchurch (B) 

Today visit the International Antarctic Centre designed to provide an informative account of life in Antarctica. This is followed by an introductory city tour of Christchurch. This afternoon includes a journey on board the Christchurch Tram at your leisure. This evening is free to enjoy one of the many eateries near your hotel.

Day 11 : Christchurch - Arthur’s Pass - Fox Glacier (B,D) 

This morning board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. Travel over massive viaducts, river valleys and spectacular gorges as you ascend to Arthur’s Pass located in the centre of the Southern Alps. Board your Ultimate Coach and travel to Hokitika, famous for its Greenstone before continuing via Franz Josef to the township of Fox Glacier where time is available to experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the spectacular glaciers. 

Hotel: Distinction Fox Glacier 

Day 12 : Fox Glacier - Queenstown (B) 

See the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel south along the West Coast. Continue via the Haast Pass, an area of stunning beauty before arriving into Arrowtown to visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue to picturesque Queenstown, a year-round resort situated on the shores of magical Lake Wakatipu. This evening is free and you may choose to dine out at one of the many fine restaurants. 

Hotel: Heritage Queenstown (2 nights) 

Day 13 : Queenstown (Free Day) (B,SD) 

Today is a free day for you to explore Queenstown with many optional activities available. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Sit back, relax and enjoy a delicious gourmet barbecue dinner featuring a menu of seasonal, fresh and locally sourced food at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner enjoy a short farm tour then reboard the TSS Earnslaw for a sing along by the piano as you cruise back to Queenstown. 

Day 14 : Queenstown - Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise (B,L,D) 

Today travel via Te Anau to Manapouri. Enjoy lunch as you cruise across this glacial lake. A short ride over the Wilmot Pass brings you to the boarding point to join the Fiordland Navigator for an amazing overnight experience. As you cruise through the pristine beauty of Doubtful Sound, naturalist guides will provide commentary and point out the resident wildlife. When evening falls enjoy a delicious carvery buffet prepared by the onboard chef. 

Overnight: Fiordland Navigator 

Day 15 : Doubtful Sound - Te Anau (B,D) 

Start the day with a hearty breakfast before heading back to Deep Cove for the trip to Manapouri. Return to the wharf and meet your Ultimate Coach for the journey to Te Anau where you will enjoy an afternoon at leisure. You may like to visit the Te Anau Glowworm Caves (optional). 

Hotel: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas 

Day 16 : Te Anau - Dunedin (B,D) 

Travel via Gore and Balclutha to Dunedin, famous for its stunning Edwardian and Victorian architecture dating back to the gold rush of the 1800s. Today Dunedin is New Zealand’s oldest university city. 

Hotel: Distinction Dunedin Hotel (2 nights) 

Day 17 : Dunedin (B,D) 

Travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle. On a guided tour you will hear the tragic and scandalous stories followed by time to wander around this Garden of International Significance and an Ultimate High Tea served in the Grand Ballroom. Return to Dunedin for a city tour followed by some free time. Optional activities available include a tour of the Speight’s Brewery, which produces New Zealand’s most popular beer, see wildlife in their natural habitat or take a tour of Olveston Historic Home, containing many treasures of a bygone era. 

Day 18 : Dunedin - Christchurch (B,L,SD) 

This morning travel to the city of Oamaru, famous for its limestone. Continue north to Pleasant Point Museum and Railway for a short rail experience followed by lunch and time to explore the preserved heritage of the South Canterbury railway. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner with selected beverages and your newfound friends. 

Hotel: The George 

Day 19 : Depart Christchurch (B) 

Time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday.


Our Awards

We are very proud that our personal, friendly service and attention to detail has led to us becoming an industry leader in providing tailor-made holidays. We have been recognised throughout the years by winning a number of prestigious awards from within and outside of the travel industry. We won the "Best Operator to Canada" award at the 2017 British Annual Canada Travel Awards for a record 15th time.

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