New Zealand Rail Cruise & Coach
PREMIUM ESCORTED TOURING
AUCKLAND | BAY OF ISLANDS | ROTORUA | WELLINGTON | KAIKOURA | CHRISTCHURCH | TRANZALPINE TRAIN | FRANZ JOSEF | QUEENSTOWN | OVERNIGHT MILFORD SOUND CRUISE | TE ANAU | DUNEDIN
From the bright lights of Auckland and Queenstown to the geothermal centre of Rotorua; the beauty of the glaciers and Fiordland to the Otago Peninsula; this tour has it all as stunning rail trips are combined with exciting cruises and relaxed coach travel.
Discover bubbling mud pools in Rotorua
Journey on the iconic TranzAlpine train
Milford Sound cruise
New Zealand Rail Cruise & Coach
Day 1 : Arrive Auckland
On arrival into Auckland you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Hotel: Grand Millennium Hotel
Please note: Dinner on Day 1 not included for anyone arriving later than 8pm.
Day 2 : Auckland - Bay of Islands
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 heart of the beautiful Bay of Islands. Enjoy a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the location of the signing of the treaty between the Maori tribes and the British.
Hotel for 2 nights: Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands or similar
Day 3 : Bay of Islands - Free Day
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 and you may like to enjoy a relaxing dinner cruise (optional).
Day 4 : Bay of Islands - Auckland
This morning travel aboard a luxury catamaran to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock. Keep an eye out for bottlenose and common dolphins before returning to Paihia. Travel south via Whangarei, call into the Parry Kauri Park to see a magnificent example of a Kauri Tree before returning to Auckland.
Hotel: Grand Millennium Hotel
Day 5 : Auckland - Rotorua
Depart Auckland and travel to Glenbrook Vintage Railway for a nostalgic 15 kilometre trip back in time through beautiful rural countryside. You’ll journey to the historic town of Waiuku on the Manukau Harbour aboard a beautifully restored vintage steam train, experiencing an authentic recreation of a bygone era. Visit the restoration workshop and on return to Glenbrook Station, morning tea will be served. Depart Glenbrook and travel through magnificent countryside to Rotorua and visit Paradise Valley Springs, a superb wildlife park where you can hand feed rainbow trout.
Hotel for 2 nights: Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua
Day 6 : Rotorua
Today begins with a gondola ride at Skyline Rotoura where a buffet breakfast and spectacular views are on offer. Travel to the Agrodome where you see performing sheep, a shearing display and sheep dog trial. Enjoy some free time before travelling to Te Puia to see the boiling mud pools and awesome geysers that Rotorua is famous for. This evening experience an entertaining Maori Hangi and Concert
Day 7 : Rotorua - Wellington
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 to the Wellington Tramway Museum to view a display of tramway history and enjoy a nostalgic trip on one of the original trams that served Wellington city.
Hotel for 2 nights: James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor
Day 8 : Wellington
A highlight this morning will be time to explore Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum with exhibits that embrace both Maori and European views. Reboard your coach for an extensive city tour. Enjoy time at leisure this afternoon and this evening is also free to explore Wellington’s lively food scene.
Day 9 : Wellington – Christchurch
This morning board the Interislander Ferry, cross Cook Strait and travel through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton. Join the Coastal Pacific, a truly spectacular rail journey that showcases the Kaikoura mountain ranges on one side and the rugged scenic coastline on the other travelling through numerous tunnels and across several bridges. Enjoy a two night stay in the garden city of Christchurch.
Hotel for 2 nights: Distinction Christchurch
Day 10 : Christchurch
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, one of Christchurch’s leading attractions.
Day 11 : Christchurch - Arthur’s Pass - Franz Josef
This morning board the TranzAlpine, 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 coach and travel to Hokitika, famous for its Greenstone before arriving at Franz Josef.
Hotel: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
Day 12 : Franz Josef - Queenstown
See the snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel south via the Haast Pass, an area of stunning beauty before arriving into picturesque Queenstown, a year round resort situated on the shores of magical Lake Wakatipu.
Hotel for 2 nights: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Lakefront
Day 13 : Queenstown - Free Day
Today is a free day for you to explore Queenstown. Your Tour Guide and Coach Captain are available to assist with the many options available. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Sit back and relax, as you are treated to the best of New Zealand’s high country cuisine at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner enjoy a short farm tour then reboard the TSS Earnslaw for a sing along by the piano on your return cruise.
Day 14 : Queenstown - Milford Sound Overnight Cruise
Travel to Arrowtown and visit the Lakes District Museum, then continue to Milford Sound and board the Milford Mariner for your overnight cruise. View the fiord’s spectacular waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife - you’re bound to encounter seals and if you’re lucky maybe dolphins and penguins. As evening falls enjoy a delicious carvery buffet.
Overnight: Milford Mariner
Day 15 : Milford Sound - Te Anau
Start the day with a hearty breakfast before heading back out to the Tasman Sea (weather permitting) and exploring more of the fiord. Return to the wharf to meet your coach for the scenic drive to Te Anau. This afternoon perhaps take an optional cruise across Lake Te Anau to visit the Glow Worm Caves where you admire the incredible limestone caverns, waterfalls and mystery of the Glow Worm Grotto.
Hotel: Distinction Luxmore
Day 16 : Te Anau - Dunedin
Travel via Gore and Balclutha to Pukerangi to board The Taieri Gorge Limited for a journey through spectacular scenery only accessible by rail. On return to Dunedin’s historic Edwardian Railway Station your coach will transfer you to the hotel.
Hotel for 2 nights: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross
Day 17 : Dunedin
This morning travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle where you hear of the tragic and scandalous history on a guided tour followed by a delicious Devonshire Tea.
Day 18 : Dunedin - Christchurch
Visit Olveston Historic Home, designed by acclaimed English architect Sir Ernest George. Olveston was built as a family home furnished with fine art, furniture and artefacts purchased from all around the world. Later, you’ll travel to Oamaru, famous for its limestone. Explore the Victorian Precinct including the Loan and Merc restaurant, the Woolstore complex, auto museum, galleries and the penny farthing shop. Then continue to Christchurch where this evening you’ll enjoy a farewell dinner.
Hotel: Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport
Day 19 : Depart Christchurch
Time to say goodbye; you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.