Ultimate Rail, Cruise & Coach
DELUXE ESCORTED TOUR
AUCKLAND | BAY OF ISLANDS | ROTORUA | WELLINGTON | CHRISTCHURCH | TRANZALPINE TRAIN | FOX GLACIER | QUEENSTOWN | DOUBTFUL SOUND | TE ANAU | DUNEDIN
This small group tour combines rail, coach and an exclusive overnight cruise. Experience the wild spirit of the coast on the Coastal Pacific; the rugged and spectacular Taieri Gorge River 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.
Travel in style on the Ultimate Coach with 20 luxury leather reclining seats on a full size vehicle with panoramic windows
Ultimate Rail, Cruise & Coach
Day 1 : Arrive Auckland
On arrival into Auckland you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This evening meet your travelling companions over a complimentary pre-dinner drink.
Hotel: Crowne Plaza Auckland
Please note: Dinner on Day 1 not included for anyone arriving later than 8pm.
Day 2 : Auckland - Bay of Islands
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 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: Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands (Deluxe Room. 2 nights)
Day 3 : Bay of Islands
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 arriving in Auckland.
Hotel: Crowne Plaza Auckland
Day 5 : Auckland - Rotorua
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 and on return to Glenbrook Station, morning tea will be served. Depart Glenbrook and travel through magnificent countryside of rolling hills and green pastures famous for dairying. Continue to Rainbow Springs, spanning 22 acres of native trees. A highlight will be the Kiwi Encounter experience which offers a unique behind-the-scenes tour of a working kiwi nursery and hatchery.
Hotel: Regent of Rotorua (2 nights) or similar
Day 6 : Rotorua
Today begins with a gondola ride at the Skyline Rotorua for breakfast, with spectacular views and time for a thrilling luge ride! Next stop is the Agrodome for an action packed hour of farming entertainment and education that’s 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 Maori Hangi and Concert.
Day 7 : Rotorua - Wellington
Travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway to the spectacular Huka Falls and lakeside town of Taupo. 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 InterContinental Wellington (2 nights)
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 which showcases the history and culture on show. Enjoy free time this afternoon and this evening is also free to choose your own dining arrangements.
Day 9 : Wellington - Kaikoura - Christchurch
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 Kaikoura Ranges. Meet your Ultimate Coach in the fishing village of Kaikoura for the journey across the Northern Canterbury Plains to the garden city of Christchurch.
Hotel: The George (2 nights)
Day 10 : Christchurch
Visit the International Antarctic Centre, designed to provide an informative account of life in Antarctica before taking a city tour. This afternoon use your included tram pass to explore at leisure. This evening is also free to enjoy one of the many eateries near your hotel.
Day 11 : Christchurch - Arthur’s Pass - Fox Glacier
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 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
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 Hotel Queenstown (2 nights)
Day 13 : Queenstown
Today is a free day for you to explore Queenstown. There are many options available. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. On arrival sit back and relax, as you are treated to the best of New Zealand’s high country cuisine in 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
Today travel via Te Anau to Manapouri. Enjoy a picnic lunch as you cruise across the lake to join the Fiordland Navigator for an unforgettable overnight experience in the Fiordland National Park. As you cruise through some of the fiord’s most stunning scenery, our knowledgeable nature guides will provide commentary ensuring you miss nothing, be it the pod of resident dolphins, fur seals or rare penguins you might encounter. After dropping anchor in a sheltered cove, you can choose to explore the shoreline by kayak or tender boat or to simply relax onboard. For the more adventurous (or very brave), there’s even a chance to go swimming! As evening falls enjoy a delicious buffet prepared by the on-board chef.
Overnight: Fiordland Navigator
Day 15 : Doubtful Sound - Te Anau
Start the day with a hearty breakfast before heading back to Deep Cove for the trip back 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 Glow Worm Caves (optional).
Hotel: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas
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 arrival at Dunedin’s historic Edwardian Railway Station your coach will transfer you to the hotel.
Hotel: Distinction Dunedin (2 nights)
Day 17 : Dunedin
Travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle, hear the tragic and scandalous stories on a guided tour with time to wander around this Garden of International Significance followed by an Ultimate High Tea served in the Grand Ballroom. Return to the city for an informative city tour followed by some free time. You might be interested in the chance to see wildlife in their natural habitat (optional).
Day 18 : Dunedin - Christchurch
This morning travel to the city of Oamaru, famous for its limestone. Continue north to Pleasant Point Museum & 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 new friends.
Hotel: The George
Day 19 : Depart Christchurch
Time to say goodbye; you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday.