Take a fabulous 14 day trip including all four of New Zealand’s iconic rail journeys covering both North and South Islands. We’ve included time for leisure and the opportunity to see a large amount of New Zealand in the shortest time. We’ve also added in some of the “must do” sight seeing excursions in each area so you can return home with fantastic memories of this magical land.
From the moment you arrive on your international flight into Auckland International Airport you’ll be met by our representative at the airport and taken through to your Auckland hotel. From then on you’ll be looked after right up to when we take you to Christchurch Airport for journey home.
There’s a choice of hotels for you throughout your tour, either Deluxe (First Class or Best Available) or Superior (Mid-Range Hotels).
Arrive in Auckland
Meet & Greet on arrival at Auckland International Airport and transfer by private vehicle to your hotel. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
In the Maori language, Auckland is known as Tamaki Makau Rau, the city of 100 lovers. It earned this name because it was a place desired by all and conquered by many. The Auckland region boasts three harbours, two mountain ranges, 48 volcanic cones and more than 50 islands. Auckland’s population is approximately 1.3 million, making it by far the largest city in New Zealand, with one third of the country’s entire population.
Breakfast is included this morning at your hotel. Experience the best sights of Auckland City this morning with a Bush & Beach City Revealed Tour. This morning tour is a journey of discovery designed to explore the history and sights as well as see how Aucklanders live and play.
Travel up Queen Street, through Auckland’s central business district, past the Auckland University and through the inner city park, known as the Domain. Continue on through the picturesque suburb of Ponsonby, with its historic buildings before heading over the Harbour Bridge to Auckland’s North Shore. Stroll on Narrow Neck Beach in historic Devonport. There is time here for a coffee before continuing up to the summit of Mt Victoria with its stunning panoramic views of Auckland City.
Travel back over the Harbour Bridge to Westhaven Marina, one of the largest marinas in the Southern Hemisphere. Then visit the Auckland Fish Market, before continuing on to the Viaduct Harbour. Operates 9.00am/12.00pm daily including hotel pick up.
Spend some time at leisure in the city before joining the Pride of Auckland from the Viaduct Harbour for an afternoon coffee cruise at 3.15pm and enjoy the “City of Sails” from the water. On completion of your cruise at 4.45pm make your own arrangements back to you hotel (approx. 1.2 km/15 mins walk). Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Auckland / Tongariro National Park
Breakfast is included this morning at your hotel. This morning transfer by shuttle from your hotel to the Auckland Rail Station to join the Overlander Train at 7.25am. The Overlander is a journey through the heart of the North Island, travelling between Auckland – New Zealand’s largest city and home of the Sky Tower, to Wellington – New Zealand’s arts and culture capital.
Along the way you pass the Central North Island ski towns of National Park and Ohakune, popular with young and old alike. You also see fantastic views of New Zealand farmland, the volcanic plateau, Mount Ruapehu, the world famous Raurimu Spiral, and stunning river gorges – all from our panoramic windows or open air viewing decks allowing you the best possible views.
Today you will travel as far as the Tongariro National Park on the train and then pick up on the remainder of the journey tomorrow. On arrival at National Park at 12.50pm you will be collected and transferred to your hotel in the heart of the Tongariro National Park. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Tongariro National Park / Wellington
On arrival at Wellington Rail Station at 7.25pm you will be collected and transferred by shuttle to your hotel. Spend the evening at leisure.
Wellington / Picton
Breakfast is included this morning at your hotel. This morning enjoy a Walk Wellington City Tour.
The best way to see Wellington is on foot! Enjoy an easily paced one and a half to two hour guided walking tour of the city. Visit the key sights in the central city, along the waterfront, and in the historic Parliamentary area. Learn about Wellington’s past and present from an enthusiastic local guide and get a great introduction to this vibrant, walkable city. Operates 10.00am/12.00pm daily. Tours leave from the Visitor Information Centre at Civic Square (approx. 15 mins walk from Rydges & 10 mins walk from the Museum Hotel).
Spend some time at leisure in Wellington city before being transferred by shuttle to the Ferry Terminal for your sailing across Cook Strait to Picton. Depart Wellington at 2.05pm on the Interislander Ferry and arrive in Picton at 5.15pm. On arrival in Picton transfer by shuttle to your hotel for the evening. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Picton / Christchurch
Breakfast is included this morning at your hotel. Spend the morning at leisure in Picton. Located at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound, nestled between mountains and sea, Picton is the gateway to Marlborough.
This afternoon transfer by shuttle to the Picton Rail Station to join the TranzCoastal Train to Christchurch., departing at 1.00pm. The TranzCoastal train journey travels between the delightful port of Picton, and Christchurch, the South Island’s largest city. This journey is a scenic feast of New Zealand, with the Kaikoura mountain ranges on one side of your train and the rugged Pacific Ocean coastline on the other.
Along the way you pass though the village of Kaikoura, where, if you’re touring New Zealand, you can break your journey to take in the whale watching or dare to get closer and swim with the dolphins. Travel through some of New Zealand’s finest horticultural and farmland areas, and see amazing wildlife such as dolphins, seals and penguins from the comfort of your train carriage.
One of the world’s most scenic train journeys, the TranzCoastal travels through 22 tunnels and crosses 175 bridges. The TranzCoastal includes an open air viewing carriage where all your senses are awakened with the clean, fresh, sea air. On arrival at Christchurch Rail Station at 6.20pm you will be met and transferred by shuttle to your hotel.
Christchurch / Dunedin
Breakfast is included this morning at your hotel. Transfer to the Christchurch Coach Depot this morning and join the Intercity Coach to Dunedin at 7.45am. On arrival in Dunedin at 1.45pm you will be met and transferred by shuttle to your hotel. Spend the afternoon at leisure in Dunedin.
A university city of Scottish heritage, Dunedin, New Zealand’s oldest city, possesses a unique combination of cultural riches, fine architecture, and world-famous wildlife reserves on the Otago Peninsula. Situated on the south-eastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Dunedin has a population of around 120,000 and is the main centre of Otago, a region recognised for its spectacular scenery.
Breakfast is included this morning at your hotel. Spend the morning at leisure in Dunedin City, then this afternoon enjoy an Otago Peninsula Tour with Elm Wildlife Tours. See lot’s of animal activity, particularly the arrival home from the sea of yellow-eyed penguins on our 5 to 6 hour ‘wildlife packed’ tour on the beautiful Otago Peninsula. The Peninsula encounters tour is conducted during the late afternoon/evening to coincide with great penguin and seal activity which provides absolutely unrivalled wildlife viewing, particularly within our conservation area and has been the highlight of many travellers visit to New Zealand.
Peninsula Encounters tour departure times vary throughout the year (from 12:45pm mid winter to 3.30pm mid-summer) to coincide with changing animal activity and daylight hours. Hotel pick up is included and on return to the city this evening you will be dropped back to your hotel.
Dunedin / Queenstown
Breakfast is included this morning at your hotel. Enjoy a relaxing morning before joining the Track & Trail journey to Queenstown this afternoon. Departing Dunedin at 2.30pm the Track & Trail tour is a unique train and coach journey that links enchanting Dunedin with the exciting outdoor adventure town of Queenstown.
On the Taieri Gorge Train you will cross over twelve stone and iron viaducts spanning the river below and squeeze through ten tunnels carved into the rock-face on your two-hour rail journey. The train and coach meet at Pukerangi, ‘the hill of heaven’ to transfer passengers.
By coach you will follow the historic 19th century gold trail of the pioneers, in a journey of contrasts over this real Kiwi back-country, to arrive in Queenstown at 8.40pm. Hotel pick up is included in Dunedin and on arrival in Queenstown you will be dropped off to your hotel.
Breakfast is included this morning at your hotel. Spend a day at leisure in Queenstown. Time is available for optional sightseeing. For thrill-seekers Queenstown has it all. You might like to go bungy jumping, white water rafting, jet boating, mountain biking, horse riding or parachuting.
Leisurely favourites include the historic TSS Earnslaw steamship, Walter Peak Station, the Skyline Gondola ride, wine tasting at local wineries, walks, and excursions to Glenorchy and Skippers Canyon. For golfing enthusiasts, a Bob Charles designed course is available at nearby Millbrook Resort.
Queenstown’s cosmopolitan flavour is reflected in the vibrant downtown centre, where there is a myriad of restaurants, bars and shops open daily.
Breakfast is included this morning at your hotel. At approx. 7.00am this morning you will be collected from your hotel by Real Journeys for a full day tour to Milford Sound. On boarding a luxury glass-roofed coach in Queenstown, travel along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through rolling countryside to Te Anau for a morning tea break.
From Te Anau, the coach then continues along the spectacular Milford Road through impressive alpine scenery. There is time for photo stops and short walks along the way. The coach driver provides a commentary and interpretation material is available in foreign languages.
On reaching Milford Sound board a Nature Cruise for a leisurely cruise the full length of the fiord to the Tasman Sea. Nature cruises have a relaxed and flexible itinerary that allows plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and wildlife and have a special appeal for the independent traveller. An on board nature guide with specialist knowledge of the region’s history, flora and fauna provides detailed interpretation in English with a roving microphone. There is plenty of time available to explore points of interest and view the spectacular alpine scenery including waterfalls, rainforest and the towering peaks; and keep a lookout for wildlife including seals, dolphins and penguins when in season.
Picnic lunch is included and complimentary tea and coffee are available on all vessels. Following the cruise return to Queenstown by luxury coach, with drop off to your hotel at approx. 8.30pm
Queenstown / Franz Josef
Breakfast is included this morning at your hotel. This morning you will be collected from your hotel by Newmans Coachlines at approx. 7.30am for your coach journey to up the West Coast of the South Island to the glacier township of Franz Josef.
On arrival in Franz Josef Village at 4.10pm you will be dropped off to your hotel. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Franz Josef / Greymouth / Christchurch
You will arrive at the Greymouth Rail Station at 1.15pm to connect with the TranzAlpine Train to Christchurch. Depart Greymouth Rail Station at 1.45pm. The TranzAlpine scenic train journey travels between Greymouth and Christchurch, from one coast of New Zealand to the other. From the West Coast town of Greymouth, through lush beech rain forest, your train then climbs into the Southern Alps, before descending into the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River.
From your carriage you’ll see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland. All carriages include both one way seating and tabled group seating allowing you to experience the amazing views while enjoying the company of other passengers on-board. An open air viewing carriage allows you to get even closer to the stunning scenery and provides many opportunities to photograph your favourite spots.
There’s a lot to look forward to! Our train journey sets off from Christchurch – New Zealand’s largest city on the South Island. The trip is 223.8 kilometres long and takes just four and a half hours. There are 16 tunnels, and 5 viaducts, the highest being the Staircase standing at 73 metres. On arrival at the Christchurch Rail Station at 6.05pm you will be collected and transferred by shuttle to your hotel.
Breakfast is included this morning at your hotel. Today transfer to Christchurch Airport for your departing flight.
Additional tour information
- Flights are not included
- Overlander Train: during 22-25 April the Overlander Train will not be operating due to upgrades and during 02 May-25 Sep the train operates on Friday/Saturday & Sunday only.
- All train journeys, and most excursions, do not operate on Christmas Day.
Package costs are as shown below in US$ Dollars.
Based on deluxe (first class or best available) hotels
|Dates||Share Twin||Share Triple||Single (travelling alone)|
|1st - 30th April 2011||$3812||-||$5760|
|1st - 31st May 2011||$3747||-||$5631|
|1st June - 31st Aug 2011||$4033||-||$6204|
|1st Sept 2011 - 31st Mar 2012||$4380||-||$6774|
Based on superior (mid range) hotels
|Dates||Share Twin||Share Triple||Single (travelling alone)|
|1st - 30th April 2011||$3264||$3153||$4642|
|1st - 31st May 2011||$3218||$3123||$4549|
|1st June - 31st Aug 2011||$3288||$3110||$4667|
|1st Sept 2011 - 31st Mar 2012||$3667||$3502||$5367|