New Zealand by Rail & Coach - New Zealand Tours

Experience 5 amazing rail journeys on this 19 day guided tour. Included is a beautifully restored vintage steam train and the world famous Tranz Alpine Train, taking you across the heart of the South Island. You will also take four cruises including a luxury overnight cruise in the Bay of Islands. Luxury coach travel throughout will ensure you have the holiday of a lifetime.

Itinerary:
This itinerary is valid for all tours up to and including 04th May 2013:
Day 1  Auckland

On arrival in Auckland you will be met and transferred to the hotel in time to meet the rest of your tour group for dinner this evening*. Overnight at the Copthorne Hotel Harbourcity. Meals included: Dinner.*

Day 2  Auckland to Bay of Islands
Depart Auckland and travel to the Parry Kauri Park to see a magnificent example of a Kauri Tree. Visit the Matakohe Kauri Museum then continue through Dargaville and Whangarei to the beautiful Bay of Islands. Enjoy a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, location of the ‘signing of the treaty’ between the Maori and the British. Overnight at the Scenic Circle Bay of Islands Hotel, Paihia. Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner.

Day 3  Bay of Islands Overnight Cruise
A memorable day lies ahead of you today. After breakfast you are free to explore Paihia before boarding a luxurious catamaran for an overnight cruise onboard Ipipiri in the beautiful Bay of Islands. This will be a truly unique night of nature, history and beauty in spectacular bays and islands. The cruise ship offers private cabins with full size ensuite bathroom and sea views so you can watch the sun rise and set from the privacy of your cabin. The vessel also offers a spacious sundeck, 70-seat restaurant with indoor & outdoor dining and a bar. Cruise past spectacular landmarks, such as the Black Rocks and Urupulapuka Island before being anchored at sea for a truly exclusive experience. You will be surrounded by nature, as the warm waters are home to and abundance of marine life such as dolphins, whales, seals and penguins. Tenders are  available to take you to nearby islands where you can take part in a variety of activities including snorkelling, swimming and kayaking. At sunset enjoy a buffet of local cuisine before returning to your King Stateroom that has sea views. Meals included: breakfast, dinner.

Day 4  Auckland
After your unique overnight experience, start the day with a leisurely breakfast before cruising back to Opua Wharf mid morning. Bid farewell to the Bay of Islands and drive south to Whangarei, Wellsford and Warkworth to Auckland. Enjoy a short city tour and some free time to explore this major city before transferring to your hotel. Overnight at the Copthorne Harbourcity. Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner.

Day 5  Auckland to Rotorua
Depart Auckland and travel to Glenbrook Vintage Railway for a nostalgic 15-kilometre trip back in time on your beautifully restored vintage steam train. Visit the  restoration workshop and on your return to Glenbrook Station, morning tea will be served. Depart Glenbrook and travel through the magnificent countryside to Longlands Farm for a short farm talk, followed by a delicious home cooked lunch. Board your coach and continue to the geothermal town of Rotorua and visit Paradise Valley Springs, a superb wildlife park where you can hand feed rainbow trout. Overnight at the Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Day 6 Rotorua
Today begins with a Gondola Ride to Cableway Restaurant 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. Some free time is available before an afternoon transfer to see the boiling mud pools and the awesome geysers that Rotorua is famous for. This evening you will experience an entertaining Maori Hangi and Concert. Overnight at the Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua. Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner.

Day 7  Rotorua to Wellington
Depart Rotorua and travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway before arriving at the spectacular Huka Falls. Continue to Lake Taupo, and enjoy some free time in this scenic lakeside town. This afternoon travel via the Tongariro National Park and see the snow capped peaks of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro. Visit the Southwards Car Museum, home to the most comprehensive collection of vintage cars in the southern hemisphere. Enjoy afternoon tea before continuing south along the Kapiti Coast to Wellington. Overnight at the James Cook Grand Chancellor. Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner.

Day 8  Wellington
Enjoy an extensive city sights tour this morning. A highlight will be a guided tour of Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum with exhibits that embrace both Maori and European views. The afternoon and evening are free for you to relax and explore. Overnight at the James Cook Grand Chancellor. Meals included: Breakfast.

Day 9  Wellington to Kaikoura
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. Travel through numerous tunnels and across several bridges before leaving the train in Kaikoura. Experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) to view the amazing whales this region is renowned for. Overnight at Donegal House. Meals included: breakfast & dinner.

Day 10 Kaikoura to Canterbury
A leisurely start this morning with time to enjoy the tranquil setting. Travel south through some of the finest farmland areas to Christchurch for an introductory city  sights tour. A short drive through the Canterbury region brings you to your hotel. Overnight at the Methven Resort or Hotel Ashburton. Meals included: breakfast & dinner.

Day 11  Canterbury to 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 in the centre of the Southern Alps. Pass through the Otira Tunnel and continue through lush beech forest, skirt lakes and follow rivers as you enjoy a boxed lunch onboard. Your rail journey concludes at Greymouth. Travel to Hokitika, famous for its Greenstone before arriving at Franz Josef where time is available to
experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the spectacular glaciers. Overnight at the Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier. Meals included: breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 12  Franz Josef to 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. This evening is free and you may choose to dine at one of the many fine restaurants. Overnight at the Mercure Queenstown Resort (Lakeview Room). Meals included: breakfast.

Day 13  Queenstown (Free Day)
Today is free for you to explore Queenstown. Your Tour Guide and Coach Captain can assist with the many options available. This evening board the vintage  steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. 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 on your return cruise. Overnight at the Mercure Queenstown Resort (Lakeview Room). Meals included: breakfast & dinner.

Day 14  Queenstown to Te Anau
This morning travel to Arrowtown, an old gold mining village where you visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland. This evening cruise across Lake Te Anau to visit the Glow Worm Caves. Admire the incredible limestone caverns, waterfalls and mystery of the Glow Worm Grotto. Overnight at the Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas. Meals included: breakfast & dinner.

Day 15  Milford Sound Excursion
Depart Te Anau for a fascinating drive to Milford Sound where you board your launch for a cruise on this magnificent fiord. See the spectacular Bowen Falls and towering Mitre Peak as you enjoy a picnic lunch onboard. This afternoon return to Te Anau where some free time is available. Overnight at the Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas. Meals included: breakfast lunch & dinner.

Day 16  Te Anau to Dunedin

Travel via Gore and Balclutha to Dunedin for an informative city tour including a visit to Olveston House, a prestigious historic home. Tonight a Scottish evening will be presented comprising of bagpipes, great food, Haggis Ceremony and gift. Overnight at the Mercure Leisure Lodge. Meals included: breakfast & dinner.

Day 17  Dunedin
Travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle for a guided tour. Visit Glenfalloch Woodland Gardens, view the superb collection of flowers followed by a delightful morning tea. Return to the city for some free time before boarding 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 your hotel. Overnight at the Mercure Leisure Lodge. Meals included: breakfast & dinner.

Day 18  Dunedin to Christchurch
Travel to Oamaru, famous for its limestone. After a true Victorian welcome, enjoy an informative update on this unique Precinct. Continue to The Plains Vintage Railway to experience a 'K'88 Steam Locomotive at work, view informative displays and enjoy a delightful afternoon tea before travelling to Christchurch. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner. Overnight at the Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport. Meals included: breakfast & dinner.

Day 19 End of Tour
Sadly your tour ends with the checkout from your hotel and a transfer to the airport. Meals included: Breakfast.

*Dinner on day 1 is not included for passengers arriving later than 8pm.

This itinerary is valid for tours departing from 10th September 2013 onwards:
Day 1  Auckland

On arrival in Auckland you will be met and transferred to the hotel in time to meet the rest of your tour group for dinner this evening. Overnight at the Copthorne Hotel Harbourcity. Meals included: dinner.*

Day 2  Auckland to Bay of Islands
Depart Auckland and travel to the Parry Kauri Park to see a magnificent example of a Kauri Tree. Visit the Matakohe Kauri Museum then continue through Whangarei to Pihia on the beautiful Bay of Islands. Enjoy a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, location of the signing of the treaty between the Maori and the British.  Overnight at the Scenic Circle Bay of Islands Hotel, Paihia. Meals included: breakfast, dinner.

Day 3  Bay of Islands Overnight Cruise
A memorable day lies ahead of you today. After breakfast you are free to explore Paihia before boarding a luxurious catamaran for an overnight cruise in the beautiful Bay of Islands.  Cruise past spectacular landmarks, such as the Black Rocks and Urupulapuka Island before being anchored at sea for a truly exclusive experience. You will be surrounded by nature, as the warm waters are home to and abundance of marine life such as dolphins, whales, seals and penguins. Tenders are  available to take you to nearby islands where you can take part in a variety of activities including snorkelling, swimming and kayaking. At sunset enjoy a buffet of local cuisine before returning to your King Stateroom that has sea views. Meals included: breakfast, dinner.

Day 4  Bay of Islands to Auckland
After your unique overnight experience, start the day with a leisurely breakfast before cruising back to Opua Wharf mid morning. Bid farewell to the Bay of Islands and drive south through Whangarei, Wellsford and Warkworth to Auckland. Enjoy a short city tour and some free time to explore before transferring to your hotel. Overnight at the Copthorne Harbourcity. Meals included: breakfast, dinner.

Day 5  Auckland to Rotorua
Depart Auckland and travel to Glenbrook Vintage Railway for a nostalgic 15-kilometre trip back in time on your beautifully restored vintage steam train. Visit the restoration workshop and on your return to Glenbrook Station, morning tea will be served. Depart Glenbrook and travel through the magnificent countryside to Longlands Farm for a delicious home cooked lunch. Continue to the geothermal town of Rotorua and visit Paradise Valley Springs, a superb wildlife park where you can hand feed rainbow trout. Overnight at the Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua. Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 6  Rotorua
Today begins with a Gondola Ride to Cableway Restaurant where a buffet breakfast and spectacular views are on offer. Travel to the Agrodome for a shearing display and sheep dog trial. In the afternoon visit Tu Puia to see the boiling mud pools and the awesome geysers that Rotorua is famous for. This evening experience an entertaining Maori Hangi and Concert. Overnight at the Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua. Meals included: breakfast, dinner.

Day 7  Rotorua to Wellington
Travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway to spectacular Huka Falls, then continue to Lake Taupo and enjoy some free time in this scenic lakeside town. Continue via the Tongariro National Park and see the snow capped peaks of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro, visit the Southwards Car Museum, home to the most comprehensive collection of vintage cars in the southern hemisphere. Enjoy afternoon tea before continuing south along the Kapiti coast to Wellington. Overnight at the James Cook Grand Chancellor. Meals included: breakfast, dinner.

Day 8  Wellington
Enjoy an extensive city tour this morning. A highlight will be a guided tour of Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum with exhibits that embrace both Maori and European views. The afternoon and evening are free. Overnight at the James Cook Grand Chancellor. Meals included: breakfast.

Day 9  Wellington to Kaikoura
Cruise Cook Strait and 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 tunnels and over bridges to Kaikoura. Experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) to view the amazing whales this region is renowned for. Overnight at Donegal House. Meals included: breakfast & dinner.

Day 10  Kaikoura to Canterbury
A leisurely start this morning with time to enjoy the tranquil setting. Travel south through some of the finest farmland areas to Christchurch for an introductory city sights tour. A short drive through the Canterbury region brings you to your hotel. Overnight at the Methven Resort.Meals included: breakfast & dinner.

Day 11  Canterbury to Franz Josef
Board the TranzAlpine, one of the great train journeys of the world and travel over massive viaducts, river valleys and spectacular gorges as you ascend to Arthur's Pass in the centre of the Southern Alps. Pass through the Otira Tunnel and through lush beech forest, skirting lakes and following rivers enjoying a boxed lunch onboard as you travel to Greymouth. Visit Hokitika, famous for its Greenstone before arriving at Franz Josef where time is available to experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the spectacular glaciers. Overnight at the Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier. Meals included: breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 12  Franz Josef to 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. This evening is free to dine at one of the many fine restaurants. Overnight at the Mercure Queenstown Resort (Lakeview Room). Meals included: breakfast.

Day 13  Queenstown (Free Day)
Today is free for you to explore Queenstown. Your Tour Guide and Coach Captain can assist with the many options available. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station where 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 your return cruise. Overnight at the Mercure Queenstown Resort (Lakeview Room). Meals included: breakfast & dinner.

Day 14  Queenstown to Te Anau
Travel to Arrowtown, an old gold mining village and visit the Lakes District museum, then on to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland. Cruise across Lake Te Anau to visit the Glow Worm Caves and admire the incredible limestone caverns, waterfalls and mystery of the Glow Worm Grotto. Overnight at the Distinction Luxmore. Meals included: breakfast & dinner.

Day 15  Milford Sound Excursion
Depart Te Anau for a fascinating drive to Milford Sound where you board your launch for a cruise on this magnificent fiord. See the spectacular Bowen Falls and towering Mitre Peak as you enjoy a picnic lunch onboard. This afternoon return to Te Anau where some free time is available. Overnight at the Distinction Luxmore. Meals included: breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 16  Te Anau to Dunedin
Travel via Gore and Balclutha to Dunedin for an informative city tour including a visit to Olveston House, a prestigious historic home. Tonight a Scottish evening will be presented comprising of bagpipes, great food, Haggis Ceremony and gift. Overnight at the Mercure Leisure Lodge. Meals included: breakfast & dinner.

Day 17  Dunedin
Travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle for a guided tour. Visit Glenfalloch Woodland Gardens to view the superb collection of flowers followed by morning tea. Return to the city for some free time before boarding 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 your hotel. Overnight at the Mercure Leisure Lodge. Meals included: breakfast & dinner.

Day 18  Dunedin to Christchurch
Travel to Oamaru, famous for its limestone. After a true Victorian welcome, enjoy an informative update on this unique Precinct. Continue to The Plains Vintage Railway to experience a 'K'88 Steam Locomotive at work, view informative displays and enjoy a delightful afternoon tea before travelling to Christchurch. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner. Overnight at the Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport. Meals included: breakfast & dinner.

Day 19  End of Tour
Sadly your tour ends with the checkout from your hotel and a transfer to the airport. Meals included: breakfast.


Tour Price Includes:

  • Meet & Greet on arrival in Auckland
  • 17 nights in popular grade hotels
  • Exclusive overnight Bay of Islands cruise
  • Return airport transfers
  • Luxury coach travel
  • Professional trained driver/guide
  • Luggage handling at hotels (one suitcase per person)
  • 18 cooked breakfasts including 1 special breakfast
  • 16 dinners, including 4 specialty dinners
  • 3 lunches
  • All sightseeing and admissions as stated in the itinerary
  • 5 rail journeys
  • 4 cruises (5 cruises on tours from 10th September 2013 onwards)
  • Interisland Ferry


Not Included

  • Flight to/from New Zealand: We can arrange your flights for you, please ask us for an airfare when making your enquiry.
  • Gratuities for driver/guide

 

 

 

Holiday Name : New Zealand by Rail & Coach 
Reference : 1CH


Tour Highlights

  • Five Rail Journeys
  • Four Cruises (Five cruises on tours from 10th September 2013)
  • Geothermal Rotorua
  • Cruise Marlborough Sounds
  • See Spectacular West Coast Glaciers
  • Cruise on Milford Sound
  • Includes Meals
  • Exclusive Bay of Islands overnight cruise

 

Guide price per person,
Prices start from £3,240