19
days

New Zealand Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour

This ultimate voyage of New Zealand's both Islands leads you to up to the most spectacular natural and cultural treasures. Via rail, cruise and luxurious coach you'll explore sensational boiling mud and spurting geysers,  to the ancient frozen wonder of Franz Josef Glacier and the mystical splendour of Milford Sound.

Dolphin Cruise, Geothermal Rotoua, Maori Cultural Evening, Ferry, Taieri Gorge, Coastal Pacific & TranzAlpine Rail Journeys, Cruise on the Earnslaw, Milford Sound Overnight Cruise and Glowworm Cave.

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Itinerary

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1
ARRIVE IN AUCKLAND

‘Haere Mai’ and welcome to the ultimate New Zealand holiday.

Upon arriving at Auckland Airport you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel. Check in and freshen up before spending the remainder of the day exploring the ‘City of Sails’. Stroll the walkways of the Viaduct, peruse the boutique shops of the central city or visit the Sky Tower, the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest building, for fantastic views of the harbour and beyond.

Some Activities and Sightseeing Options Available are:

Explore Waiheke Island Island Kayaking Adventure America’s Cup Sailing
Auckland's Sky Tower Relax on the Beach Rangitoto Island Cruise & Walk
West Coast Wine Tour Whale and Dolphin Safari Muriwai Surf Beach

 

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation Auckland - 1 night

2
The Enchanted BAY OF ISLANDS

We begin our adventure northbound, travelling over the Harbour Bridge and on to the magnificent Kauri trees of Parry Kauri Park. Stretch your legs and view these ancient and princely trees up close before we learn more about them and the important part they played in New Zealand’s history at the Kauri Museum in Matakohe. Continuing through Whangarei, the country’s northernmost city, we arrive in Paihia – gateway to the coastal paradise of the Bay of Islands. Later in the afternoon we enjoy a fascinating guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, one of New Zealand’s most important historical places.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation Bay of Island - 2 nights

3
Leisure Day in the BAY

Today, enjoy the freedom to experience the Bay of Islands exactly the way you want to. This magical wonderland of sheltered islands, sup-tropical waters and pristine beaches offers a myriad of exciting ways to explore. Cruise the calm waters on a purpose-built dolphin viewing boat and, if conditions are right, jump in for a swim with these playful mammals. Catch the ferry to the charming seaside town of Russell, New Zealand’s first capital or venture north to Ninety Mile Beach to explore the endless sands at the very tip of the country. Finish your day with drinks and dinner overlooking the water in Paihia.

Excursions available in the Bay of Islands:

Historical Island Cruise Diving Rainbow Warrior 4WD Adventure Cape Reinga
Sailing the Islands Dolphin Swimming Giant Kauri Forest Walk
Cultural Tour of Waitangi Golf at Kauri Cliffs Sea Kayaking the Bay

Meals: Breakfast

4
BAY OF ISLANDS - AUCKLAND

Awake in paradise and enjoy a leisurely breakfast before cruising back to the mainland mid-morning. Bidding a fond farewell to the Bay of Islands, we journey south towards Auckland through Whangarei, Wellsford and Warkworth. On arrival, we’ll learn more about this harbour side city on a short tour and enjoy a few hours of free time before checking in at your accommodation.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation Auckland - 1 night

5
Vintage Rail Journey

Leaving Auckland, our path takes us to Glenbrook Vintage Railway for a 15-kilometre (9 mile) journey back in time on a vintage steam train that’s been beautifully restored. We tour the restoration workshop and enjoy morning tea back at the Station. Afterwards, we continue through stunning countryside to arrive at Longlands Restaurant & Farm. Gain an insight into New Zealand farming culture and experience kiwi hospitality first-hand with a delicious home-cooked lunch hosted by a local kiwi farming family. Driving to Rotorua, our home for the next two nights, we visit Paradise Valley Springs to see rare wildlife and hand-feed rainbow trout.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation Rotorua - 2 night

6
ROTORUA

We start the day with panoramic views over Rotorua aboard a Gondola Ride, whisking us to our buffet breakfast high above the city. Discover why kiwis are known as the best sheep shearers in the world when we travel to the Agrodome for a shearing display, performing sheep and a sheep dog trial. Relax with a few hours of leisure time before visiting Te Puia and witnessing the geothermal wonders that Rotorua is famous for. We learn more about Maori culture this evening with a delicious Hangi Feast and Concert.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

7
ROTORUA - WELLINGTON

Today marks our journey from the mountains to the sea as we travel south to New Zealand’s capital city. Driving the Thermal Explorer Highway we stop to view the turbulent and mighty Huka Falls and then continue on to the stunning lakeside town of Taupo. Stretch your legs and stroll the waterfront in your free time before we continue to the otherworldly landscapes of the Central Plateau. Three giant volcanoes stand sentinel over Tongariro National Park, creating a panorama that closely resembles Middle-earth. It’s not just your imagination - locations from the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were filmed here. We visit the Southward Car Museum, admiring their collection of veteran and vintage cars and enjoying afternoon tea. Driving south along the Kapiti Coast we arrive at our destination for the next two nights - Wellington, a quirky, energetic city with a culture all of its own.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation Wellington - 2 nights

8
WELLINGTON

This morning we become acquainted with the sights and attractions of Wellington City on an extensive tour. One of the highlights is the guided tour of New Zealand’s National Museum, Te Papa. Exhibitions here embrace both Maori and European history, shedding light on the country’s colourful and fascinating past.

Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure. Take the cable car high above the city for fantastic views and a stroll through the pleasant gardens. Soak up the bustling cafe and restaurant scene of Cuba Street, or experience Middle-earth movie making magic with a visit to the Weta Cave or the Roxy Theatre. In the evening, embrace Wellington’s delicious food and wine scene for an unforgettable dining experience.

Meals: Breakfast

9
Inter-island Cruise - KAIKOURA

Today we farewell the North Island, boarding the Interislander Ferry to cruise across the Cook Strait and through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton. With our feet firmly planted on South Island soil we embark on a spectacular rail journey with the Coastal Pacific. Soak up panoramic views of the towering Kaikoura mountains on one side, and the rugged coastline of the Pacific Ocean on the other. Arriving in the charming seaside town of Kaikoura – also known as the ‘Serengeti of the Sea’ – choose how you would like to spend your afternoon. Take an optional scenic flight to spot the many whales that call this coastline home, or stroll the seaside spotting cheeky New Zealand fur seals.

Suggested Wildlife Encounters in Kaikoura

Whale Watching Cruise Swim with the Seals in Kaikoura
Whale Watching Flight Kaikoura Dusky Dolphin Viewing or Swimming
Kayaking with Fur Seals Albatross & Pelagic Bird Watching Kaikoura

Meals - Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation Kaikoura - 1 night

10
KAIKOURA - CANTERBURY

Enjoy a leisurely morning amongst Kaikoura’s stunning landscapes before we continue south along the coast, over the Hunderlee Hills and on to Christchurch. In New Zealand’s ‘Garden City’, we enjoy a city tour upon arrival and get to our accommodation in the early afternoon. The rest of the day is yours to relax amongst the tranquil atmosphere of your lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation Christchurch - 1 night

11
TranzAlpine Train into Glacier Country

Embark this morning on one of the top six train journeys in the world, on board the TranzAlpine. Spanning the width of the South Island, this journey showcases spectacular gorges, ribbon-like rivers, massive viaducts and soaring peaks – don’t forget your camera! We disembark at Arthur’s Pass and continue on to Hokitika, a small town steeped in gold mining and pioneering history that is famous for its pounamu (greenstone). Later in the afternoon we reach our destination for the night – Franz Josef Village, home to the ancient flow of ice that is the Franz Josef Glacier. Weather permitting, enjoy unforgettable views high above the glaciers with an optional scenic flight.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation Franz Josef - 1 night

12
Resort Town - QUEENSTOWN

The snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps follow us on our journey inland, crossing the Haast Pass and driving on to the bustling resort town of Queenstown. Admire the soaring Remarkables Mountain Range and soak up the panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu, the shores on which the town is built. Tonight, enjoy a magical evening of free time; here, the options for drinks beside the lake or delicious dining are endless.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Queenstown - 2 nights

13
QUEENSTOWN AT LEISURE

Explore everything Queenstown has to offer and do it your way on a day of leisure. Your Tour Director can assist you in crafting the perfect day. You can get your adrenaline pumping with a thrilling wilderness jet boat ride or a white water rafting adventure, or if you prefer something more relaxing like a wine tour in the stunning vineyards of the Gibbston Valley, you won’t be disappointed. In the evening, prepare for a very special night across the other side of Lake Wakatipu. We board the vintage steam ship TSS Earnslaw and cruise to Walter Peak Station where we enjoy a delightful meal of delicious country cuisine. A short farm tour follows our dining experience before we re-board the ship for a return journey complimented by live piano music.

Recommended Queenstown Excursions:

Routeburn Track Guided Day Walk Explore Historic Arrowtown Highest Bungy Jump
Wine Tasting Tour Central Otago Biking Skippers Canyon Round at Millbrook Golf Resort
TSS Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise Dart River Jetboat Safari Gibbston Valley Wine Trail
 

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

14
Milford Sound Overnight Cruise

We begin our day with a short drive to the quaint village of Arrowtown – steeped in gold mining heritage, the settlement sits on the banks of what was one of the richest rivers in the world. A fascinating visit to the Lakes District Museum reveals more about this region’s colourful history. Later today we continue through Te Anau and along the magnificent Milford Road before arriving in Milford Sound. We board the Milford Mariner and begin an unforgettable overnight cruise. Milford Sound was once called the ‘eighth natural wonder of the world’ and you’ll be surrounded by towering, rain forested cliffs; spectacular waterfalls, unique wildlife and soaring peaks. Top off a wonderful day with a sumptuous carvery buffet dinner prepared by your onboard chef.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation Milford Sound - 1 night

15
TE ANAU Glowworm Caves

Begin the day with a delicious breakfast aboard the boat before cruising out to the Tasman Sea to soak up more stunning fiord scenery. Returning back to the wharf, we meet the coach and enjoy the sights of the Milford Road once more on the way back to Te Anau. In the afternoon, take to the water once again with a boat cruise across Lake Te Anau, the largest lake in the South Island. Here we visit the very special Te Anau Glowworm Caves – mysterious and magical, the limestone caverns, waterfalls and twinkling glow worm lights make for a memorable end to the day.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation Te Anau - 1 night

16
Dunedin - Scottish City of Grace and Grandeur

We journey south towards the very Scottish city of Dunedin, visiting the quintessentially kiwi towns of Gore and Balclutha along the way. On arrival in Dunedin, we get acquainted with a city sights tour that includes a visit to the prestigious historic home of Olveston House. This evening we get more of a feel for Dunedin’s Scottish roots with a night of bagpipes, hearty food, a Haggis Ceremony and a special gift.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation Dunedin - 2 nights

17
Taieri Gorge Rail Journey

Soak up the panoramic views and colourful history of New Zealand’s only castle today with a visit to Larnach Castle, perched high on the Otago Peninsula. For morning tea, we travel just down the road to Glenfalloch Restaurant, nestled amongst beautifully manicured grounds. Enjoy a few hours of free time back in the city before embarking on a very special experience this afternoon. The Taieri Gorge Railway journeys through some of the most spectacular, isolated scenery of the Otago region; steel latticework viaducts and stonework bridges and tunnels make this a truly unforgettable rail journey. Disembarking at Dunedin’s historic Edwardian Railway Station you are transfer red back to your hotel to enjoy your final evening in Dunedin.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

18
DUNEDIN - CHRISTCHURCH

Enjoy a leisurely morning exploring the stunning Victorian architecture of Oamaru. As we journey north we stop at The Woolstore complex, the Loan and Merc restaurant, penny farthing shop and auto museum for some fascinating viewing. Following the coast we arrive in Christchurch, New Zealand’s ‘Garden City’. You can check into our accommodation before celebrating our travels during a farewell dinner with our new found friends.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

19
Homeward Bound

Haere rā and Bon Voyage!

We are sure you will enjoy this tour and our promise is to make your travels through New Zealand as hassle-free and hospitable as possible - ensuring that today you leave with a memory card full of photos, and huge smiles on your faces when recalling your time in New Zealand! Have a great homeward journey, farewell and hope to see you again soon in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Meals: Breakfast