- 19 days/18 nights
- 17 nights 3.5 – 4.5-star hotel accommodations
- 1 night aboard the Milford Sound overnight cruise
- 34 meals
- Airport transfers
- Four rail journeys
- Daily touring as outlined in itinerary in luxury motorcoach
- Professional tour director
- Admissions as outlined in itinerary
19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour from Auckland to Christchurch
An extremely popular tour designed specifically for rail enthusiasts to enjoy the best of New Zealand at a relaxed pace. This exceptional itinerary includes five breathtaking rail journeys and an exclusive overnight cruise, whilst visiting many attractions and offering a wide range of prepaid activities. Travellers will enjoy the best that New Zealand has to offer on the world famous TranzAlpine rail journey and a cruise on magnificent Milford Sound.
Day 1: Arrive Auckland Day 2: Auckland – Bay of Islands Day 3:Bay of Islands Day 4: Bay of Islands – Auckland Day 5: Auckland – Rotorua Day 6: Rotorua Day 7: Rotorua – Wellington Day 8: Wellington Day 9:Wellington – Kaikoura Day 10: Kaikoura – Christchurch – Canterbury Day 11: Canterbury – TranzAlpine Train – Franz Josef Glacier Day 12: Franz Jossef – Queenstown Day 13: Queenstown Day 14: Queenstown – Milford Sound Enjoy an overnight cruise on Milford Sound on the Milford Mariner, a purpose built vessel. A large open deck area and observation lounge provide for unequal views of the Sound. When the day visitors have departed a silence descends on the fiord. Cruise to the mouth of the Tasman Sea before anchoring for the night in sheltered Harrison Cove. Here you have the opportunity to go kayaking and explore the shoreline on the tender craft with a nature guide. As evening falls, enjoy a lavish carvery buffet on the dining saloon. Day 15: Milford Sound – Te Anau Day 16: Te Anau – Dunedin Day 17: Dunedin Day 18: Dunedin – Christchurch Day 20: Christchurch – USA
On arrival in Auckland you will be met at the airport by a representative and transferred to your centrally-located hotel. The rest of today is at leisure to relax and settle in, or begin exploring this wonderful city.
Stay: Rendezvous Grand Hotel, Auckland
Depart Auckland and travel to the Parry Kauri Park to see a magnificent example of a Kauri Tree. Enjoy a visit and informative talk at the Kauri Museum in Matakohe, then 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.
Stay 2 nights: Scenic Hotel 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).
This morning travel aboard a luxury catamaran to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock. Keep an eye out of bottlenose and common dolphins before returning to Pahia. Farewell the Bay of Islands and drive south via Whangarei, Wellsford and Warkworth to Auckland. Enjoy a short city tour before transferring to your hotel.
Stay: Spencer on Byron
Depart Auckland and travel to Glenbrook Vintage Railway for a nostalgic 12 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 to Longlands Dairy Farm. Enjoy a farm tour followed by a delicious home cooked lunch. This afternoon continue to Rotorua and visit Paradise Valley Springs, a superb wildlife park where you can hand feed rainbow trout.
Stay 2 nights: Sudima Hotel Lake 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.
Depart Rotorua and travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway before arriving at the spectacular Huka Falls. Continue to Lake Taupo where some free time is available to enjoy 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 veteran and vintage cars in the southern hemisphere. Continue south along the Kapiti Coast to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital.
Stay 2 nights: James Cook Grand Chancellor
Enjoy an extensive city tour in New Zealand’s capital, Wellington. A highlight will be a guided tour of Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum, with exhibits that embrace both Maori and European views. Enjoy free time at leisure this afternoon.
This morning board the Interislander Ferry, cross Cook Strait and travel through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton. On arrival in Picton you have time for lunch before boarding the Coastal Pacific, a truly spectacular rail journey that travels through vineyards, salt mountains and river valleys before following the thin wedge of land between the Pacific Ocean and the Kaikoura Ranges. Disembark at Kaikoura, where you have time to explore this quaint seaside village or take an (optional own expense) Wings over Whales flight. This evening you will overnight at Donegal House in Kaikoura.
Stay: Donegal House
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.
Stay: Methven Resort.
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. Pass through the Otira Tunnel and continue through lush beech forest, skirt lakes and follow rivers as you enjoy a boxed lunch onboard. Your 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.
Stay: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
See the snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you continue via the Haast Pass, an area of stunning beauty before arriving into picturesque Queenstown, a year round resort. This evening is free and you may choose to dine out at one of the many fine restaurants.
Stay 2 nights: Mercure Queenstown Resort
Today is a free day. There are plenty of sightseeing options and your Coach Captain is available to assist. You may wish to enjoy the thrill of a jet boat ride, a heritage tour of the scenic Skippers Canyon or the helicopter ride of a lifetime. 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.
Follow the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Kingston, then cross fertile farmlands to Fiordland. Visit moody Lake Manapouri with its rugged bush clad mountains before continuing to Te Anau. Follow the Eglinton Valley, past native forests, lakes, waterfalls and towering mountains. Continue through The Divide and travel into the Hollyford Valley and through the Homer Tunnel to reach magnificent Milford Sound.
Stay: Milford Mariner
Start the day with a hearty breakfast before heading back out to the Tasman Sea (weather permitting) to explore more of the fiord. Return back to the wharf to meet your coach and enjoy the scenic drive to Te Anau. This afternoon enjoy a cruise across Lake Te Anau to visit the Glow Worm Caves where you will admire the incredible limestone caverns, waterfalls and mystery of the Glow Worm Grotto.
Stay: Distinction Luxmore
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.
Stay: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City
Travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle for a guided tour. Visit Glenfalloch Restaurant, 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 Railway 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.
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. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner with your new found friends.
Stay: Sudima Christchurch or Quality Hotel Elms
Today say goodbye to all your new found friends before you make your homeward journey. You will be transferred to Christchurch International Airport to join your flight home.
Day 1: Arrive Auckland
Day 2: Auckland – Bay of Islands
Day 3:Bay of Islands
Day 4: Bay of Islands – Auckland
Day 5: Auckland – Rotorua
Day 6: Rotorua
Day 7: Rotorua – Wellington
Day 8: Wellington
Day 9:Wellington – Kaikoura
Day 10: Kaikoura – Christchurch – Canterbury
Day 11: Canterbury – TranzAlpine Train – Franz Josef Glacier
Day 12: Franz Jossef – Queenstown
Day 13: Queenstown
Day 14: Queenstown – Milford Sound
Enjoy an overnight cruise on Milford Sound on the Milford Mariner, a purpose built vessel. A large open deck area and observation lounge provide for unequal views of the Sound. When the day visitors have departed a silence descends on the fiord. Cruise to the mouth of the Tasman Sea before anchoring for the night in sheltered Harrison Cove. Here you have the opportunity to go kayaking and explore the shoreline on the tender craft with a nature guide. As evening falls, enjoy a lavish carvery buffet on the dining saloon.
Day 15: Milford Sound – Te Anau
Day 16: Te Anau – Dunedin
Day 17: Dunedin
Day 18: Dunedin – Christchurch
Day 20: Christchurch – USA
Pricing & Departures
|Jan 18 – May 4, 2016
|Sep 10 – Nov 21, 2016
Or, call 1.800.788.0829 to speak with one of our travel experts.
Additional departure dates available, ask a Travel Team Agent for details.
- Land only package.
- Prices are per person based on double occupancy
- Prices in US dollars unless otherwise noted
- We have limited space on this package and it is subject to availability and prior sale
- All package prices are per person based on double occupancy unless otherwise noted
- Prices reflect cash discount
- Due to constantly changing policies to baggage restrictions, please check with your airline directly for latest updates and restrictions
- Information, including prices are subject to change without notice
- Restrictions and change and/or cancel penalties apply