This extremely popular tour has been designed specifically for rail enthusiasts to enjoy the best of New Zealand at a relaxed pace. The exceptional 19 day itinerary includes four breathtaking rail journeys while visiting many attractions and offering a wide range of prepaid activities. Travellers will also enjoy the best that New Zealand has to offer on the world famous TranzAlpine rail journey and a cruise on magnificent Milford Sound. This escorted tour is one of the very best ways to get the most out of spectacular Lord of the Rings country.
This wonderful tour begins in Auckland, the City of Sails, in New Zealand's North Island. You will be met at the airport by one of our experienced tour representatives and taken to your hotel to relax and unwind after the journey. The evening is free for you to explore this great city with its exciting waterfront.
Auckland - Bay of Islands
You leave Auckland today and head for the beautiful Bay of Islands. First stop is at 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 pass through Whangarei to Paihi where you are taken on a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where the treaty between the Maori tribes and the British was signed.
Bay of Islands Free Day
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
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 Pahia. Farewell the Bay of Islands and drive south via Whangarei, Wellsford and Warkworth to Auckland’s north shore. This afternoon enjoy time at leisure. Why not take a stroll to the nearby beach for views of Rangitoto Island, Auckland Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf.
Auckland - Rotorua
Leave Auckland today and head for Glenbrook Vintage Railway for a nostalgic 12 mile 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 delicious home cooked lunch hosted by a rural New Zealand family. Then continue to Rotorua and visit Paradise Valley Springs, a superb wildlife park where you can hand feed rainbow trout.
Today begins with a gondola ride to Cableway Restaurant where a buffet breakfast and spectacular views are on offer. Then travel to the Agrodome where you see performing sheep, a shearing display and sheep dog trial. Enjoy some free time in the 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 with buffet.
Rotorua - Wellington
Leave Rotorua today 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. Travel via the Tongariro National Park and this afternoon visit Southwards Car Museum, home to the most comprehensive collection of veteran and vintage cars in the southern hemisphere. Enjoy afternoon tea before continuing south along the Kapiti Coast to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital where you stay for the next two nights
Today you will 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 and in the evening see the many sights in this bustling waterside city.
Wellington - Picton - Christchurch
This morning board the Interislander Ferry, cross Cook Strait and travel through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton. After lunch on board ( at own expense) you will continue by coach via the Lewis Pass with scenic and comfort stops en route before arriving at your accommodation in Christchurch for the evening.
Today visit the International Antarctic Centre designed to provide an informative account of life in Antarctica. This is followed by an introductory city tour of Christchurch. This afternoon includes a journey on board the Christchurch Tram at your leisure, one of Christchurch’s leading attractions.
Canterbury - 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 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
Franz Josef - 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
Today is a free day for you to explore Queenstown. Your Tour Guide and Coach Captain are available to assist with the many options available. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. 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 on your return cruise.
Queenstown - Milford Sound Overnight Cruise
This morning travel to Arrowtown and visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue via Te Anau to Milford Sound and board the Milford Mariner for your amazing overnight cruise. There is plenty of time to view the fiord’s spectacular waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife - you’re bound to encounter seals and if you’re lucky maybe dolphins and penguins. As evening falls enjoy a delicious carvery buffet prepared freshly by the onboard chef.
Milford Sound-Te Anau
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.
Te Anau -Denedin
Travel via Gore and Balclutha to Dunedin for an informative city tour followed by some free time. Tonight a Scottish evening will be presented comprising of bagpipes, great food, Haggis Ceremony and gift
Travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle for a guided tour. Next visit Glenfalloch Restaurant for 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.
Dunedin - 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 with your new found friends
Your wonderful train, cruise and coach tour of New Zealand's North and South Islands comes to an end today. Time to say goodbye to your new found friends before being taken to Christchurch airport for your onward flight or to begin your journey home.