19 Day - Rail, Cruise and Coach Experience

New Zealand steam train tour

Enjoy the best of New Zealand at a relaxed pace. Combine rail, coach and an exclusive overnight cruise on a tour that will appeal to rail enthusiasts and those that like to relax and enjoy our special environment. Experience the north and south islands of New Zealand on this luxury small group tour by coach and rail follow a classic touring route that includes the glorious Bay of Islands, thermal Rotorua, iconic Milford Sound and the West Coast glaciers as well as the cities of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Day 1: Homeport - Auckland (D)

Waterfront Auckland

‘Haere Mai’ … Welcome to New Zealand Having cleared customs & immigration formalities, you will be met by our representative & transferred by limousine to your city hotel. The 'City of Sails' is New Zealand's largest and most vibrant, offering an exciting array of cosmopolitan experiences. Imagine an urban environment where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen enchanted holiday islands. Add a mild climate, a background rhythm of Polynesian culture and a passion for outstanding food, wine and shopping and you’re beginning to get the picture of Auckland. Also known as the City of Sails - a title gained from the view of yachts seen against the cityscape. Sightseeing and activity options available:

One Nights Accommodation at the Crowne Plaza, Auckland.

Day 2: Auckland - Bay of Islands (B,D)

Bay of Islands

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 pass through Whangarei to Paihia. Enjoy a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the location of the signing of the treaty between the Maori tribes and the British. Some alternative sightseeing and activity options available are:

One Nights accommodation at the Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands. This hotel has a sub-tropical resort ambience, with island-influenced architecture, beautifully landscaped grounds and light airy rooms and is Situated at the entrance to the seaside town of Paihia.

Day 3: Bay of Islands Overnight Cruise (B,D)

Bay Of Islands luxury cruises

This morning, board Ipipiri, a brand new, state-of-the-art small ship for an overnight cruise of the sheltered waters of the Bay of Islands. You'll enjoy a full commentary on the history and environment of the area and when the ship anchors at sea, onboard tenders will ferry you to and from nearby islands to enjoy activities like snorkelling, swimming and kayaking. With only 30 identical state cabins with ensuite facilities spread over 2 decks, this small ship will provide a truly impressive cruise experience in one of the most spectacular regions of New Zealand.   One Nights Accommodation aboard the Cruise Ship "Ipipiri".

Day 4: Bay of Islands - Auckland (B,D)

Auckland by night

After a unique overnight stay, start the day with a leisurely breakfast before you cruise back to Opua Wharf mid-morning. Farewell the Bay of Islands and drive south via Whangarei, Wellsford and Warkworth to Auckland. Enjoy a short city tour and free time before transferring to your hotel.

One Nights Accommodation at the Crowne Plaza, Auckland.

Day 5: Auckland - Rotorua (B,L,D)

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 short farm talk 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.

Two Nights Accommodation at the Regent of Rotorua

Day 6: Rotorua (B,S,D)

Rotorua Geysers

Today begins with a Gondola ride to Skyrides 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. Enjoy some free time this afternoon before travelling out to see the boiling mud pools and awesome Geysers that Rotorua is famous for. This evening experience an entertaining Maori Hangi and Concert. Sightseeing and activity options available:

Day 7: Rotorua - Wellington (B,D)

Wellington Harbour

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. Travel via the Tongariro National Park and see the snow capped peaks of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro. This afternoon visit the Southwards Car Museum, home to the most comprehensive collection of veteran and vintage cars in the southern hemisphere. Afternoon tea will be enjoyed before continuing south along the Kapiti Coast to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital. Two Nights

Accommodation at the InterContinental Wellington.

Day 8: Wellington (B,D)

Wellington restaurants

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. Sightseeing and activity options:

Day 9: Wellington - Christchurch (B,D)

Ferry from North to South Island New Zealand

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 departing the train in Kaikoura. Experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) to view the amazing whales this region is renowned for. One Night Accommodation at the Donegal House in Kaikoura. Enjoy some time out in this family owned Irish Bed and Breakfast.

Day 10: Christchurch (B,D)

This morning enjoy a introductory city tour of Christchurch, before we visit the Antarctic Centre which was designed to provide insight into the life of Antarctica.

This afternoon is yours to relax at the atmosphere of your lodge.

Day 11: Canterbury - Franz Josef (B,L,D)

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 we continue through Franz Josef to Fox Glacier.

One Night Accommodation at Distinction Fox Glacier.

Day 12: Franz Josef - Queenstown (B)

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.

Two Nights Accommodation at the Millennium, Hotel, Queenstown.

Day 13: Free Day in Queenstown (B,L,D)

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. Here is a selection of the many options available:

Day 14: Queenstown - Te Anau (B,D)

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.

Two Nights Accommodation at the Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas.

Day 15: Milford Sound - Te anau (B,S,D)

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.

Day 16: Te Anau - Dunedin (B,L,D)

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.

Two Nights Accommodation at the Scenic Hotel Southern Cross, Dunedin.

Day 17: Dunedin (B,D)

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.

Day 18: Dunedin - Christchurch (B,L,D)

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.

One Night Accommodation at The George, Christchurch.

Day 19: Christchurch - Homeport (B)

Time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday.

VIRTUAL TOUR & DOSSIER

Please take the time to view our “Virtual Tour” for the 19 Day Rail, Coach and Cruise Experience or download/print the detailed “Tour Dossier”. Both can be found on the right hand column of this page. Alternatively you can simply contact us. For a comprehensive list of all activities available in each location featured in this tour, please refer to the "Destination Guide" found at the top of this page.

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