Overview

This small group tour combines rail, coach and an exclusive overnight cruise. Experience the wild spirit of the coast on the Coastal Pacific; the rugged and spectacular Taieri Gorge River and the magnificent Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine, one of the world’s great train journeys. Experience the majestic Doubtful Sound on an overnight cruise on the Fiordland Navigator with plenty of relaxation time to take in the serenity. From the bright cities of Auckland and Wellington to the geothermal centre of Rotorua; the stunning beauty of the glaciers and Fiordland to the Otago peninsula this tour has it all.

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Day 1: Arrive Auckland

On arrival into Auckland you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This evening meet your travelling companions over a complimentary pre dinner drink. (D)

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Auckland

 

Day 2: Auckland - Bay of Islands

Board the luxurious Ultimate Coach, and enjoy an Auckland City Tour before departing Auckland for 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. (B, D)

Hotel for 2 nights: Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands

 

Day 3: Bay of Islands

Travel by catamaran to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock, keeping a watch for bottlenose and common dolphins. The afternoon is free. This evening is also free and you may like to enjoy a relaxing dinner cruise (optional). (B)

 

Day 4: Bay of Islands - Auckland

Farewell the Bay of Islands and drive south via Whangarei and Dorgaville to Matakohe where you visit the Kauri Museum. Enjoy a free afternoon in Auckland. (B, D)

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Auckland

 

Day 5: Auckland - Rotorua

Depart Auckland and travel to Glenbrook Vintage Railway for a nostalgic 15 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 Rainbow Springs, spanning 22 acres of native trees. A highlight will be the Kiwi Encounter experience which offers a unique behind-the-scenes tour of a working kiwi nursery and hatchery. (B, D)

Hotel for 2 nights: Regent of Rotorua

 

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. Enjoy some free time 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. (B, SD)

 

Day 7: Rotorua - Wellington

Travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway to the spectacular Huka Falls. Continue to Lake Taupo for some free time to enjoy this scenic lakeside town. Travel via Tongariro National Park and continue along the Kapiti Coast to Wellington for a city tour (B, D)

Hotel for 2 nights: InterContinental Wellington

 

Day 8: Wellington

Enjoy an extensive city tour in New Zealand’s capital, Wellington. A highlight will be time to explore Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum, with exhibits that embrace both Maori and European views. Enjoy free time at leisure this afternoon. (B)

 

Day 9: Wellington – Christchurch

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 on your way to Kaikoura. Re-join your coach for the journey south to the garden city of Christchurch. (B, D)

Hotel for 2 nights: The George Hotel

 

Day 10: Christchurch

Visit the International Antarctic Centre for an informative account of life in Antarctica before an introductory city tour. This afternoon includes a journey on board the Christchurch Tram at your leisure. (B, D)

 

Day 11: Christchurch - Fox Glacier

This morning board the TranzAlpine, renowned as 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. Board your coach and travel to Hokitika, famous for its Greenstone before continuing via Franz Josef to Fox Glacier where time is available to experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the spectacular glaciers. (B, D)

Hotel: Distinction Fox Glacier

 

Day 12: Fox Glacier - Queenstown

See the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel south along the West Coast. Continue 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 out at one of the many fine restaurants. (B)

Hotel for 2 nights: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

 

Day 13: Queenstown

Today is a free day. There are plenty of sightseeing options and your Tour Guide and Coach Captain are available to assist. 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. (B, SD)

 

Day 14: Queenstown - Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

Today travel via Te Anau to Manapouri. Enjoy a picnic lunch as you cruise across the lake to join the Fiordland Navigator for an unforgettable night in the Fiordland National Park. As you cruise through the beauty of Doubtful Sound, naturalist guides will provide commentary and point out the wildlife. As evening falls enjoy a delicious buffet prepared by the on-board chef. (B, L, D)

Overnight: Fiordland Navigator

 

Day 15: Doubtful Sound - Te Anau

Today head back to Deep Cove for the trip back to Manapouri. Return back to the wharf and meet your Ultimate Coach for the journey back to Te Anau. This afternoon cruise across Lake Te Anau to visit the Glow Worm Caves where you will admire the incredible limestone caverns and waterfalls. (B, D)

Hotel: Distinction Hotel & Villas

 

Day 16: Te Anau - Dunedin

Travel via Gore and Balclutha to Dunedin today and board the Silver Fern Railcar for a journey along spectacular clifftops overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Blueskin Bay. On return to Dunedin’s historic Edwardian Railway Station, board the coach for an informative city tour before arriving at your hotel. (B,D)

Hotel for 2 nights: Distinction Dunedin

 

Day 17: Dunedin

Travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle for a guided tour. There’s time to wander around  the gardens before an Ultimate High Tea served in the Grand Ballroom. The rest of the day is free for sightseeing or perhaps a journey through spectacular scenery aboard the Taieri Gorge Limited. (B, D)

 

Day 18: Dunedin - Christchurch

Visit Olveston House then 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. (B, SD)

Hotel: The George

 

Day 19: Christchurch departure

Time to say goodbye; you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday. (B)

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Key Information
  • Price from£5783
  • Duration18 Days