Springtime South Island Rail Tour

Duration: 14 Days

Price: $5,754 NZD

Departure From: Auckland

Departure Date: 9 November 2023

Tour Type: Escorted

Meal Plan: B&B and selected meals

Physical Grading: 2/5


The Springtime South Island Rail Tour provides a stunning panorama of magnificent southern mountain scenery, meandering rivers and coastal plains. Experience the scenic south in style travelling by train and luxury coach.

Our south island rail tour takes us by train from Auckland to Wellington then also from Picton, along the Kaikoura coastline to Christchurch. We take the time to explore the City of Christchurch and the Akaroa Peninsula before we travel on the TranzAlpine Train from Christchurch to Greymouth. The West Coast, Queenstown, Te Anau, Milford Sound, Stewart Island are all included before a special day in The Catlins.

South Island LOCO Journeys
Milford Sound

Our south island rail tour is planned at a leisurely pace with frequent two night stops and our tour escort ensures your 14-day south island rail tour is relaxing, fun and hassle free.

South Island Rail Tour Highlights

  • Northern Explorer Train
  • Coastal Pacific Train
  • Trans Alpine Train
  • Wellington City Tour
  • A wonderful day to Akaroa and Banks Peninsula
  • Southern Alps and the rugged West Coast
  • West Coast Glacier experiences
  • Time in Queenstown and the panormaic views of Lake Wakitipu
  • Lake Te Anau
  • Bill Richardson’s Transport World, Invercargill
  • Lunchtime scenic cruise of Milford Sound
  • Stewart Island day tour experience
  • Enjoy the Catlins
  • TSS Earnslaw Cruise and gourmet BBQ dinner
  • Airfare from Dunedin to Auckland (and other home destinations)
South Island Rail Tour
Queenstown, The Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu

South Island Rail Tour Accommodation

Accommodation has been carefully selected on location, a high standard of comfort and friendly, helpful service. Rooms have single, twin or double beds, en-suite bathroom, television, radio, telephone and generally have tea and coffee making facilities.

South Island Rail Tour Optional Extras

Franz Josef and Fox Glacier Helicopter Flight

Imagine flying the entire length of the Fox Glacier and there is time for a glacier snow landing before descending the Glacier Valley, with the mountains behind.

Queenstown Helicopter Flight

Look down on spectacular scenery as you cross Lake Wakatipu with a special landing during the flight. Continue over Ben Lomond and the famous historic Skippers Canyon. See the renowned steep canyon walls of the Shotover River and fly past Coronet Peak and the Wakatipu Basin. 

Take the option to see Queenstown by air on a scenic helicopter flight

Te Anau Glow Worm Caves
Described by the Sydney Morning Herald as “one of the most unusual limestone cave experiences on the planet’, the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves is a must-do for anyone visiting Fiordland.

Ulva Island Explorer

With lunch included this cruise will showcase some of Paterson Inlet’s stunning scenery with its hidden coves and un-spoilt beaches. While on board, keep a look out for fur seals and penguins. Paterson inlet is home to renowned wildlife sanctuary Ulva Island and we’ll stop there for a 45 minute guided walk. (Group numbers are limited).

Stewart Island Village and Bays Tour
Gain an entertaining insight into New Zealand’s southernmost community, and learn about the history and environment of Stewart Island. You will have plenty of time to get off the bus for photo stops and short walks. Highlights include a visit to the gateway of Rakiura National Park, beautiful Horseshoe Bay and Observation Rock. 

These optional tours attract a separate charge and can be included at time of final payment.

For a detailed itinerary, departure details, and booking conditions, please see below.

Click here for alternate South Island Rail Tours

Tour Inclusions

  • One-way Northern Explorer, Coastal Pacific and TranzAlpine Train
  • Thirteen nights hotel accommodation
  • Travel by comfortable coach with panoramic windows
  • One way airfare Dunedin to Auckland
  • Meals as indicated within the itinerary; 13 breakfasts (B), 5 lunches (L) and 13 dinners (D)
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees as specified in the itinerary.
  • Travel escorts

Pricing Notes

  • Advertised price based on per person, twin share
  • Pricing is for departure on 9 Novmber 2023
  • Non-refundable deposit of $500 per person is due at time of booking
  • Full non-refundable balance of tour payment is due 15 September 2023
  • Bookings made after 15 September 2023, full payment is required
  • A single supplement is available
  • A credit card surcharge will apply
  • Price is subject to change unless paid in full

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 | Auckland - Wellington (D,L)
Board your carriage on the Northern Explorer train for the daylight journey from Auckland to Wellington. Among today’s highlights is the circular climb up the famous engineering feat – the Raurimu Spiral and enjoy spectacular views of Mt Ruapehu. Continue alongside the Rangitikei River to Palmerston North, before the scenic Kapiti Coast and the run into the capital for an overnight stay. Welcome dinner tonight.
Enjoy a morning city tour of our Capital City, before free time this afternoon to explore the Wellington waterfront. Dinner in the hotel tonight.
This morning we sail on the interislander ferry, via the spectacular Marlborough Sounds to Picton. We then continue our journey onboard the Coastal Pacific Train travelling along the picturesque Kaikoura Coast to Christchurch. We pass through Kaikoura famous for its whale watching and head inland through the rolling hill country of North Canterbury.
Depart by coach for a day on Banks Peninsula. The drive through natural beauty has spectacular views overlooking bays and beaches before arriving in Akaroa. Time to enjoy the history, shops, the Giants Garden, harbour and French character. Lunch at own expense before returning to Christchurch.
This morning board the Tranz Alpine train to journey across the spectacular Southern Alps to the rugged West Coast. We climb the mountain range with scenic stops along the way including Arthurs Pass. We continue through the renowned rain forests and wetlands to arrive in Greymouth. Transfer to our coaches and enjoy a scenic drive to Franz Josef for our two night stay.
A sightseeing day to this unique part of New Zealand. The opportunity to explore both Franz Josef Glacier and Fox or simply a day to relax. If you prefer an optional helicopter ride to Franz Josef Glacier is available. Return to Franz Josef for dinner and a relaxing evening.
Today our journey continues south past Fox Glacier winding through lush forests and eventually back to the coast line to the last village before catapulting you into the mountains and over one of the most spectacular mountain passes, the Haast Pass. The road then continues alongside the two mountain fed lakes of Wanaka and Hawea before entering the wine country at Cromwell and on into the Kawarau Gorge arriving into Queenstown late afternoon for a two night stay.
Today is at leisure to enjoy ‘The Jewel of the South’. Maybe take the gondola to admire the panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu or for the more adventurous a helicopter ride above Lake Wakatipu. The choices are extensive. This evening we enjoy a cruise aboard the TSS Earnslaw before a special goumet BBQ dinner at Walter Peak Station.
After breakfast we follow the Lake Wakatipu shoreline through farmland to the beautiful Lake Te Anau for a two night stay. An afternoon optional tour is available to the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves.
Drive through mountain beech forests framed by spectacular snow-capped mountains and the Homer Tunnel before emerging at Milford Sound for your lunch time cruise on the stunning fiord.
After breakfast we drive along the scenic southern route and rich Southland countryside to Invercargill. After lunch the afternoon is free. Why not discover the world class vintage truck collection at Bill Richardson Transport World, or learn about the legend of speed - Burt Munro at E Hayes Motorworks. Or simply take a stroll through the botanical gardens.
This morning we travel to Bluff and cross Foveaux Strait by large modern catamaran to Stewart Island. Once on the island you can enjoy an optional leisurely cruise of beautiful Paterson Inlet and Ulva Island or explore the small township of Oban by foot. Return mid-afternoon to our Invercargill hotel. Dinner is included tonight. Stewart Island’s densely forested hills, tiny population and untouched coastline of rocky outcrops and creamy golden sand beaches make it a natural refuge for marine and bird life and a wonderful destination for people who value nature and wild places.
After breakfast we drive through the Catlins. Highlights include podocarp forests, rugged coastlines, hidden lakes and stunning waterfalls. The natural landscapes are enthralling. We continue north to Dunedin to our inner city hotel and our farewell dinner
Leisurely morning in Dunedin before flying home. Tour Ends

For more information about this tour, price queries and updates on specials, please Enquire Now.