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South Island Railway Adventure

Duration: 7 Days

Price: From $4,785 NZD - Save $150

Departure From: Auckland or local airports

Departure Date: 20 October 2022

Tour Type: Escorted

Meal Plan: B&B and selected meals

Physical Grading: 2

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The South Island Railway adventure is a perfect tour for all train lovers and enthusiasts! This is a tour where the TranzAlpine is complimented with private railway visits, plus heritage trains and trams.

The South Island offers many stunning train journeys that journey through the unique landscapes of the south. On this rail adventure we board the world-renowned TranzAlpine train taking us from Christchurch through the towering Southern Alps to Arthurs Pass. We also ride on small private railways to make this an unbelievable train tour.

Take $150 per person of your tour price if you book by 22 June 2022

The South Island Railway Adventure offers comfort and convenience as you travel. Enjoy the services of a tour leader, travel aboard a luxury air-conditioned coach and the tour stays at quality accommodation throughout your journey.

South Island Railway Adventure Tour Highlights

  • Return flights to the South Island
  • Christchurch Tram Restaurant
  • Weka Pass Railway
  • Tranzalpine Rail Service to Arthurs Pass
  • Village Shantytown Heritage Park
  • Walter Peak BBQ Dinner
  • Pleasant Point Railway
  • Ferrymead Heritage Park
New Zealand Railway Adventure
Weka Pass Railway

The TranzAlpine Train

One of the most enjoyable parts of your South Island Railway Adventure will be your one-way TranzAlpine journey to Arthurs Pass. Traveling by train allows you the freedom to relax amongst your fellow travellers, taking in the sights and scenes as you pass through the Southern Alps. Welcome aboard New Zealand’s finest inland rail journey.

TranzAlpine Train Inclusions

  • TranzAlpine One-Way Journey
  • Reserved Seating
  • Panoramic Windows
  • Licensed Cafe for snacks, hot drinks and meals
  • Terrific audio commentary telling the stories of what you can see
  • Air Conditioning and heating for those cooler days
  • Disability Accessible
  • Enjoy the open-air viewing carriage for that photo opportunity
Scenic Journeys luggage van

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

Click here for alternate South Island tours featuring the TranzAlpine train.

Tour Inclusions

  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Meals as indicated within the itinerary; 6 breakfasts (B), and 6 dinners (D)
  • Roadside morning teas where possible
  • Return flights to Christchurch from Auckland, or home locations
  • Welcome and farewell dinners
  • Premium air-conditioned coach travel
  • All sightseeing, cruises, rail travel and entrance fees as specified in the itinerary
  • The services of an experienced tour director

Pricing Notes

  • Advertised price based on per person, twin share
  • Pricing is for departure on 20 October 2022
  • Non-refundable deposit of $200 per person is due at time of booking
  • Full payment is due by 8 September 2022
  • Bookings made after 21 February 2022, full payment is required
  • A single supplement is available for $800 NZD
  • Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination is required
  • Price is subject to change unless paid in full

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Auckland to Christchurch (D)
Our journey starts today with a flight from Auckland to Christchurch. On arrival we will take a short orientation tour of the city before checking into our accommodation. Tonight, we are in for a treat as we dine on the Christchurch Tramway Restaurant. A mixture of old and new, this luxury heritage tram showcases Christchurch’s inner city while serving premium local cuisine and beverages with outstanding service.
After breakfast this morning we travel north to Waikari to embark on an exclusive private charter of a vintage railcar on the historic Weka Pass Railway. We travel on the 12.8-kilometre scenic line through stunning limestone formations, down the escarpment to the Canterbury Plain. This round trip showcases the exceptional beauty of the Waikari and Waipara areas. Afterwards we return to Christchurch stopping for lunch (own cost) along the way. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to spend relaxing or exploring Christchurch. Tonight, we will enjoy dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Today we have a full day of railway highlights and changing landscapes. We begin early with the TranzAlpine train journey across the Canterbury Plains. This scenic passage travels across towering viaducts, through spectacular gorges and into the lush forest of Arthurs Pass National Park. Meeting our coach here, we descend into the West Coast and make our way to the popular heritage park, Shantytown. Here, there will be time to enjoy some lunch (own cost) and explore the living museum before we enjoy a ride on the vintage steam train and try our hand at gold panning in the flowing streams. Departing Shantytown, we travel along the scenic West Coast arriving in Fox Glacier.
Today we enjoy a day of ever-changing spectacular coastal, rainforest, and alpine scenery. The journey along the West Coast features native rainforest, wetlands, bush-fringed lakes, sand dunes and surf-pounded shingle beaches. Heading inland over the Haast Pass, the scenery changes dramatically as the road descends into Otago past the waters of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea. We stop at Arrowtown, a historic gold-mining town before reaching Queenstown, the remainder of the afternoon at leisure. Tonight, our dinner will be one to remember. Cruising across the stunning Lake Wakatipu in the 1912 vintage steamship, the TSS Earnslaw we disembark at Walter Peak High Country Farm. Surrounded by the history of one of the first farms in the region, the ambience of the Colonel’s Homestead provides the perfect location to enjoy a delicious gourmet BBQ dinner which the chef will prepare in front of us. After dinner, enjoy an entertaining brief farm experience including a sheep shearing demonstration. On the magical night-time cruise home, enjoy the camaraderie of a sing-along with the ship’s pianist or breathe in the fresh night air on the moonlit decks as you watch the lights of Queenstown draw nearer.
After breakfast, farewell Queenstown and travel to Dunedin. Along the way, we explore the historic Hayes Engineering Works and Homestead learning the legacy of English immigrants Ernest and Hannah Hayes, who settled in Central Otago in 1882. Explore the homestead and enjoy lunch (own cost) at leisure in the onsite cafe before travelling on to Dunedin. Envisaged as the "Edinburgh of the South", Dunedin was founded in 1848 and is characterised by the permanence of many handsome stone buildings and historical monuments with a clear Scottish heritage. Dinner tonight will be at our hotel.
Making our way back to Christchurch, we stop at Oamaru, a gorgeous harbour town famous for some of New Zealand’s best 19th century architecture. Here, enjoy a leisurely lunch (own cost) perhaps in the Victorian precinct. Continuing our journey, we enjoy an exclusively chartered ride at Pleasant Point Railway. Full of history, this train journey travels along one and a half miles of the original 38 mile long Fairlie line that was closed after 93 years of service. Volunteers have brought this line back to a shadow of its former glory. On arrival into Christchurch, we enjoy a farewell dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Today after breakfast we have one final stop to enjoy; the Ferrymead Heritage Park. Inspired by the first railway in New Zealand that opened in 1863 running from Ferrymead into Central Christchurch, the park features an early 1900s (Edwardian) township complete with its own school, church, jail, railway station and more. Today our tour concludes with our flight from Christchurch to Auckland.

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