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Ultimate New Zealand Train Journey

Duration: 13 Days

Price: $5,995 NZD

Departure From: Auckland

Departure Date: 10 November 2022

Tour Type: Escorted

Meal Plan: B&B and selected meals

Physical Grading: 2


Join us for a rail tour that can easily boast to be the Ultimate New Zealand Train Journey. Including all of NZ’s scenic rail trips and a private charter, it doesn’t get better than this.

Departing in spring, you can enjoy a stunning panorama of magnificent southern mountain scenery, meandering rivers and coastal plains. You will also experience the scenic south in style travelling by exclusive charter train between Christchurch and Invercargill.

We travel by rail from Auckland to Wellington then also from Blenheim, along the Kaikoura coastline to Christchurch. We take the time to explore the City of Christchurch and the Akaroa Peninsula before we take a day out and journey on the TranzAlpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth and return. We continue by train south to Oamaru, Dunedin and Invercargill with surprises along the way.

Our tour is planned at a leisurely pace with frequent two night stops and our tour escort ensures your 12 day tour is relaxing, fun and hassle free.

Our Auckland to Invercargill Ultimate New Zealand Train Journey gives you an armchair ride through some of the world’s most stunning scenery – New Zealand. Join us, seats are limited.

train greymouth to christchurch

Ultimate New Zealand Train Journey Highlights

  • Northern Explorer train
  • Coastal Pacific train
  • TranzAlpine traverse of the Southern Alps, day return
  • Banks Peninsular and Akaroa tour
  • Exclusive train charter from Christchurch to Invercargill and return
  • Oamaru Whitestone City Experience and Duntroon visit
  • Dunedin City Sights Tour
  • Visit Nugget Point Lighthouse

Ultimate New Zealand Optional Excursions

Each option is highly recommended to make the most of your tour.

dunedin railway station
Dunedin Railway Station

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

Click here for alternate South Island tours.

Tour Inclusions

  • Northern Explorer & Coastal Pacific train journeys
  • TranzAlpine traverse of the Southern Alps in both directions
  • Travel by comfortable coach with panoramic windows
  • Travel on an exclusive charter train from Christchurch to Invercargill
  • One-way flight Christchurch to Auckland
  • Twelve nights accommodation
  • Meals as indicated within the itinerary; 12 breakfasts (B), 7 lunches (L) and 10 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 10 November 2022
  • Non-refundable deposit of $500 per person is due at time of booking
  • Full non-refundable balance of tour payment is due 30 September 2022
  • Bookings made after 30 September 2022, full payment is required
  • A single supplement is available for $800 NZD,
  • Price is subject to change unless paid in full

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Auckland to Wellington (L,D)
Board the popular Northern Explorer train at The Strand in Parnell, Auckland or at any other designated stations on the main trunk line for the daylight adventure through lush rolling hills to Hamilton, Otorohanga and the King Country. Among today’s highlights are the circular climb up the famous engineering feat – the Raurimu Spiral to the Central Plateau and Tongariro National Park with spectacular views of Mt Ruapehu. Continue on to Ohakune, Waiouru and alongside the Rangitikei River to Wellington for a one night stay. Enjoy a welcome dinner at our centrally located hotel.
After breakfast we cross the Cook Strait by ferry to Picton. We join the Coastal Pacific Train for a leisurely journey to Christchurch. This special section of picturesque coastline railway line has recently opened following the 2016 earthquake and the opportunity to see the progress as you pass through Kaikoura, will create a lot of interest. Continue inland through the hill country of North Canterbury to Christchurch, arriving at our inner city hotel in the evening for a four night stay
Depart by coach for a tour of the Banks Peninsula. The drive has spectacular views overlooking bays and beaches before arriving in Akaroa with time to enjoy the history, harbour and French character. We return to Christchurch and the afternoon is free for you to enjoy the city.
After breakfast an informative walking tour of the inner city will be included. The afternoon is yours to explore the city. Why not visit the impressive Antarctic Centre or Wigram Airforce Museum or maybe just relax at the Riverside Markets.
Today board the Tranz Alpine train to traverse the spectacular Southern Alps to the West Coast. Cross the Canterbury Plains through Darfield and climb the mountain range including a stop at Arthurs Pass. Our descent takes us through Otira and the renowned rain forests and wetlands to Greymouth. After some time to explore this West Coast town rejoin the train for your return journey to Christchurch.
We join our exclusive chartered train and travel south through rolling farmland and coastal inlets via Timaru to arrive in Oamaru for a two night stay. This evening join an optional tour to visit the Blue Penguin Colony of Oamaru. Optional Tour Blue Penguin Colony visit (Oamaru) The birds return from their days fishing, make their way across the beach, up a stony ramp and cross to the colony. The colony began when a small number of blue penguins began nesting in a rock quarry area at the edge of Oamaru Harbour in the early 1990s. Today it is Oamaru’s largest tourist attraction.
After breakfast join our local guide for a fascinating walking tour of Oamaru with its Victorian Precinct built of Oamaru stone. Steampunk has grown rapidly over the past 10 years to make Oamaru the “capital of Steampunk” in the world. Free time to enjoy lunch then travel onto Duntroon to visit the Vanished World Centre and learn about the unique fossil history of this area.
After breakfast, board our train and travel through Dunedin, Gore and Balclutha before arriving in Invercargill, to enjoy one of the southernmost cities in the world.
This morning we will have an excursion to Bluff before a free afternoon to explore the city. 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.
Rejoin our train and travel to Balclutha where we will join our coach and have short visit into the Catlins to Nugget Point lighthouse before continuing onto Dunedin for a two night stay.
This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of the ‘Edinburgh of the South’ including Signal Hill, the world’s steepest street, Botanical Gardens, University and the Forsyth Barr sports stadium. The afternoon is free. An optional tour to the Dunedin Royal Albatross Centre is available this afternoon Optional Tour Royal Albatross Centre Albatrosses are the world’s largest seabirds. They normally breed on remote islands and spend at least 85 percent of their lives at sea, well away from land and human view. Dunedin’s Taiaroa Head is the only mainland Royal Albatross breeding colony in the world and is a great day out from Dunedin (group numbers are limited)
After breakfast we head north along the coastal rail route through Palmerston, Oamaru, Timaru and the plains via Ashburton to return to Christchurch and say farewell to our charter train. Enjoy a farewell Dinner tonight to end our wonderful southern rail experience.
Transfer to the airport for return flights to Auckland or other destinations (please ask at time of booking). Tour Ends.

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