Wellington to Christchurch; Coastal Highlights

Duration: 6 Days

Price: from NZ $2,999

Departure From: Wellington

Departure Date: Monthly from October 2023

Tour Type: Escorted Tour

Meal Plan: B&B and selected meals

Physical Grading: 2/5


Join us on this succinct guided scenic Wellington to Christchurch rail tour across the Cook Strait, past coastal beaches and through mountain valleys.

On our Classic Coastal Highlights Tour, your journey will begin with a cruise by ferry through Wellington Harbour and across Cook Strait to the magnificent Marlborough Sounds.

From Picton, you’ll voyage through vineyards and along the Pacific Coast to Kaikoura aboard the Coastal Pacific train. 

Your final part of your Wellington to Christchurch rail journey is again aboard the Coastal Pacific train, meandering alongside secluded beaches on your way to Christchurch.

Wellington to Christchurch rail

Wellington to Christchurch Rail Tour Highlights

  • Start your Wellington to Christchurch rail tour by sailing across the scenic Cook Strait
  • Sip world-class wine along the vines in Marlborough
  • Glide along untouched coastline by scenic rail
  • Whales, dolphins, and sea life – spend a day by the ocean in Kaikōura
  • Be captivated by the storytelling of your Tour Director throughout your great journey
Marlborough Wine Tour LOCO Journeys
Enjoy a visit to Marlborough and its famed vineyards.

Wellington to Christchurch Rail Tour Optional Excursions

Each option on our is highly recommended to make the most of your Auckland to Christchurch rail highlights tour. Ask at the time of booking.

Whale Watch Kaikoura – Head offshore for a fantastic display of Humpback whales in a stunning natural environment.

Punting on the Avon – Enjoy the peace and tranquility of punting on the Avon River through the heart of Christchurch

TranzAlpine Train – Many would argue your journey is not complete without experiencing New Zealand’s premier rail trip. Add a day return ride to your tour from Christchurch once you have completed your Wellington to Christchurch rail journey.

The TranzAlpine Train – An optional extra

For a detailed itinerary, departure details, and booking conditions for your Wellington to Christchurch rail tour, please see below.

Departure Dates from Auckland:

  • 6 October 2023 – SOLD OUT
  • 10 October 2023
  • 28 November 2023
  • 12 December 2023
  • 2 January 2024
  • 30 January 2024
  • 27 February 2024
  • 5 March 2024
  • 26 March 2024
  • 9 April 2024

All Departure Dates Are Guaranteed to Operate

Click here for alternate New Zealand tours.

Tour Inclusions

  • Northern Explorer Train Journey
  • Marlborough Wine Tour
  • Christchurch City Tour
  • Cook Strait Ferry Crossing
  • Coastal Pacific Scenic Train Journey
  • Free time and optional excursions to personalise your holiday
  • Private Coaches to reach regional sightseeing
  • Services of our Experienced Tour Director
  • 5 Breakfasts, 2 Dinners and 1 meals on the train
  • 3.5 – 4 star hotel accommodation (twin share)
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees as specified in the itinerary.

Pricing Notes

  • Advertised price based on per person, twin share
  • Non-refundable deposit of 20% per person is due at the time of booking
  • Full non-refundable balance of tour payment is required 66 days prior to departure booking
  • A single supplement is available or you can choose to match up with another single traveller
  • Price is subject to change unless paid in full
  • Full terms and conditions will be advised at the time of booking.
  • Maximum group size of 35

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 | Wellington
Kia Ora! Welcome to Wellington – New Zealand’s capital city! Wellington is known for its world-class dining, great coffee and eccentric shops. After checking into your hotel and reading your welcome letter from your Tour Director, head out and explore all that Wellington has to offer. This is the perfect opportunity to get cultured at Te Papa Museum or grab a drink at one of the many quirky bars on Cuba Street. You may even fancy a ride on the cable car. After an exciting day on the town, your tour will officially begin as you join your fellow travellers and Tour Director at this evening’s welcome reception.
This morning you will say poroporoaki ki te motu raki (good-bye to the North Island) as you sail to the South Island, crossing the Cook Strait on the Interislander Ferry. As the shores of the North Island slowly disappear, enjoy a hearty seafaring breakfast on board. Around midday, you will be spoiled with captivating harbour views as you enter the Queen Charlotte Sound. Admire the beauty of this coastal paradise as you arrive at the gateway of the South Island, Picton. Step off the Interislander Ferry and join your next world-class experience onboard a Marlborough Wine Tour!
After enjoying a delightful breakfast, the morning is yours to explore. You’ll hear the hoot of the Coastal Pacific train as it pulls in, to bring you on yet another scenic experience. This time – along the rugged coastline of the South Island. On this train journey, you will glide across remote beaches, between mountains and sea, on a timeless voyage of breath-taking beauty. Keep an eye out for the fur seals lazing on the rocks! Once in Kaikoura, the evening will be yours to enjoy some iconic kai moana (seafood) either at the sublime Sudima Kaikoura or at one of the popular restaurants.
Today will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You will have the opportunity to go whale watching! Enjoy today’s optional thrill of an up-close encounter with the world's largest-toothed predator, the Giant Sperm Whale who live in the waters of Kaikoura year-round. Want to get an aerial experience of the wildlife? Why not request a plane ride to capture the true grandeur of it all? Whether you have decided to go whale watching or swimming with the dolphins and seals, we're sure you will be feeling peckish. Head to the hub of the action on the main street to sample some iconic New Zealand food - you can't go wrong with the humble Kiwiana fish and chips. Work off the deep-fried delights by wandering through the wonderful array of local artisan stores and souvenir shops. In the late afternoon, your journey will continue, once again, on the Coastal Pacific Train en route to Christchurch, or “The Garden City”. The spectacular scenery won’t cease to amaze as you journey south through the rolling hills and extensive plains. Enjoy the relaxing journey with a glass of wine in hand.
Christchurch, the hub for South Island exploration, is also a wonderful city that blends modern architecture and technology with the existing 19th-century Anglican ‘gothic revival’ architectural influence. Often remembered for its earthquake in 2011, the city is rebuilding itself as a multicultural haven. So, without further delay, jump on the historic tram to learn the history, tales and culture of Ōtautahi Christchurch. Enjoy your free time as you explore the Arts Centre, Quake City Museum, Christchurch Art Gallery, and Botanical Gardens. Ride on the city tram to uncover Christchurch's great history, or relax as you punt on the Avon River. There is also a multitude of delicious cafés tucked into quaint side streets we're sure you will love. If you are in the mood for something different, set off for Akaroa, an ‘incroyable’ French coastal settlement just an hour and half from the city centre. This evening is your final hurrah as you enjoy a farewell dinner. This is the perfect time to reminisce and share photos and phone numbers with your new friends.
Your journey will end after enjoying a final breakfast with your fellow travellers. If you are keen on further adventures, including an optional excursion on the TranzAlpine, please let us know at the time of booking.

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