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Great New Zealand Coach and Rail Experience – Premier Escorted Luxury Vacation: Auckland to Christchurch

Duration
16 Days
Prices From:
US$ 6,951

This escorted experience is perfect for train buffs. Travel on coaches, cruises and enjoy iconic New Zealand rail journeys while staying in comfortable accommodation. The journey will take you from Auckland and geothermal centre of Rotorua, to the capital of Wellington before moving onto the South Island and exploring famous Milford Sound.


This 16-day tour takes you across New Zealand by boat and rail, offering a complete portrait of this amazing country.

Your journey across New Zealand’s waters and rails begins in Auckland, which is consistently rated one of the most livable cities on the planet. Auckland is about as pretty as a city can get. It’s framed between two natural harbours that form the rocky isthmus upon which the city stands. Climb the Sky Tower to view the harbours from high above, or visit the Auckland Museum to learn about the city’s history. From Auckland, take a journey aboard a restored steam engine, the Glenbrook Vintage Steam Train, enjoying the picturesque Franklin countryside as people would have 100 years ago. Then board the Ipipiri for an overnight cruise across Waitemata Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf.

Return to land and head south to Rotorua, a geothermal marvel that’s one of New Zealand’s main tourist hubs. In Rotorua you can see mud pools, hot springs, and Pohutu Geyser, which can shoot water 30 metres high. Also take the opportunity to learn about traditional Maori life at the Whakarewarewa village and visit the nearby Hobbiton movie set if you’re a film buff. Head onto Taumarunui to ride a decommissioned railway line and explore the tunnels, bridges, and towns of Whanganui National Park.

Onward to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand and its second largest city. Visit the Fell Locomotive Museum to a see Locomotive H 199, the last engine of its kind remaining in the world. Then ride the red Wellington Cable Car to the Botanical Gardens and look out over Cook Strait. If you want to learn about the nation’s history, visit one of the city’s many museums, such as the national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa. Then board the Interislander ferry to cross the Cook Strait and reach the South Island. Board the Coastal Pacific Train in Picton and make your way down to Christchurch, the South Island’s largest city.

Christchurch is still rebuilding from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 that devastated most of its historical sites. While the city remains in the process of redevelopment, it’s still very much worth visiting, with the Botanical Gardens remaining a great highlight. Once you’ve soaked in the city’s atmosphere, board the TranzAlpine Train to head across the Canterbury Plains and the Southern Alps to the incredible Franz Josef Glacier.

Continue to Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu in the Southern Alps, where you can satisfy your wildest outdoor ambitions. If you want to sky dive from airplanes, bungie jump from bridges, or jet-ski across waters, this is the place to be. Head to Skippers Canyon for outdoor adventure or visit the nearby film sets from The Lord of the Rings. Take a break from adventure by slowing down the pace at the many vineyards or golf courses around the valley.

Pass onto Milford Sound, one of the top travel destinations on the planet. This fjord in southwestern New Zealand is a stunning waterway that culminates in Mitre Peak (Rahotu), the most photographed mountain in the country. Explore Milford Sound and the surrounding Fjordland National Park before heading to Te Anau, the second largest lake in New Zealand. Pass into the harbour of Dunedin before visiting Mount Cook, the highest mountain in New Zealand, and Lake Tekapo before returning to Christchurch for your flight home.


 

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Duration
16 Days
Prices From:
US$ 6,951

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrive Auckland

Arrive in Auckland and be transferred to your hotel. Enjoy some time to settle in and the evening at leisure.

Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Grand Millennium Hotel Auckland

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    Grand Millennium Hotel Auckland



    The Grand Millennium Hotel Auckland is situated in the heart of Auckland within walking distance to restaurants, shops, galleries, museums, and Auckland's exciting America's Cup village. The hotel has fully appointed and stylish rooms that are equipped with modern amenities. The rooms are designed to ...

    The Grand Millennium Hotel Auckland is situated in the heart of Auckland within walking distance to restaurants, shops, galleries, museums, and Auckland's exciting America's Cup village.

    The hotel has fully appointed and stylish rooms that are equipped with modern amenities. The rooms are designed to ensure that you have everything you need, in an utterly modern and delightfully relaxing environment. The in house restaurant serves a wide variety of New Zealand cuisine and other international delicacies. You can also unwind with a fine drink after a tiring day.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Conference Facilities
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Laundry facilities
    • Parking
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Sauna
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

    More Details

Day 2

Auckland

Enjoy the opportunity to discover the 'City of Sails' with our range of sightseeing inclusions. This evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner as you get to know your Tour Director and your fellow travellers.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 3

Auckland, Glenbrook Vintage Railway, Rotorua

This morning travel to Glenbrook. This afternoon, board your coach for your journey to Rotorua. This evening, immerse yourself in Maori culture as you enjoy a traditional Hangi Feast and fascinating performance.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Holiday Inn Rotorua

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    Holiday Inn Rotorua



    Overlooking the famous Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve and Historic Village, the Holiday Inn Rotorua is the ideal base from which to discover this thermal wonderland. See and experience the beauty of Maori culture, spectacular geysers and boiling mud pools.

    Overlooking the famous Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve and Historic Village, the Holiday Inn Rotorua is the ideal base from which to discover this thermal wonderland. See and experience the beauty of Maori culture, spectacular geysers and boiling mud pools.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Concierge
    • Conference Facilities
    • Daycare/Babysitting Service
    • Gift Shop
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Parking
    • Pool (s)
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Room Service
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

    More Details

Day 4

Rotorua

Choose your sightseeing today.

Freedom of Choice Sightseeing:
Perhaps experience the icons of Rotorua at the famed Agrodome Farm Show, then make your way to Rainbow Springs Nature Park to see a working kiwi nursery and visit the fascinating Te Puia Thermal Reserve. Alternatively, take a Hobbiton Movie Set tour for an enthralling insight into the making of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Perhaps drive through forest and farmland to visit New Zealand's largest boiling mud pool and colourful hot springs; or explore Redwood Treewalk with a Maori guide.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 5

Rotorua, Rail Cruising Experience, Tongariro National Park

Farewell Rotorua and travel to Taumarunui. After your self-drive rail cruising experience, travel to Tongariro National Park for a night at the historic and iconic Chateau Tongariro Hotel.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Chateau Tongariro Hotel Mount Ruapehu

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    Chateau Tongariro Hotel Mount Ruapehu



    The Chateau Tongariro Hotel sits nestled in the shadow of three towering active volcanoes and at the very foot of the majestic and sacred Mount Ruapehu. It is located within a 10 minute drive of the Whakapapa Ski Area and within easy reach of day ...

    The Chateau Tongariro Hotel sits nestled in the shadow of three towering active volcanoes and at the very foot of the majestic and sacred Mount Ruapehu. It is located within a 10 minute drive of the Whakapapa Ski Area and within easy reach of day walks, local trout fishing, fantastic alpine golf courses, and many other exciting activities. The hotel has 115 rooms each with its own unique view of the surrounding countryside, Mt Ruapehu, Mt Tongariro or Mt Ngauruhoe.

    Facilities

    • Conference Facilities
    • Games Room
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Sauna
    • Tennis

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    Preferred Hotel
Day 6

Tongariro National Park, Wellington

Today's journey takes you to the town of Featherston. Delight in a relaxing afternoon tea before travelling to Wellington, New Zealand's vibrant capital city by the water. Though it may be small for a capital city, Wellington is brimming with character and charm, alive in its compact CBD. Enjoy time to settle in at your hotel before dinner this evening.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Rydges Wellington

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    Rydges Wellington



    Rydges Wellington is centrally located in downtown Wellington with a unique combination of harbour and city outlooks. The hotel is within walking distance to Lambton Quay, Westpac Stadium, Queens Wharf and Wellington Railway Station making it an ideal choice in the heart of New Zealand's ...

    Rydges Wellington is centrally located in downtown Wellington with a unique combination of harbour and city outlooks. The hotel is within walking distance to Lambton Quay, Westpac Stadium, Queens Wharf and Wellington Railway Station making it an ideal choice in the heart of New Zealand's capital. This contemporary hotel offers 280 rooms with the benefits of modern facilities including free WIFI internet throughout, iPads for guests and fantastic leisure facilities. All rooms feature flat-screen televisions, iPod docking stations and kitchenettes. Enjoy your stay in Wellington, home to innovative art, cultural attractions, great shopping and nature escapes.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Currency Exchange
    • Daycare/Babysitting Service
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Multi-lingual Staff
    • Parking
    • Parking (Valet)
    • Pool (s)
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Sauna

    More Details

Day 7

Wellington

Set off on a tour taking you to the city's best-loved landmarks and sights, including New Zealand's national museum - Te Papa Tongarewa. Afterwards, ride Wellington's iconic Cable Car, gaining a fresh perspective as you gaze out across this coastal city. The afternoon and evening have been left free for you to enjoy Wellington at your own pace. Perhaps grab a bite to eat at one of the spectacular waterfront restaurants.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 8

Wellington, Picton, Coastal Pacific Train, Christchurch

Arrive in Picton and board the Coastal Pacific train and enjoy a journey through the rugged east coast to Christchurch.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Commodore Hotel Christchurch Airport

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    Commodore Hotel Christchurch Airport



    Situated on Christchurch's Memorial Avenue on an idyllic seven acres of land featuring award-winning native New Zealand gardens, Commodore Hotel Christchurch Airport is just minutes away from the Christchurch International Airport and ten minutes into the centre of Christchurch. The hotel features 137 guest accommodation ...

    Situated on Christchurch's Memorial Avenue on an idyllic seven acres of land featuring award-winning native New Zealand gardens, Commodore Hotel Christchurch Airport is just minutes away from the Christchurch International Airport and ten minutes into the centre of Christchurch. The hotel features 137 guest accommodation rooms, conference and meeting facilities and extensive free parking.

    Facilities

    • Business Centre
    • Concierge
    • Conference Facilities
    • Currency Exchange
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry facilities
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Mail and Postal Facilities
    • Multi-lingual Staff
    • Parking
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant
    • Room Service
    • Sauna
    • Secretarial Service
    • Spa(Hot-tub)/Jacuzzi

    More Details

Day 9

Christchurch, TranzAlpine Train, Franz Josef Glacier

Ride the TranzAlpine train today. Disembark at Greymouth and travel by coach to Franz Josef, where you can take in the dramatic terrain of Franz Josef Glacier.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

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    Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier



    Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier sits at the edge of the Westland World Heritage Park and it is just moments from one of New Zealand's most spectacular natural attractions, the Franz Josef Glacier. The hotel is in a premium location, making it the perfect place ...

    Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier sits at the edge of the Westland World Heritage Park and it is just moments from one of New Zealand's most spectacular natural attractions, the Franz Josef Glacier. The hotel is in a premium location, making it the perfect place to base yourself while exploring the magnificent Westland region.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Conference Facilities
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry facilities
    • Parking (for Self Park)
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Spa

    More Details

    Preferred Hotel
Day 10

Franz Josef Glacier, Queenstown

Enjoy breathtaking scenery as you travel along the Haast River. Arrive in Queenstown, New Zealand's 'adventure capital', where this evening you will choose from four tempting restaurants in which to dine.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Novotel Queenstown Lakeside

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    Novotel Queenstown Lakeside



    Located in the very heart of Queenstown, overlooking Lake Wakatipu, Novotel Queenstown Lakeside is within a stone's throw from a range of fabulous stores, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. If you wish to venture a little further into this unspoiled Southern Lakes Region of New Zealand, ...

    Located in the very heart of Queenstown, overlooking Lake Wakatipu, Novotel Queenstown Lakeside is within a stone's throw from a range of fabulous stores, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. If you wish to venture a little further into this unspoiled Southern Lakes Region of New Zealand, you will discover some of the finest outdoor leisure activities in the world. Novotel Queenstown Lakeside has 204 guestrooms, all with balconies and stunning scenic views.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Concierge
    • Daycare/Babysitting Service
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry facilities
    • Parking (Valet)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Spa

    More Details

Day 11

Queenstown

Choose from a range of sightseeing today.

Freedom of Choice Sightseeing:
Lord of the Rings fans will jump at the chance to visit key filming locations, while thrillseekers can try a ride on the famous Shotover Jet Boat, a Skippers Canyon adventure or a river safari along the Dart River. Why not tour the country's premier wine-producing region and savour the local offerings? Nature enthusiasts may enjoy a 4WD experience at Mt Nicholas or a bird walk through the surrounding wilderness. A cruise on Lake Wakatipu is also on offer.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 12

Queenstown, Doubtful Sound

Embark on one of the most scenic drives today as you journey along the into the heart of Fiordland National Park. Then, board a cruise across Lake Manapouri and then travel by coach over Wilmot Pass to Doubtful Sound.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Day 13

Doubtful Sound, Dunedin

Leave the Fiordland region this morning and travel to Dunedin on the east coast of New Zealand. This historic city is often referred to being the Edinburgh of the south.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Scenic Hotel Southern Cross Dunedin

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    Scenic Hotel Southern Cross Dunedin



    Dunedin's largest hotel proudly stands in the heart of the city. Dating back to 1883, this landmark building now blends Dunedin's distinctive charm and heritage with the modern day comforts guests demand. The uniqueness of the historic parts of the hotel, and their commitment to ...

    Dunedin's largest hotel proudly stands in the heart of the city. Dating back to 1883, this landmark building now blends Dunedin's distinctive charm and heritage with the modern day comforts guests demand. The uniqueness of the historic parts of the hotel, and their commitment to excellent customer service will ensure you have a memorable stay.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Business Centre
    • Conference Facilities
    • Daycare/Babysitting Service
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry facilities
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Parking (Paid)
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

    More Details

    Preferred Hotel
Day 14

Taieri Gorge Railway, Dunedin

Ride the Taieri Gorge Railway. Afterwards, you will enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 15

Dunedin, Seasider Train, Mt Cook

Ride the Seasider train, then rejoin the coach and travel to Oamaru, then head north to see the unusual Moeraki Boulders. Continue to World Heritage-listed Mt Cook National Park to view Australasia's highest mountain, Aoraki (Mt Cook), and the alpine scenery. Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, including a visit to the planetarium and a stargazing session with an astronomer.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

The Hermitage Aoraki Mount Cook

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    The Hermitage Aoraki Mount Cook



    Discover the spectacle and drama of New Zealand's Aoraki Mount Cook National Park from the splendour and comfort of The Hermitage Aoraki Mount Cook. The Hermitage, located within Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, has a range of accommodation types available. The main hotel complex contains ...

    Discover the spectacle and drama of New Zealand's Aoraki Mount Cook National Park from the splendour and comfort of The Hermitage Aoraki Mount Cook. The Hermitage, located within Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, has a range of accommodation types available. The main hotel complex contains 164 rooms, while 32 Motel and 20 Chalet self-contained units are located 200-800m away in the village. From an intrepid journey through glacial valleys to a mouth-watering culinary dining adventure, The Hermitage Hotel is the perfect place to base your adventure and discover why this region has endeared itself to Kiwi adventure seekers for so long.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Conference Facilities
    • Currency Exchange
    • Lounge(s)
    • Parking
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

    More Details

Day 16

Mt Cook, Lake Tekapo, Christchurch

Drive along the shores of Lake Pukaki to Lake Tekapo. Visit the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd then continue to Christchurch where you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES: 

2018: Jan 9, 16, 23; Feb 6, 20, 27; Mar 13, 27; Oct 9, 23; Nov 13, 20
2019: Jan 8, 15, 22; Feb 5, 19, 26; Mar 12, 26

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Arrival & departure transfers in New Zealand
  • Travel aboard a spacious, luxurious coach
  • Nightly accommodation as indicated
  • Dedicated APT Tour Director and professional Driver
  • The additional services of expert local guides in select locations
  • All sightseeing, excursions & entrance fees as outlined

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

TB AUSTRALAUC0918CO: NRC16
12 Mar 2019
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