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Ultimate Rail, Cruise & Coach Experience

18 nights from €6,029 per person

  • Included:
  • Accommodation
  • In resort assistance & 24 hour contact centre
Click here for Pricing & Dates

Overview

Stunning gorges, fascinating thermal grounds, impressive fiords, soaring mountains…New Zealand’s sceneries are second-to-none. Discover all the beauty New Zealand has to offer with this luxury 18-night small group tour, starting in Auckland and ending in Christchurch.

Travelling on a luxury coach with panoramic windows and reclining seats, you’ll get the chance to explore both island’s best attractions, including Milford Sound, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Lake Wakatipu, Te Anau, and Rotorua. Hop off your coach from time to time and board a variety of amazing train journeys, offering incredible views as you relax in style. From one of the world’s greatest railways – TranzAlpine, to the historic Glenbrook Vintage Railway and Silver Fern Seasider, the rail journeys included in the trip are fantastic.

You’ll take to the water, too. A phenomenal Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise is one of the main highlights of the trip, whilst we also love the trip on the vintage TSS Earnslaw that takes you over Lake Wakatipu to a gourmet BBQ.

This is the perfect opportunity to not only discover New Zealand’s natural splendour, but to make new like-minded friends along the way. With a small group tour, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to get to know each other as you embark on this great adventure (GP)

Highlights

  • Embark on a Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
  • Cruise Lake Te Anau and explore the fascinating Glow Worm Caves
  • Hop on board one of the world’s greatest rail journeys, TranzAlpine
  • Discover Rotorua’s boiling mud pools and geysers
  • Delve into New Zealand’s culture at Te Papa, District Lakes Museum, Larnarch Castle, and the International Antarctic Centre
  • Enjoy city tours of Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin
  • Stay in premium 4.5 star hotels and enjoy a personal small group experience

 

Details

Day 1

Auckland

Once you’ve arrived in Auckland you will be met by a representation who will transfer you to your hotel for the night. You can meet your travelling companions over a pre-dinner drink tonight.

Overnight: Crowne Plaza Auckland

Dinner included.

Day 2

Bay of Islands

Today you will board your luxury coach and travel to Parry Kauri Park to discover the majestic Kauri Tree. After an informative talk at the Kauri Museum in Matakohe, you will journey to Paihia - a charming town in the Bay of Islands - where you’ll embark on a fascinating guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Here is where the signing of the treaty between the Maori tribes and the British took place.

Overnight: Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands (Deluxe Room)

Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 3

Bay of Islands

The whole day is free for you to explore the Bay of Islands as you please. There’s plenty of activities to take advantage of, including a Cape Reinga coach trip via Ninety Mile Beach, or a scenic dinner cruise along the islands.

Overnight: Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands (Deluxe Room)

Breakfast included.

Day 4

Auckland

Day four will be spent sailing on board a luxury catamaran, stopping at Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock. As you sail across the water, be sure to look out for bottlenose and common dolphin. After your trip, you’ll travel south to Auckland.

Overnight: Crowne Plaza Auckland

Breakfast and dinner included

Day 5

Rotorua

Begin the day with a city sights tour of Auckland, before venturing to Glenbrook Vintage Railway for a fun 15km trip back in time on a wonderfully restored vintage steam train. On your return, you will visit the restoration workshop and enjoy a lovely morning tea. Next you will journey to Rotorua, visiting Rainbow Springs and enjoying a Kiwi Encounter experience along the way.

Overnight: Regent of Rotorua

Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 6

Rotorua

Breakfast is a special affair today, taking place at the Skyline Rotorua after a scenic gondola ride. A decadent champagne breakfast, spectacular views and a fun luge ride afterwards – what could be a better start to the day?

Next is the Agrodome, where you’ll enjoy a whole hour of farming entertainment, before travelling to Te Puia to see the interesting boiling mud pools and geysers that makes Rotorua so well-known. In the evening, you’ll enjoy a traditional Maori Hangi and concert.

Overnight: Regent of Rotorua

Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 7

Wellington

Begin your day with a journey along the Thermal Explorer Highway, where you’ll come across the beautiful Huka Falls. You’ll then have some free time to explore the charming lakeside town of Lake Taupo, before continuing on to Wellington via Tongariro National Park.

Overnight: InterContinental Wellington

Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 8

Wellington

The morning will be spent at Gallipoli: A Scale of War exhibition at Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum, to learn about fascinating New Zealand stories. You’ll then enjoy an extensive city tour back on your coach, before having the rest of the day and evening free for you to enjoy as you wish.

Overnight: InterContinental Wellington

Breakfast included.

Day 9

Christchurch

The Interislander Ferry is your first port of call today, sailing over the Cross Strait and through the stunning Milford Sounds to get to Picton. From here you’ll hop on a new coach and journey through St Arnaud, beech Maruia Forest and Lewis Pass all the way to Christchurch.

Overnight: The George

Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 10

Christchurch

Today you will begin with a visit to the International Antarctic Centre, which will teach you about life in Antarctica. Afterwards, you will enjoy an introductory tour of Christchurch, before hopping on the Tram – one of the city’s leading attractions, and then spending the evening as you please.

Overnight: The George

Breakfast included.

Day 11

Arthur’s Pass & Fox Glacier

The beginning of day 11 will be spent on the TranzAlpine, known as one of the greatest rail journeys in the world. Travelling over magnificent viaducts, impressive gorges and sweeping river valleys, you’ll soon reach Arthur’s Pass, nestled in the centre of the Southern Alps. From here you’ll board your coach and travel to Hokitika to see its famous Greenstone, before continuing via Franz Josef to Fox Glacier. You’ll have time to experience a scenic flight over the glaciers in the afternoon (optional and weather permitting).

Overnight: Distinction Fox Glacier

Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 12

Queenstown

Your first journey of the day is along the West Coast, marvelling at the snow-capped Southern Alps along the way. Continue via the stunning Haast Pass and arrive in Arrowtown for a visit to the Lakes District Museum. Afterwards, you’ll travel on to Queenstown for an evening at your leisure.

Overnight: Heritage Queenstown

Breakfast included.

Day 13

Queenstown

The whole day is free for you to explore Queenstown at your own pace. In the evening, you will board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station, where you’ll tuck in to a gourmet BBQ at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner and a short farm tour, you’ll board the TSS Earnslaw again and sing alongside the piano as you return to Queenstown.

Overnight: Heritage Queenstown

Day 14

Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

Today you will travel via Te Anau to Manapouri, before enjoying a delightful picnic lunch as you cruise across the glacial lake. After a quick drive over the Wilmot Pass you will board the Fiordland Navigator for a spectacular overnight cruise, sailing through the phenomenal Doubtful Sound as naturalist guides provide commentary and help point out resident wildlife. In the evening, you’ll tuck in to a sumptuous carvery prepared by the onboard chef.

Overnight: Fiordland Navigator

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 15

Te Anau

A hearty breakfast will set you up for today. Soon you’ll head back to Deep Cove for the cruise back to Manapouri, where you’ll meet your coach again and drive to Lake Te Anau to discover the remarkable Glow Worm Caves, marvelling at cascading waterfalls and exploring the Glow Worm Grotto.

Overnight: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas

Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 16

Dunedin

Today you will drive to Dunedin, where you will board the Silver Fern railcar to venture along the impressive clifftops that overlook Blueskin Bay. Once you’ve returned to Dunedin’s historic Edwardian Railway Station, you’ll board the coach for an informative tour around the city.

Overnight: Distinction Dunedin

Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 17

Dunedin

In the morning, you will travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnarch Castle, where you’ll enjoy a guided tour, a walk around the Garden of International Significance, and a High Tea served in the Grand Ballroom. Once you’ve retuned to the city, you’ll have the rest of the afternoon free. We’d recommend boarding the Taieri Gorge Limited for a gorgeous journey through stunning scenery (optional).

Overnight: Distinction Dunedin

Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 18

Christchurch

The day will start with a brief visit to Olveston House – a prestigious historic home – before a journey to Oamaru to see its famous limestone. The evening will be spent at a farewell dinner with your fellow travel companions.

Overnight: The George

Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 19

Christchurch

This is your last day of the tour. Say goodbye to your new-found friends and transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

  • 18 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 morning teas, and 14 dinners including a welcome drink and dinner
  • Travel on a 20 seater luxury coach, with reclining seats and panoramic windows
  • Return airport transfers with a personal meet and greet on arrival
  • Professional Coach Captain
  • All accommodation in 4.5 star hotels with premium comfort, great facilities and ideal locations
  • Complimentary daily on board WiFi allowance
  • Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
  • 3 rail journeys
  • 5 cruises
  • Pre-paid attractions: Waitangi Treaty Grounders, Hole in the Rock cruise, Kauri Museum, Glenbrook Vintage Railway, Kiwi Encounter, Rainbow Springs, Skyline Rotorua gondola and luge ride, Agrodome, thermal mud pools and geysers in Rotorua, Te Puia Maori Hangi and concert, visit to Te Papa, Interislander Ferry cruise, International Antarctic Centre, Christchurch tram, TranzAlpine rail journey, TSS Earnslaw cruise, Lakes District Museum, Lake Te Anau cruise and visit to the Glow Worm Caves, Siler Fern Seasider rail journey, Larnarch Castle, Olveston House, city tours of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

What’s Not Included

  • Meals not listed
  • Optional attractions: Cape Reinga coach trip via Ninety Mile Beach, Bay of Islands dinner cruise, scenic flight over Fox Glacier, Taieri Gorge Limited rail journey.

This tour has set departure dates.

Guaranteed departure dates for 2018 include: Nov 14, Nov 20, Nov 28, Dec 18

Guaranteed departure dates for 2019 include: Jan 6, Jan 11, Jan 26, Feb 10, Feb 17, Mar 6, Mar 8, Mar 15, Mar 28, Apr 2, Apr 15, May 3, Sep 7, Sep 21, Oct 10, Oct 12, Nov 14, Nov 20, Dec 18

Guaranteed departure dates for 2020 include: Jan 6, Jan 11, Jan 26, Feb 10, Feb 17, Mar 8, Mar 15, Mar 28, Apr 15, May 3

Please enquire for availability as this is a popular tour and spaces will book up quickly.

Book today

Talk to our travel experts for more information and to book or tailor-make your holiday.

Tralee 066 7164440

Dublin 01 6649930

9am - 9pm Mon - Sun

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Hannah was very helpful and made the decision making easier. We both thoroughly enjoyed our holiday and all the staff were extremely professional and efficient. - Peter Stanton

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