New Zealand

by Rail, Sea and Land

Tour Highlights

New Zealand is known for incredible scenery, hospitable people and an exceptional quality of life.
What better way to see this magnificent country than by a combination of stunning rail journeys, exciting cruises and scenic coach touring. On this unique tour we will enjoy the geological wonders, picturesque beaches and traditional Maori culture that defines the North Island; and revel at the rugged peaks, deep fjords and rural atmosphere of the South Island.

On the North Island we will travel aboard the Overlander Train, enabling us to view the snowcapped peaks, plummeting gorges, sprawling plains and the famous Raurimu Spiral (an engineering masterpiece).

On the South Island, the TranzCostal Train is considered one of the world’s most scenic train journeys as it snakes through 22 tunnels and over 175 bridges. We will cross the great Canterbury plains on the TranzAlpine and follow the Waimakariri River into the magnificent Southern Alps. Dunedin’s prestige tourist train, the Taieri Gorge Rail, will take us on a spellbinding journey across wrought iron viaducts and through tunnels carved by hand more than 100 years ago.

This tour will also include some wonderful adventures on the sea. In the Bay of Islands we will cruise crystal waters to Cape Brett Lighthouse and the famous “Hole in the Rock”. From Wellington, the inter-island ferry will take us through the picturesque Marlborough and Queen Charlotte Sounds to the South Island. An evening steamship ride on the TSS Earnslaw across Lake Wakatipu will take us to a special farm house dinner and wine tasting. One of the most scenic cruises will be on Milford Sound in Fjordland National Park - an opportunity to view Bowen Falls and towering Mitre Peak. Our final cruise will be along the beautiful Otago Peninsula - home to an exciting diversity of wildlife including fur seals, dolphins, sea lions, penguins, albatross and other rarely seen ocean birds.

So join us on this unique tour of one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

* This tour is suitable only for the fit and active traveller.

Tentative Itinerary

We depart for Dunedin, with a change of planes in Vancouver and Auckland.
We arrive in Dunedin and transfer to our hotel. The rest of the day is free until our Welcome Dinner this evening - a Scottish feast with a special Haggis Ceremony!
This morning we embark on a wildlife cruise along the Otago Peninsula where we see the only mainland nesting place in the world for the Northern Royal Albatross. Our afternoon excursion includes a visit to Larnach Castle - known for its unique architecture and fascinating (and sometimes scandalous!) history. Dinner tonight is at Speights Brewery - home of the South Island’s legendary beer!
Today we board Dunedin’s prestige tourist train - the Taieri Gorge Rail, for a journey through the rugged and spectacular Taieri River Gorge. The journey takes us across viaducts and through tunnels carved by hand more than 100 years ago. After we arrive in Pukerango we continue by coach to Queenstown.

We travel through breathtaking Fjordland National Park to Milford Sound for an unforgettable cruise. We see the spectacular Bowen Falls and towering Mitre Peak, and enjoy a buffet lunch on board.  
At leisure in Queenstown. There are many activities available. This evening we board a vintage steamship and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station, where we enjoy the best of New Zealand’s high country cuisine. After dinner we have a short farm tour, then return to Queenstown.
We travel through sub-tropical rainforest and the wild western coast to the glacier town of Franz Joseph.
Today’s unforgettable journey is aboard the TranzAlpine Rail - a spectacular trip through the Canterbury Plains, and along scenic river valleys and majestic Southern Alps. The trip ends in Christchurch where we enjoy a 2-night stay.
Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island and is known as “the most English city outside of England”. We will enjoy a city tour, an afternoon at leisure and dinner out at a local restaurant.
We board one of the world's most scenic train journeys - the Coastal Pacific, which takes us through 22 tunnels and across 175 bridges. We travel along the Pacific Ocean, through some of New Zealand’s finest horticultural and farmland areas, and we’ll see amazing wildlife such as dolphins, seals and penguins from the comfort of our train carriage. We then cruise through picturesque Queen Charlotte Sound on the inter-island ferry to the North Island and New Zealand’s capital city - Wellington.
This morning we visit Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum, and enjoy a tour of the “best little capital city in the world”. The afternoon is at leisure to further explore friendly Wellington.
We board the Northern Explorer Train and travel through Tongariro National Park, where we see snowcapped peaks, deep gorges and sprawling plains. We continue by coach along the Thermal Explorer Highway to Lake Taupo for some free time to enjoy this scenic lakeside town before finishing in Rotorua.
We begin with a breakfast cruise on beautiful Lake Rotorua, and then visit Rainbow Springs Nature Park - a native wildlife park where you can hand feed the trout and have a “Kiwi Encounter”. We continue on to see the bubbling mud pools and thermal geysers and meet the local Maori people at the Te Puia Thermal Village. This afternoon we visit the Agrodome to see a world famous farm show featuring a variety of sheep and a demonstation by the talented working dogs. This evening we enjoy a hangi - a traditional Maori feast prepared in pits the way it’s been done for centuries! Traditional Maori music and war dances are part of the fun!
We head north through some of New Zealand’s most fertile farmland, and proceed to Paihia, the main tourist town in the beautiful Bay of Islands.
This morning we cruise through the scenic waters of the Bay of Islands to Cape Brett Lighthouse, and through the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’ (weather permitting). Then we visit the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds - home to New Zealand’s founding document. The afternoon is at leisure.
We head south to Waipoua Forest to see the Kauri Tree - one of the world’s tallest at 50 metres, and to visit the Kauri Museum - an interactive cultural experience. Then we proceed to Auckland.
After a morning at leisure we enjoy a tour of the “city of sails”, including the must-see Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World. Later, we transfer to the airport for our flight home, via Vancouver.

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