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This once-in-a-lifetime rail holiday will combine three iconic train journeys with five days of driving the untamed West Coast from Queenstown, home to giant glaciers, waterfalls and blowholes. Traverse the South Island’s breathtaking landscapes aboard the TranzAlpine, one of the world’s great train journeys from Greymouth to Christchurch. Journey along the spectacular coastline from Christchurch to Picton aboard the Coastal Pacific before cruising the Cook Strait to New Zealand’s capital city of Wellington. Explore the rural heart of the North Island as you step aboard the historic Northern Explorer to Auckland before collecting another car and heading to Northland. After a 3-night stay in the Bay of Islands, you head back to Auckland which concludes your iconic New Zealand rail holiday.

  • Airfare to Queenstown and return from Auckland
  • 14 night accommodation at 3* or 4* hotels
  • 9 day car rental, including insurance
    • 5-day car hire from Queenstown Airport to Greymouth Station
    • 4-day car hire from Auckland City and return
  • Private transfers between train stations, hotels and ferry terminals
  • Milford Sound Cruise with a packed lunch and transfers from Queenstown
  • TranzAlpine Rail Journey from Greymouth to Christchurch
  • Coastal Pacific Rail Journey from Christchurch to Picton
  • Interislander Ferry Journey from Picton to Wellington
  • Northern Explorer Rail Journey from Wellington to Auckland
  • Hole in the Rock Cruise ex Paihia
Sep 14, 2024 from $5659
Sep 28, 2024 from $6209
Oct 5, 12, 19, 2024 from $6109
Oct 26, Nov 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 2024 from $6249
Dec 7, 2024 from $6179
Toronto: add from $400 more
Montreal: add from $470 more
Victoria, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton: add from $300 more

Price is per person – based on double occupancy
Other departure cities are available – contact us for more details!

Not included:
Electronic Travel Authority for New Zealand : An NZeTA request costs NZD $17 on our free mobile app, or NZD $23 if completed online https://nzeta.immigration.govt.nz/ – Optional excursions – Meals – Beverages – Items of a personal nature – Gratuities to hotel personnel, guides and drivers.

Arrive into Queenstown, collect your luggage and pick up your rental car. Make your way to your accommodation for the first nights of your South Island holiday.
Overnight in Queenstown.

Today, join your guided coach tour to Milford Sound. You wind your way south around the edge of Lake Wakatipu towards Te Anau and Fiordland National Park. The first stop will be a morning tea break at Te Anau before travelling onto Milford. There are various photo stops on your way into the Sound. Mitre Peak will greet on arrival into Milford Sound and your tour connects with a boutique small boat cruise. Enjoy your packed lunch box on-board while cruising past sheer cliff faces and cascading waterfalls. You journey back to Queenstown in the comfort of your guided coach arriving back about 7.30pm.
Overnight in Queenstown.

After breakfast, check out of your accommodation. Heading out of town, make a stop in Arrowtown, a quaint historic village with crafts and boutique shops before leaving the Southern Lakes region. Travel north over the Crown Range, through Wanaka and up to Glacier Country. Enjoy the diverse landscapes of the rugged west coast where beaches meet rainforests.
Overnight in Frank Josef.

The day is yours to explore. From hiking to scenic helicopter flights there are many options on offer to experience the beauty of the Glaciers. A visit to the West Coast Life Centre is highly recommended. This is an indoor, all-weather attraction that offers an insight of bringing nature, conservation and wildlife together.
Overnight in Frank Josef.

This morning you depart Franz Josef for Greymouth. As you move north along the coastline, Hokitika is worth a morning tea stop. A short drive north is Greymouth, here you will drop off your car before boarding the TranzAlpine train to Christchurch. This scenic journey takes you through Arthurs Pass and the Canterbury Plains before arriving at Christchurch.
Overnight in Christchurch.

Enjoy a day in the garden city. Take a stroll along the Avon River, head out to the Port Hills and up the Gondola, take a tram around the city and discover the rebuild and rejuvenation of Christchurch.
Overnight in Christchurch.

An early start today as you catch the Coastal Pacific train from Christchurch to Picton. This rail journey hugs the coastline offerings views of the Waipara wine region, the seaside town of Kaikoura and into iconic Marlborough wineries. Picton is where you will board the Interislander ferry for the 3-hour sailing across the Cook Strait to the North Island and capital city of Wellington.
Overnight in Wellington.

The next two days are at leisure in Wellington. Some highlights not to be missed are the National Museum Te Papa, Weta Workshop tour and Zealandia Eco Sanctuary. Courtney Place and Cuba Street are home to a great array of restaurants, cafes, and bars.
Overnight in Wellington.

Leaving Wellington, you board the Northern Explorer train and travel almost the length of the North Island to Auckland. Experience the extremes of New Zealand’s scenery, from the sparkling Kapiti coast to the volcanic peaks of the Central Plateau and the fertile farmlands of the Waikato.
Overnight in Auckland.

Depart Auckland and head north. Located an hour north of Auckland and just outside Matakana is Sculptureum, a world-class tourist attraction that you may like to include on your travels. With six art galleries, three sculpture-filled gardens, a vineyard, Rothko Restaurant and Sculptureum Kitchen at 8 Wired Barrelworks, there’s something for everyone. As you continue north, check into your accommodation in Paihia for the next few nights.
Overnight in Paihia.

This morning you board your cruise in Paihia and take in the stunning views as you glide out through the islands and along the Rakaumangamanga Peninsula to Cape Brett, where a historic lighthouse keeps watch over Piercy Island/Motukōkako, or as it is popularly known the ‘Hole in the Rock’.
According to Māori legend, local warriors used to paddle through the Hole in the Rock in their canoes before departing for battle. Drops of water from the cave roof above were considered a good omen. If conditions permit, your skipper will expertly guide the ship through the narrow space… and if you get dripped on, consider yourself lucky!
Keep an eye out for dolphins, whales and other marine life during your cruise, and have your camera ready as we get you up close to the action.
Overnight in Paihia.

This morning is free to relax. You may want to explore the Paihia village or take a drive to Kerikeri, only 30 minutes away. The Stone Store in the Kerikeri basin is well worth the visit for the historic significance. There are different fruit orchards and a chocolate factory on the way into Kerikeri that might be of interest to the foodies.
Overnight in Paihia.

Depart Paihia and head back to Auckland. Before reconnecting with Highway 1 you may want to visit the Kauri Museum at Matakohe. Once back in Auckland check into your accommodation for the last night of your holiday. There are many restaurants to explore in the Viaduct area.
Overnight in Auckland.

Your journey of New Zealand comes to an end today. Check out of your accommodation, meet your driver who will take you to the airport to board your flight to Vancouver. Arrive on the same day as you cross the International dateline back.

Terms & Conditions

All rates are per person, based on double occupancy in Canadian dollars (unless otherwise stated) New bookings only. Space and price may be limited and subject to availability at the time of booking.  Errors or omissions may occur on the above information with no guarantee of being honoured. Terms and conditions apply. Tax is not included in the above base fare. Above tax amount includes non-refundable $30 per adult Booking Management Fee. $50 per adult cancellation fee. Not included in the above rates: Xpresspost fee, recommended medical, cancellation or baggage insurance. Child rate is applicable when travelling with 2 paying adults sharing 1 hotel room, using the existing bedding. Price Match Policy: Travel Best Bets makes every effort to remain competitive by offering our ‘Match or Beat Any Price’ offer however due to certain restrictions  there will be some product we cannot match or beat. Please note the star ratings found on www.travelbestbets.com are determined by Travel Best Bets based on a number of factors and may not match the star rating found in the Tour Operator’s brochure. Please view our star ratings by clicking here. Due to an increasing volume of disputed bookings, we will only accept payment for air only travel to India, the Philippines and the continent of Africa through the following means: book and pay cash in person or by direct deposit into our business account – once the transaction is verified and a copy of the receipt emailed or faxed to our office, we will confirm the booking. Please contact us for details on how to book using this method. Please contact [email protected] for photo credit information. BPCPA #3287