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Explorer the adventurous side of New Zealand on this 10-night rail holiday. Starting at the top of the North Island, experience the otherworldly magic and history of Rotorua before heading south to the capital city Wellington. Cross the majestic Cook Strait onboard the Interislander ferry, then follow the beautiful coastline to Christchurch onboard the Coastal Pacific train.
The Tranz-Alpine train from here to Greymouth is rightly often listed as one of the most scenic train journeys in the world, and to end the day in the shadows of the Franz Josef Glacier make this a day to remember.
Continue travelling south to the outdoor mecca of Queenstown and tour the magnificent Fjordland and Doubtful Sound before getting the chance to admire Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak en-route to Christchurch.

  • 10 night guided vacation
  • 10 nights in 3-star hotels
  • Daily breakfast and 1 lunch
  • All standard seat rail and coach journeys as per the itinerary
  • All hotel and station transfers as per the itinerary
  • Interislander ferry from Wellington to Picton
  • Day trip from Auckland to Rotorua and Waitomo Caves
  • Guided tour of Te Papa in Wellington
  • Morning city tour of Queenstown
  • Day trip to Doubtful Sound
  • Private airport transfers
Oct 1-Nov 26, 2024 from $7529
Dec 3-17, 2024 from $7629
Jan 7-21, 2025 from $7579
Feb 1-Mar 31, 2025 from $7729
Air to Auckland & return from Christchurch additional but can be added

Oct 1, 2024 – Jan 21, 2025: Weekly – Tuesday departures
Feb 1 – Mar 29, 2025: 3 times a week – Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday departures
Mar 30-31, 2025: Daily departures

Dates, price and promotion are subject to change without notice.
All tours are customizable and upgrades are available! Call us for more details!

  • The vibrant and cosmopolitan city of Auckland.
  • Wonder at the landscape and rich Maori heritage of Rotorua.
  • Admire the spectacular scenery aboard 3 world-class scenic railways: The Northern Explorer, The Coastal Pacific and the TranzAlpine.
  • Experience perhaps the world’s most breath-taking ferry crossings aboard the Interislander ferry.
  • Discover New Zealand’s amazing Fjordland region with a cruise along Doubtful Sound.
  • Marvel at the breath-taking beauty of Mount Cook and the Southern Alps.

Day 1: Auckland
Welcome to New Zealand! On arrival you will be met at the airport by a private driver and taken to your hotel to check in. Once settled, head out to enjoy this vibrant and beautiful city.
Overnight stay in Auckland

Day 2: Rotorua Day Trip (B/L)
This morning depart Auckland by coach and travel south over the Bombay Hills into the fertile farmlands of the Waikato Valley to Waitomo for a guided tour of the famous Waitomo Caves to discover an ancient underground labyrinth of limestone caves and grottos. See the fascinating limestone formations of stalagmites, stalactites, and columns that have formed over thousands of years then enjoy a silent boat ride on an underground river into the starry wonderland of the magnificent Glow-worm Grotto.
Later this morning continue across picturesque farmland and over the bush-clad Mamaku Ranges to the thermal wonderland of Rotorua. On arrival see New Zealand’s agricultural industry in action with a sheep shearing display and sheep dog trials at the Agrodome, plus an organic farm tour. Then continue to Te Puia with its geysers and boiling mud pools for which this thermal area is famous. Following your guided tour of Te Puia, sit back and enjoy a Maori cultural performance. Return to Auckland in the late afternoon. The tour includes a morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack all served on board the coach.
Overnight stay in Auckland.

Day 3: Auckland to Wellington (B)
This morning you are transferred to the train station and depart Auckland on the Northern Explorer Train.*
Enjoy a full day of travel through the rolling countryside of the Central North Island, over the Raurimu Spiral (an engineering feat of its time), past the three volcanic mountains of the Tongariro National Park and across the Central Plateau then through the farmlands of the Manawatu Region and on to Wellington, the capital city and Seat of Parliament. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel, then head out to enjoy your evening.
Overnight stay in Wellington.
*Please note that the Northern Explorer only operates on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

Day 4: Wellington (B)
Enjoy a 1 hour guided tour of Te Papa – New Zealand’s National Museum viewing the highlights related to New Zealand’s history and natural environment, including the colossal squid. Then enjoy your day exploring this historic city. You may wish to ride the Cable Car to Kelburn then stroll through the Botanical Gardens and Lady Norwood Rose Garden, join a walking tour that takes you to some of the best cafés and coffee houses the city has to offer, visit Katherine Mansfield’s birthplace, take a tour of Parliament Buildings. There are also guided tours to places of interest and history, the Seal Colony or Lord of the Rings sites used in the movie trilogy.
Overnight stay in Wellington.

Day 5: Wellington to Christchurch (B)
Following breakfast, you are transferred to the ferry terminal for one of the most beautiful boat journeys in the world. The Interislander crossing from Wellington to Picton on the South Island navigates the Cook Strait and the scenic Queen Charlotte Sound in roughly 3.5 hours. On arrival, there is plenty of time to board the famous Coastal Pacific Train* south. The tracks run along a thin ledge of land pinned between the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean and the rugged ranges to Kaikoura, where the mountains meet the sea then travel across the farmlands of the North Canterbury Plains and the Waipara wine district, where the microclimate of the area makes it ideal for growing grapes. On arrival, you will be taken from the station to your hotel by shared transfer to enjoy your evening
Overnight stay in Christchurch.
*The Coastal Pacific is a seasonal train, running from Spring (October) to Autumn (April). Between April and October, the rail service will be replaced by a coach.

Day 6: Christchurch to Franz Josef (B)
After breakfast, you are transferred to the station from where you will depart onboard the Tranz Alpine train for a scenic rail journey through the splendor of the Southern Alps to the West Coast. Travel over gorges on viaducts that were an engineering feat of their time then after a short stop at Arthur’s Pass, pass through the 8kms Otira Tunnel continuing to the gold and coal mining town of Greymouth. Here, you change onto a scheduled coach service to Franz Josef. The journey takes you along the Tasman coastline to the west and the Southern Alps rising to the east. The landscape is dominated by the national park’s two largest glaciers, Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier, the only glaciers in the world that descend into lowland rainforests.
Overnight stay in Franz Josef.

Day 7: Franz Josef to Queenstown (B)
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before departing Franz Josef by public scheduled coach service to Queenstown.
Travel south through the dense South Westland forests crossing fast-running streams and pretty bush-fringed lakes. At Haast, the road turns inland crossing the Southern Alps via the Haast Pass and skirts glacial Lake Wanaka then Lake Hawea.
On a clear day, there are splendid views across the lake to Mt Aspiring. Travel through the Central Otago sheep, cattle, and fruit growing area, and the scene of a major gold rush last century. Continue through the rock-hewn Kawarau Gorge to the resort town of Queenstown. On arrival transfer to your hotel to settle in, then enjoy the evening exploring.
Overnight in Queenstown

Day 8: Queenstown (B)
Learn more about this picturesque town on a small group tour this morning, including the climb up Queenstown Hill for some breathtaking panoramic views, then enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.
Overnight stay in Queenstown.

Day 9: Doubtful Sound Day Trip (B)
Depart Queenstown by coach to Manapouri. Cruise across the crystal waters of Lake Manapouri to West Arm before boarding a coach and crossing the alpine route of Wilmot Pass through some of Fiordland’s most dense rainforest. On reaching Deep Cove, board a modern catamaran vessel, the Patea Explorer for a three-hour cruise exploring the waterways of this serene and isolated fiord. There is plenty of time available to explore points of interest and view the spectacular alpine scenery including waterfalls, rainforests, and mountains out to the Tasman Sea. Return to Queenstown in the early evening and enjoy your final night here.
Overnight stay in Queenstown

Day 10: Queenstown/Mount Cook and Christchurch (B)
Setting off from Queenstown this morning, you will travel by luxury air-conditioned coach through ruggedly beautiful landscape and over the Lindis Pass into the Mackenzie Country.
When you arrive at Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, home to New Zealand’s highest mountain, there is time to stop for lunch (own cost) and a chance to enjoy the amazing alpine scenery. According to Maori legend, the boy Aoraki and his brothers once hit a reef in their canoe. When they climbed to the higher side of the tilting vessel, the cold south wind froze them, turning them into stone. Aoraki and family now form the Southern Alps, which you will see in all their glory on this tour.
During your stop at Mount Cook Village, there is also the opportunity to take a scenic flight over this spectacular region (additional cost, weather permitting – this flight can be arranged with your driver guide on the day).
In the afternoon, travel past Lake Pukaki to Lake Tekapo, where you can view the solitary Church of the Good Shepherd against the backdrop of this vivid blue glacier-fed lake. Continue through the diverse farmland of the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, the Garden City, where your tour concludes.
Overnight stay in Christchurch

Day 11: Christchurch – end of tour (B)
After breakfast, transfer to airport

From the moment you begin your journey, count on Railbookers to take care of the details so you can soak in spectacular scenery and explore the world. Our expertly planned, independent vacations provide hassle-free itineraries or you can build your own customized trip with one of our knowledgeable Rail Experts.

When you travel with Railbookers, our Rail Experts will:

  • Carefully plan itineraries to make the most of your vacation time, with accommodations and travel that suits your style
  • Book your rail tickets, lodging accommodations, and sightseeing activities
  • Provide you with travel documents, maps, and other resources to help you find your way
  • Be there “every step of the way” with support before, during, and after your journey to ensure the rail journey of a lifetime


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