16 Day Great New Zealand Rail and Cruise Experience

16 Day Great New Zealand Rail and Cruise Experience

See the spectacular countryside from a different perspective with APT as you cross this spellbinding country on a number of breathtaking rail journeys, and take to the water to explore the beautiful seascapes of Doubtful Sound.

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Tour Info

Tour Type: Premium Coach Tour
From: Auckland to Christchurch
Departures: Oct 2019 to Mar 2020
Price: From (NZD) $7915 per person
Tour Operator: APT Tours
Duration: 16 Days
Tour Code: nrc16


14 nights in premium accommodation and 1 overnight cruise
26 meals – 15 breakfasts (B), 1 lunch (L) and 10 dinners (D)
Journey aboard the Glenbrook Vintage Railway
Enjoy a unique self-drive rail cruising experience
Travel through breathtaking Tongariro National Park on the Northern Explorer train
Explore the fascinating Fell Locomotive Museum
Chug past idyllic scenery aboard the Coastal Pacific train
Ride the famous TranzAlpine train
Journey aboard the Taieri Gorge Railway
Travel up the Pacific coast on the Seasider train
Freedom of Choice Touring in Auckland, Rotorua, Aoraki Mount Cook and Queenstown

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

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Day 1
Arrive Auckland

Today your New Zealand Rail and Cruise adventure begins. Prepare for a journey of discovery, delving into unique and traditional experiences, a colourful cultural history, and awe-inspiring natural wonders. Arrive in Auckland where you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy some time to settle in and spend the evening at your leisure.

Stay: Grand Millennium Auckland (2 nights)

Day 2
Auckland - Freedom of Choice

Freedom of Choice lets you choose from our range of sightseeing inclusions. Perhaps take a cruise on Waitemata Harbour, head off on a Waiheke Island wine tour, or explore the fantastic Auckland Museum. Alternatively, get up close to marine life at Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium and see New Zealand’s only colony of Antarctic penguins, set off on a wilderness adventure into the Waitakere Ranges, or take a trip to the harbourside suburb of Devonport.

Enjoy the opportunity to discover the ‘City of Sails’ with our range of sightseeing inclusions. This evening, enjoy a delicious welcome dinner and get to know your Tour Director and fellow travellers. (B, D)

Day 3
Auckland - Glenbrook Vintage Railway - Rotorua - Hāngī Feast

This morning travel to the rural area of Glenbrook. Travel to Victoria Avenue and Waiuku, before enjoying a stop at the Pukeoware Depot to explore the workshop, view other historic regional locomotives undergoing restoration, and indulge in a delightful morning tea. Later, re-board the train and travel back to Glenbrook. This afternoon board your coach for the journey to Rotorua. Known for its bubbling mud pools, geysers shooting jets of water high into the air and steaming hot springs, Rotorua is a land humming with geothermal activity.

Stay: Holiday Inn Rotorua, overlooking Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 4
Rotorua - Freedom of Choice

Following breakfast this morning, enjoy your Freedom of Choice Sightseeing Inclusion. Perhaps experience the icons of Rotorua at the famed Agrodome Farm Show, make your way to Rainbow Springs Nature Park to see a working kiwi nursery and visit the fascinating geothermal activity at Te Puia, or unwind during a relaxing round of golf. Alternatively, take a Hobbiton Movie Set Tour for an enthralling insight into the making of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, embark on a thrilling 4WD Bush Safari through native rainforest, take a drive through forest and farmland to visit New Zealand’s largest boiling mud pool and colourful hot springs, or discover the local art, history and culture at Rotorua Museum. (B)

Day 5
Rotorua - Northern Explorer Train - Tongariro National Park

This morning, depart for Te Kuiti Railway Station and board the the Northern Explorer train for a captivating journey through spectacular Tongariro National Park. Experience the extraordinary beauty of the North Island as the rolling green landscapes chug gently by, and take some time out over a delicious picnic lunch. Afterwards, travel through Tongariro National Park, famed for its breathtaking snow-capped volcanic mountains. On arrival here, disembark and enjoy a night at the historic and iconic Chateau Tongariro Hotel.

Stay: Chateau Tongariro Hotel (B, L D)

Day 6
Tongariro National Park - Fell Locomotive Museum - Wellington

Bid farewell to the beautiful Tongariro National Park following breakfast this morning. Travel to the town of Featherston where you will have the opportunity to explore the fascinating Fell Locomotive Museum, home to H199, the only locomotive of its type in the world. Delight in a relaxing afternoon tea before rejoining your coach and travelling to Wellington, New Zealand’s captivating capital city. Arrive at your hotel and enjoy time to settle in before choosing where to dine from a selection of restaurants.

Stay: Rydges Hotel Wellington (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 7

Discover the delights of the New Zealand capital with an extended stay. After breakfast, set off on a sightseeing tour taking you to the city’s best-loved landmarks and sights, 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 spectacular coastal city. (B)

Day 8
Wellington - Picton - Christchurch

This morning say goodbye to the North Island as you step aboard the Interislander ferry to cruise from Wellington Harbour across the Cook Strait and through the natural beauty of the Marlborough and Queen Charlotte Sounds to Picton. Once you have arrived into Picton, board the Coastal Pacific train and enjoy a journey down the rugged east coast. Traverse rolling fields and glimpse hidden towns along the Kaikōura coast, famous for its marine mammal encounters. Continue to the island’s largest city, Christchurch. On arrival you’ll be transferred to your hotel. Enjoy time to settle in before dinner with your fellow travellers this evening.

Stay: Commodore Hotel, Christchurch (B, D)

Day 9
Christchurch - TranzAlpine Train - Franz Josef

This morning, board the TranzAlpine train for one of the world’s best scenic rail journeys. Head to the open-air viewing platform and enjoy stunning views as you travel through the striking patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains. Follow the Waimakariri River and travel across the magnificent Southern Alps within Arthur’s Pass National Park.

Disembark at Greymouth and travel by coach along the dramatic west coast to Franz Josef, where you’ll have the opportunity to take in the dramatic terrain and icy surrounds of the striking Franz Josef Glacier. Sitting at just 250m above sea level, Franz Josef is quite unique as it is one of just three glaciers in the world that descends into temperate rainforest. Its low altitude and mild climate creates a spectacular environment, where stunning ice formations are juxtaposed against the lush canopy of the surrounding forest.

Stay: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef (B, D)

Day 10
Franz Josef - Queenstown - Freedom of Choice Dining

Enjoy a day of truly breathtaking scenery as you travel along the Haast River. Arrive in Queenstown, known as the ‘adventure capital of New Zealand’, where you’ll choose from four tantalising restaurants in which to dine. Seafood lovers will be tempted by Finz, while the panoramic views from Stratosfare Restaurant, reached by gondola, are hard to beat. Cruise aboard a vintage steamer to Walter Peak High Country Farm, or dine at your hotel restaurant.

Stay: Novotel Queenstown Lakeside (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 11
Queenstown - Freedom of Choice

Choose from a range of exciting sightseeing activities in Queenstown and its surrounds today. Lord of the Rings fans will jump at the chance to visit key filming locations, while thrill seekers can try a ride on the famous Shotover Jet, 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 Mount Nicholas or a bird walk through the surrounding wilderness. A leisurely cruise on shimmering Lake Wakatipu is also on offer. (B)

Day 12
Queenstown - Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

Embark on one of the most scenic drives today as you journey into the heart of Fiordland National Park. Here you’ll find some of the world’s most sublime natural landscapes, from immense lakes to picturesque walking tracks. Board a cruise across Lake Manapouri before travelling by coach over Wilmot Pass to arrive at Doubtful Sound, the second largest fiord within the national park. The fiord is rich in flora and fauna, so keep watch for New Zealand fur seals and Fiordland crested penguins that call this place home. Board a spectacular overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound to discover rugged peaks, hidden islets and pristine rainforests.

Stay: Doubtful Sound overnight cruise (B, D)

Day 13
Doubtful Sound - Dunedin

Leave the Fiordland region this morning and travel to Dunedin on the east coast of New Zealand. This long-established city is often referred to as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’. Wander the streets and admire the historic buildings that still stand in immaculate condition.

Stay:  Distinction Dunedin Hotel. (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 14
Taieri Gorge Railway - Dunedin

Wake up this morning in Dunedin then step aboard the Taieri Gorge Railway and journey through picturesque countryside that is unreachable by any other means. One of the world’s greatest rail trips, the Taieri Gorge Railway reveals some of the South Island’s most diverse and splendid scenery while weaving through tunnels and overbridges in a smooth and effortless fashion. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. (B)

Day 15
Dunedin - Seasider Train - Mt Cook

This morning, board the Seasider train. Travel along the edge of the Otago Harbour before climbing the gentle slopes of Port Chalmers and along the Pacific coast, before disembarking and rejoining the coach to continue to Ōamaru. Travel north to view the unusual Moeraki Boulders. These large spherical stones, formed more than 60 million years ago, can be found along a stretch of Koekohe Beach on the Otago coast. Later continue to World Heritage-listed Aoraki Mount Cook National Park to view Australasia’s highest mountain, and admire the sublime alpine scenery.

Stay: The Hermitage Hotel (B, D)

Day 16
Aoraki Mount Cook - Lake Tekapo - Christchurch

Travelling from Aoraki Mount Cook, journey between towering mountains and along the azure shores of Lake Pukaki to Lake Tekapo. The intense blue colour of the waters is unlike anything else, created by fine dust particles from surrounding glaciers. Visit the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd and take some time to enjoy the surrounds. Continue to Christchurch where your tour concludes. (B)


There are 1 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 5 out of 5.

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We saw so much of New Zealand and look forward to returning one day! Everything was so well organised. Our driver was the best we have ever had and we have had many in the past. Our tour guide was excellent too.
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Enquire about our 16 Day Great New Zealand Rail and Cruise Experience

16 Day Great New Zealand Rail and Cruise Experience
Premium Coach Tour
Tour Code: nrc16
From (NZD) $7915 per person
Save (NZD) $880 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: Oct 2019 to Mar 2020
1 reviews (5/5)

See the spectacular countryside from a different perspective with APT as you cross this spellbinding country on a number of breathtaking rail journeys... Read More

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