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16 Day Great New Zealand Rail & Cruise Experience

Please ask us about the FREE nights’ accommodation either before or after the tour.
APT Premium Coach Tour starting in Auckland and finishing in Christchurch

Tour Description

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 Auckland on a cruise aboard the Ipipiri.

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Tour Info
Regions Visited
Special Offer
  • Please ask us about the FREE nights accommodation either before or after the tour.
  • Must deposit this month to qualify.
  • Applies to new bookings only.
Trip Highlights
Included Experiences
  • Freedom of Choice Touring in Auckland, Rotorua, Mt Cook and Queenstown
  • Arrival and departure airport transfers in New Zealand
  • Travel aboard a spacious, luxurious coach
  • Dedicated APT Tour Director and professional drivers
  • View All ExperiencesTotal 6 Items
  • The additional services of expert local guides in select locations
  • All sightseeing, excursions and entrance fees as per the itinerary
Fine Dining
  • Includes 27 meals - enjoy 15 Breakfasts, 6 Dinners and 6 Feature Dinners
  • Welcome Dinner at the Amora Hotel Auckland
  • Traditional Maori Hangi Feast in Rotorua
  • Enjoy dinner on the Milford Mariner overnight cruise
  • Farewell Dinner at The Hermitage Hotel, Mt Cook
Outstanding Accommodation
  • Stay at the iconic Chateau Tongariro Hotel
  • Two nights at The Hermitage Hotel, near the base of snow-capped Mt Cook with spectacular views
Trip Notes
  • Changes have occured on the 16th January & 20th February 2018 departures. The Hauraki Blue Overnight Cruise has been taken out of the itinerary and an extra night has been added in Chirstchurch. Futhermore, hotel & meal changes have occured at your stay in Wellington. The price of this departure has been adjusted accordingly. Your Relaxing Journeys Tour Consultant will provide further infomation at time of quoting.
  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • Itinerary and inclusions shown apply to departures from September 2017 onwards.
  • Supplements for solo travellers are available on application
  • Triple rooms may include a roll-away bed. Please check at time of booking.
  • Prices are for land only. Flights not included

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2018

  •   Start Date End Date BrochureTwin Share BrochureSingle Our Savings Our Price Check Availability
  • Guaranteed Departure Start Date: 06 Feb 2018 End Date: 21 Feb 2018 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Sold Out
  • Guaranteed Departure Start Date: 20 Feb 2018 End Date: 07 Mar 2018 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: On Request
  • Start Date: 27 Feb 2018 End Date: 14 Mar 2018 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Sold Out
  • Start Date: 13 Mar 2018 End Date: 28 Mar 2018 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Sold Out
  • Start Date: 27 Mar 2018 End Date: 11 Apr 2018 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Sold Out
  • Guaranteed Departure Start Date: 09 Oct 2018 End Date: 24 Oct 2018 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Request Quote
  • Start Date: 23 Oct 2018 End Date: 07 Nov 2018 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Request Quote
  • Start Date: 13 Nov 2018 End Date: 28 Nov 2018 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Request Quote
  • Guaranteed Departure Start Date: 20 Nov 2018 End Date: 05 Dec 2018 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Request Quote

2019

  •   Start Date End Date BrochureTwin Share BrochureSingle Our Savings Our Price Check Availability
  • Start Date: 08 Jan 2019 End Date: 23 Jan 2019 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Request Quote
  • Start Date: 15 Jan 2019 End Date: 30 Jan 2019 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Request Quote
  • Guaranteed Departure Start Date: 22 Jan 2019 End Date: 06 Feb 2019 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Request Quote
  • Guaranteed Departure Start Date: 05 Feb 2019 End Date: 20 Feb 2019 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Request Quote
  • Start Date: 19 Feb 2019 End Date: 06 Mar 2019 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Request Quote
  • Start Date: 26 Feb 2019 End Date: 13 Mar 2019 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Request Quote
  • Guaranteed Departure Start Date: 12 Mar 2019 End Date: 27 Mar 2019 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Request Quote
  • Start Date: 26 Mar 2019 End Date: 10 Apr 2019 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Request Quote
  • Guaranteed Departures. We will confirm tour availability in your quote along with all applicable discounts & specials.

Tour Itinerary - Day by Day
  • Day1

    Arrive Auckland, Freedom of Choice

    On arrival into Auckland, be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in the city centre. Today, you'll enjoy the opportunity to discover the 'City of Sails' with a range of sightseeing inclusions to choose from. 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, or set off on a Wilderness Adventure into the Waitakere Rainforest. You may prefer to take a trip to the harbourside suburb of Devonport. This evening, enjoy a special Welcome Dinner as you get to know your Tour Director and your fellow travellers.

    Stay: Amora Hotel Auckland (D)

  • Day2

    Glenbrook Vintage Steam Train, Hauraki Blue Overnight Cruise

    This morning travel to Glenbrook. On arrival, board the Glenbrook Vintage Railway. Lovingly restored, you'll enjoy a journey through the beautiful rural Franklin countryside aboard this historic steam train. 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, head towards Viaduct Harbour to board the Ipipiri for your spectacular Hauraki Blue overnight cruise. Glide past Auckland's iconic highlights, including the Harbour Bridge, Bean Rock Lighthouse and Devonport, as you sail out across the Waitemata Harbour towards the Hauraki Gulf. Here, you'll see the beautiful Rangitoto Island, formed around 600 years ago by a volcanic eruption; neighbouring Motutapu, one of the earliest places inhabited by Maori; Motuihe; Browns Island; and Waiheke Island with its golden sandy beaches. Perhaps take to the waters in one of the ship's kayaks or discover the underwater world while snorkelling. This evening, dine on fresh local produce.

    Stay: Hauraki Blue Overnight Cruise (B, D)

  • Day3

    Auckland, Rail Cruise Experience, Rotorua, Hangi Feast

    Enjoy breakfast on board before cruising back to port. On arrival, board your coach and head out towards the Mamaku Ranges near Rotorua for a unique self-drive Rail Cruising experience. In Rotorua this evening, immerse yourself in Maori culture as you enjoy a traditional Hangi Feast and performance.

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

  • Day4

    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 Te Puia Thermal Reserve; 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)

  • Day5

    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 the spectacular Tongariro National Park. Experience the extraordinary beauty of North Island as the rolling green landscapes chug gently by. Continue 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, D)

  • View Full ItineraryTotal 16 Days
  • Day6

    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: Amora Hotel Wellington (2 nights) (B, D)

  • Day7

    Wellington

    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, including 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)

  • Day8

    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 continure to the islands 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: Christchurch, Commodore Hotel (B, D)

  • Day9

    Christchurch, TranzAlpine Train, Franz Josef

    This morning, board the TranzAlpine train for what is renowned as one of the world's greatest rail adventures. Head to the open-air viewing platform and enjoy stunning views as you journey 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 New Zealand 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 250 metres 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: Franz Josef Glacier, Scenic Hotel Franz Josef (B, D)

  • Day10

    Franz Josef, Queenstown, Freedom of Choice Dining

    Enjoy a day of truly breathtaking scenery as you travel along the Haast River. Arrive in Queenstown, the country's 'adventure capital', where you'll choose from four tantalising restaurants in which to dine. Seafood lovers will be tempted by Finz, while the panoramic views from the Skyline 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)

  • Day11

    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 Boat, 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 Mt Nicholas or a bird walk through the surrounding wilderness. A leisurely cruise on shimmering Lake Wakatipu is also on offer. (B)

  • Day12

    Queenstown, Milford Mariner Overnight Cruise

    Embark on a scenic drive today as you journey along the iconic Milford Road to Milford Sound, where you'll enjoy a stunning cruise along the majestic waterway. Explore the full length of this wonderful fiord with a specialist nature guide, taking you past magical waterfalls, untamed rainforest and towering mountains.

    Stay: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas (B, D)

  • Day13

    Milford Mariner, Taieri Gorge Railway, Dunedin

    Wake up to the serene setting of Milford Sound this morning. Indulge in a hearty breakfast on board, before further exploration. Later today, you'll leave the Fiordland region and travel to Dunedin on the east coast. Step aboard the Taieri Gorge Railway and journey through the beautiful Southland countryside.

    Stay: Dunedin, Scenic Hotel Southern Cross (B, D)

  • Day14

    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 Oamaru. 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 Mt Cook National Park to view Australasia's highest mountain, Aoraki (Mt Cook), and admire the sublime alpine scenery.

    Stay: Mt Cook, The Hermitage Hotel (2 nights) (B, D)

  • Day15

    Mt Cook, Freedom of Choice

    Choose your sightseeing activity today. Perhaps visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, including a visit to the planetarium and a stargazing session with an astronomer. Mt Cook National Park is home to some of New Zealand's most spectacular landscapes, so you may like to join a guided nature walk and discover the native flora and fauna. Or, during the summer months, board a MAC boat and get up close to icebergs on the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake. (B/D)

  • Day16

    Mt Cook, Lake Tekapo, Christchurch

    Travelling from Mt 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)

  • Click here to download the 16 Day Great New Zealand Rail & Cruise Experience PDF

Like this Tour?

Start your booking process by selecting one of our available departure dates.

View Tour Dates

Like this Tour?

Start your booking process by selecting one of our available departure dates.

View Tour Dates