Great New Zealand Rail & Cruise Experience

16 Day Guided Tour from Auckland to Christchurch with APT

Read 2 reviews and enjoy exclusive savings on APT's 16 Day Great New Zealand Rail & Cruise Experience. See the spectacular countryside from a different perspective as you cross this spellbinding country on several breathtaking rail journeys, and take to the water to more

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4.5 - 5 Star
Max Group Size
Guided Tour
Trip Style
Guided Tour
Scenic / Cultural
Trip Style
Scenic / Cultural
Countries Explored:
New Zealand
Trip Operated By:
343 Reviews
Trip Reviews:
5.0 out of 5
2 Reviews
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1 Arrive Auckland
Arrive in Auckland and be transferred to your centrally-located hotel. Enjoy some time to settle in and the evening at leisure. Stay Two Nights: Grand Millennium Auckland
2 Auckland
Enjoy the opportunity to discover the ‘City of Sails' with our range of sightseeing inclusions. This evening, enjoy a special Welcome Dinner as you get to know your Tour Director and fellow travellers. (B/D)

Freedom of Choice:
  • Perhaps take a cruise on Waitemata Harbour, head off on a Waiheke Island wine and olive tasting 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.
3 Auckland, Glenbrook Vintage Railway, Rotorua
This morning, travel to Glenbrook and on arrive, enjoy a special Signature Experience. Travel to Victoria Avenue and Waiuku, before enjoying a stop at the Pukeoware Depot. Here, you'll explore the workshop, view other historic regional locomotives undergoing restoration, and indulge in a delightful morning tea. Later, reboard the train and travel back to Glenbrook. This afternoon, board your coach for your journey to Rotorua. Stay Two Nights: Holiday Inn Rotorua, overlooking Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve (B/D)

Signature Experiences:
  • Board the Glenbrook Vintage Railway. Lovingly restored, you will enjoy a journey through the beautiful rural Franklin countryside aboard this historic steam train.
  • Immerse yourself in Māori culture as you enjoy a traditional Hāngī feast and fascinating performance.
4 Rotorua
Discover Rotorua with an exciting range of included Freedom of Choice Sightseeing options. (B)

Freedom of Choice:
  • Perhaps experience the icons of Rotorua at the famed Agrodome Farm Show, then make your way to Rainbow Springs Nature Park to see a working kiwi nursery and visit the fascinating Te Puia Thermal Reserve. Alternatively, take a Hobbiton Movie Set tour for an enthralling insight into the making of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Perhaps drive through forest and farmland to visit New Zealand's largest boiling mud pool and colourful hot springs; or explore Redwood Treewalk with a Māori guide.
5 Rotorua, Forgotten World Railway, Tongariro National Park
After your Signature Experience, ride the Mt Ruapehu Gondola for sublime vistas before enjoying afternoon tea. Stay: Chateau Tongariro Hotel (B/L/D)

Signature Experiences:
  • Ride your self-drive rail cart along the Forgotten World Railway.
6 Tongariro National Park, Wellington
Today's journey takes you to the town of Featherston. Delight in a relaxing afternoon tea before travelling to Wellington, New Zealand's vibrant capital city by the water. Though it may be small for a capital city, Wellington is brimming with character and charm, alive in its compact CBD. Enjoy time to settle in at your hotel before dinner this evening. Stay Two Nights: Rydges Hotel Wellington (B/D)

Signature Experiences:
  • Take the opportunity to explore the fascinating Fell Locomotive Museum, home to H199, the only locomotive of its type in the world.
7 Wellington
Set off on a 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 coastal city. The afternoon and evening have been left free for you to enjoy Wellington at your own pace. Perhaps grab a bite to eat at one of the spectacular waterfront restaurants. (B)
8 Wellington, Picton, Coastal Pacific Train, Christchurch
Admire vistas of the Marlborough and Queen Charlotte sounds on your way to Picton. Stay: Christchurch, The Commodore (B/D)

Signature Experiences:
  • Step aboard the Interislander ferry to cruise across the Cook Strait.
  • Board the Coastal Pacific train and enjoy a journey through the rugged east coast to Christchurch.
9 Christchurch, TranzAlpine Train, Franz Josef Glacier
On the TranzAlpine train, head to the open-air viewing platform and enjoy stunning views as you journey through the patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains. Disembark at Greymouth and travel by coach to Franz Josef. Stay: Franz Josef Glacier, Scenic Hotel Franz Josef (B/D)

Signature Experiences:
  • Take in the dramatic surrounds of Franz Josef Glacier.
  • Board the TranzAlpine train for one of the world's greatest rail adventures.
10 Franz Josef Glacier, Queenstown
Enjoy breathtaking scenery as you travel along the Haast River. Arrive in Queenstown, New Zealand's ‘adventure capital', where this evening you will choose from four tempting restaurants in which to dine. Stay Two Nights: Novotel Queenstown Lakeside (B/D)

Freedom of Choice:
  • Perhaps sample quality crafted beer at Canyon Food & Brew Co. Or, board a scenic gondola ride to the Skyline Restaurant to enjoy views across Queenstown as you dine. Alternatively, you may prefer to cruise aboard the TSS Earnslaw, or dine at Elements Restaurant.
11 Queenstown
Choose from a range of sightseeing today. (B)

Freedom of Choice:
  • The Lord of the Rings fans will jump at the chance to visit key filming locations, while thrillseekers 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 Station 2 Station Cycle Trail bike ride along the tranquil country roads at Lake Wakatipu. A cruise on Lake Wakatipu is also on offer.
12 Queenstown, Doubtful Sound
Embark on one of the most scenic drives today as you journey along into the heart of Fiordland National Park. Then, board a cruise across Lake Manapouri and then travel by coach over Wilmot Pass to arrive at Doubtful Sound. During your time here, board a spectacular overnight cruise to discover rugged peaks, hidden islets and pristine rainforest. Stay: Doubtful Sound overnight cruise (B/D)

Signature Experiences:
  • Cruise along 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 special place home.
13 Doubtful Sound, Dunedin
Leave the Fiordland region this morning and travel to Dunedin on the east coast of New Zealand. This historic city is often referred to being the ‘Edinburgh of the South'. Stay Two Nights: Distinction Dunedin Hotel (B/D)
14 Taieri Gorge Railway, Dunedin
After a unique Signature Experience, you will enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. (B)

Signature Experiences:
  • Step aboard the Taieri Gorge Railway and journey through the picturesque Southland countryside.
15 Dunedin, Seasider Train, Mt Cook
After a special Signature Experience, rejoin the coach and travel to Oamaru, then head north to see the unusual Moeraki Boulders. Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, including a visit to the planetarium and a stargazing session with an astronomer. Stay: Mt Cook, The Hermitage Hotel, in a room with alpine views (B/D)

Signature Experiences:
  • Board the Seasider train and travel along Otago Harbour before climbing the gentle slopes of Port Chalmers on the Pacific coast.
  • Visit World Heritage-listed Mt Cook National Park to view Australasia's highest mountain, Aoraki (Mt Cook), and the alpine scenery.
16 Mt Cook, Lake Tekapo, Depart Christchurch
After breakfast this morning, travel to Lake Tekapo and visit the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd. Later, continue to Christchurch airport where your tour ends. (B)

APT Inclusions

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Journey Highlights
  • Watch as the ever-changing Southland countryside glides past your window aboard the Taieri Gorge Railway
  • Board a spectacular overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound and discover rugged peaks, pristine rainforest and hidden islets
  • Enjoy the views on one of the world's greatest rail journeys as you travel across New Zealand's Southern Alps
Trip Inclusions
  • Enriching Signature Experiences and Freedom of Choice Inclusions
  • APT Tour Director, plus expert local guides
  • Arrival and departure airport transfers in New Zealand
  • Luggage porterage and tipping
Included Meals
  • 15 Breakfasts and 10 Dinners are included throughout this tour
  • Boasting sophistication and luxury, the Hermitage Hotel in Mt Cook is surrounded by iconic rugged alpine scenery
  • Be taken to the blissful sanctuary of national park scenery at the iconic Chateau Tongariro Hotel, built in the 1920s
Trip Notes
  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • International/domestic flights not included in tour price
  • Ask us about pre and post accommodation
  • Prices are for land/rail only. Flights not included

Reviews (2)

16 Day Great New Zealand Rail & Cruise Experience reviews from past clients of Global Journeys.

Rating 5.0 out of 5
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
“Great tour of New Zealand”
- WA, Australia Mar 2019

It was a great tour and we saw a lot of NZ. Our bus drivers Reece (North Island) and Brownie (South Island) were very polite and Brownie (Maori) gave us an informative and humourous insight into his childhood and that of his father's and grandfather's. Annalise our Tour Director was the best, had such a wealth of knowledge.
Most of the accommodation was good but 3 hotels did not have air conditioning and because NZ was having an Indian Summer it was not more

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“First class in every detail”
- NSW, Australia Oct 2015 1 Helpful Vote

First we would like to express a grand thank you to Hannah Campbell, for her professionalism in handling our booking in a personal, kind way. APT is number one in making touring first class in every detail.

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Prices & Dates

There are currently no departures available on this trip. Either it's the end of the season and new departures will be released shortly, or this itinerary has been changed and will no longer continue. Feel free to contact us for information about when next seasons dates will be released or click here to view the general brochure release dates for all destinations.

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Trip Notes
Trip prices are per person, and reflect applicable discounts. Discounts are subject to availability, exclusive to Global Journeys and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change by APT. Full terms & conditions are available here.