NEW ZEALAND GRAND RAIL TOUR -. 9 days/8 nights. Departs Auckland Monday November 21  

Includes “Northern Explorer”, Interislander,  “Coastal Pacific”,  “Tranz Alpine”. 

(14 days including Mt Cook, Queenstown, Milford or Doubtful Sounds, Wanaka, Franz Josef, Hokitika)

6 days/5 nights - depart Wellington Interislander terminal 1pm Wednesday 23 November - ends Christchurch tuesday. $1,990 per person share twin.  $2,450 single room.. 

ITINERARY 

Day 1. Monday  November 21.  AUCKLAND - WELLINGTON     

7.45am Depart Auckland Strand Railway Station aboard the "Northern Explorer". Depart Papakura 8.40am, Hamilton 10.15am, and Otorohanga 10.54am.  

Sit back and relax and enjoy the scenes of suburban Auckland and rural Waikato dairy farmland and travel south through the central North Island including the famed Raurimu Spiral, a major engineering feat, and through the Tongariro National Park with magnificent views of the central North Island volcanoes in fine weather. Arrive Wellington 6.25pm. Transfer to your hotel. 

Day 2.  Tuesday.    November 22.   WELLINGTON (B)

Morning sightseeing includes Wellington's most famous sights including Mt Victoria, Guided tour of Parliament Buildings, Botanical Gardens, Cable car,  Weta workshop tour, part of the Marine Drive, and Mt Victoria.  Free time this afternoon to explore at your leisure including Te Pap, Zealandia, or any of the many museums, arts and frafts centres, and restaurants.. 

Day 3. Wednesday. November 23. WELLINGTON  - PICTON.  (B)

Free time this morning to explore at your leisure. Spend the time at Te Papa, Zealandia, or any of the many museums, arts and crafts, and restaurants. Transfer to the Interislander terminal and depart aboard "Kaiarahi" 1pm for the scenic cruise across Cook Strait to Picton arriving 4.30pm. Transfer to the Picton Yacht Club Hotel.

Day 4. Thursday.  November 24.  PICTON - CHRISTCHURCH.       (B)

Visit the "Edwin Fox" ship restoration project before touring Marlborough including Marlborough Museum to discover Marlborough's 700 year old history and a winery.  Also visit Omaka and Peter Jackson's KNIGHTS OF THE SKY World War 1 and DANGEROUS SKIES World War 2 exhibitions and the Classic cars museum  before joining the "Coastal Pacific" train departing Blenheim 2pm for the scenic ride down the Kaikoura Coast to Christchurch arriving 6.45pm. You will be met and transferred to the Ibis hotel a few minutes walk from the Botanical Gardens and museum, tram, "The Station" restaurant area, and Cathedral Square.  

Day 5.  Friday. November 25. CHRISTCHURCH (B)

We have left today free for your own activities. Optional tours are available of the city, Port Hills, Hanmer Springs, Akaroa, etc. We recommend a visit to the Orana Wildlife Park and Antarctic Centre. All activities extra expense.

Day 6. Saturday November 26.  CHRISTCHURCH - TRANZ ALPINE  - HOKITIKA.  (B)  

Transfer to the railway station and depart at 8.15am aboard the  "Tranz Alpine" express for one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world across the Canterbury Plains climbing through the foothills of the Southern Alps criss crossing the Waimakariri River on the way to Arthurs Pass for a brief break. Travel through the Otira tunnel and descend into the rainforest of the West Coast. Pass Lake Brunner and the Grey River and arrive Greymouth 1.05pm.  Enjoy a short tour of Greymouth and visit the recreated gold mining village of Shantytown to pan for gold and ride the train. Continue to Hokitika for one night accommodation and breakfast at Beachfront Hotel.

Day 7. Sunday.   November 27.   HOKITIKA - PUNAKAIKI 

Free time to shop before enjoying an eco cruise on the Lake Mahinapua Waterways, and a walk in the Treetops Canopy. This afternoon we drive to beautiful Punakaiki Pancake Rocks in the Paparoa National Park.. Accommodation right on the beach at Ocean View Retreat.

Day 8. Monday. November 28.  PUNAKAIKI - CHRISTCHURCH   (B)

Explore the area and return to Greymouth to rejoin the "Tranz Alpine" departing at 2.05pm and arriving back in Christchurch at 6.30pm. Transfer back to our hotel.

Day 9. Tuesday. November 29.     CHRISTCHURCH DEPART.

You will be transferred to the airport for departure. (air fares not included)

 

Tour cost per person -  

9 days 2 per room   $2,970     Single room  $3,700 


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GRAND RAIL TOUR AND BEST OF THE SOUTH ISLAND.  14 Days. Depart Auckland Sept 26, Oct 31, Jan 30, Mar 06.

Tour 300      BEST OF THE SOUTH ISLAND.  Mini Bus tour. 6 days/5 nights excluding Christchurch accommodation and transfers.

Christchurch - Tekapo  - Mount Cook (overnight Hermitage), - Queenstown (3 nights) - Milford Sound cruise, Doubtful Sound option - Wanaka - Lake Matheson - Franz Josef Glacier - Hokitika - Punakaiki - Christchurch. 

Day 7. Sunday.  CHRISTCHURCH - MOUNT COOK    

Depart Christchurch city 8.30am (pickup any accommodation in Metropolitan area)   

Drive across the fertile Canterbury Plains and over Burke's Pass to Lake Tekapo. See the sheep dog monument and Church of the Good Shepherd. Travel along the shores of Lake Pukaki to Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain. Free time for alpine walks, or visit the National Park headquarters.

Accommodation at the Hermitage hotel in the heart of the Mount Cook National Park in Mt Cook view rooms, 

Day 8.  Monday. MOUNT COOK – QUEENSTOWN   (B)

Free time to enjoy the beauty of the mountains and optional activities. Maybe take a hike in the Hooker Valley or we recommend the following options (all options should be pre booked as space is limited).

Glacier cruise among the icebergs at the base of the Tasman Glacier $170 - summer only.

Ski plane or helicopter flight (30 mins $249 – no landing) With landing on the glacier 35 mins $359, 45 minutes $499,  Grand Circle 55 minutes - the ultimate sightseeing experience $599. prices subject to confirmation.

Glacier helihike $585

We depart late morning and drive through the Mckenzie Country with a short visit to Lake Ohau, and over the Lindis pass to Lake Dunstan and the fruit growing region of Cromwell and on through the Kawarau Gorge  to the historic gold mining centre of Arrowtown. Visit the remains of the Chinese village and you have time to visit the museum and shops before  arriving Queenstown late afternoon. Accommodation in Queenstown for 3 nights.

Day 9. Tuesday                      MILFORD SOUND COACH AND CRUISE - DOUBTFUL SOUND option

(Please Note: travel today will normally be in a 'big bus' with the cruise operator).  

Milford Sound.

Drive to Te Anau and enjoy the magnificent scenery as you travel through the Eglinton and Hollyford Valleys and Homer tunnel to magnificent Milford Sound. Visit the Mirror Lakes and Roaring chasm en route. Enjoy a leisurely cruise to the head of the Sound under majestic Mitre Peak and see the Bowen as well as many other waterfalls. Return to Queenstown mid evening.

Doubtful Sound option - extra cost just $60 including coach, cruises on Lake Manapouri and Doubtful Sound, and Picnic lunch.

Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound option with 1 night in Te Anau between - extra cost $200.

Milford Sound OR Doubtful Sound overnight cruises with overnight cruise instead of day cruise tuesday returning to Queenstown Wednesday afternoon. Extra cost including overnight cruise in twin/double cabin $490 per person. These cruises are very heavily booked during summer. Early booking is esential. 

Day 10. Wednesday               QUEENSTOWN                              (B)

We have left the day free for you to plan and enjoy the beauty of Queenstown and the many activities available. We recommend a Shotover Jet boat ride, Skyline gondola and luge, and a cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the historic steamer "Earnslaw" to the Walter Peak sheep station. Maybe take a journey along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to beautiful Glenorchy.  All activities today  extra expense.

Day 11. Thursday. QUEENSTOWN – WANAKA – FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER    (B)

Drive north to Lake Wanaka for a brief stop (optional admission to Puzzling World - own expense)  before heading over the Haast Pass to the rainforest of the West Coast. Continue north with  amazing vistas of the coastline and a photo stop at Knights Point. Continue to Fox Glacier and visit beautiful Lake Matheson then on  to Franz Josef Glacier township. Overnight Scenic Franz Josef Hotel.

Day 12. Friday.  FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER – HOKITIKA        (B)

Drive to the Franz Josef Glacier lookout car park and it is about a 30 minute return hike to the glacier lookout. Shorter walks available. You have time for a ski plane or helicopter flight to land on the snows of the glacier - or take a guided helihilke for a deeper expereimce - extra expense and weather permitiing. Drive north to Treetops for an exciting walk above the forest canopy and continue to Hokitika. Visit the beach and maybe see jade carvers and glass blowers at work. Overnight in Hokitika at Beachfront Hotel. 

Day 13. Saturday. HOKITIKA - PUNAKAIKI - CHRISTCHURCH  

Drive  to Greymouth for a brief visit then along the beautiful coast to the Punakaiki pancake rocks in the Paparoa National Park. Explore the area before returning to Greymouth to join the Tranz Alpine departing Greymouth 2.05pm and arriving Christchurch 6.30pm. You will be transferred to your accommodation.

Day 14. Sunday. CHRISTCHURCH DEPART. 

You will be transferred to the airport.

Tour cost per person  2 per room     $4,900      Single room   $5,900

 

GRAND COMBO - GRAND RAIL TOUR - BEST OF THE SOUTH ISLAND - FABULOUS FIORDLAND - 22 day Grand Combo.

Depart Auckland Sept 26, Oct 31, Jan 30, March 06 enjoying our Grand Rali Tour to Christchurch joining our BEST OF THE SOUTH ISLAND tour sunday and Fabulous Fiordland in Queenstown departing Queenstown thursday for Milford Sound cruise and 2 nights in Te Anau, Doubtful Sound overnight cruise and return to Queenstown to travel up the West Coast and back to Christchurch.

Tour cost person - 22 days:  2 per room  $6,500.   Single room    $8600

2. QUEENSTOWN STOPOVER - 7 days. Stayover for a week in beautiful Queenstown and enjoy all it has to offer - extra cost $790 per person share twin, $1490 single including room and breakfast. You are welcome to arrange your own accommodation from thursday to thursday if you wish. THERE IS NO EXTRA CHARGE FOR YOUR TOUR. You will need to arrange your own transfer to your new accommodation and we will pick you up from there (City or Frankton area) when you resume your tour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW ZEALAND HOSTED GRAND RAIL TOUR 

9 Days/8 nights. Departs Auckland, Papakura, and Hamilton monday November 21, 2022

This tour can depart any monday October to April for minimum of 4, locally hosted in each city subject to space availability.

Tour cost person - 9 days:  2 per room  $2,970.   Single room    $3,700

Tour cost Includes ;

**  Home pickup and transfer to the railway station - Albany to Pukekohe, and Hamilton city.   

**   All travel from Auckland to West Coast and  Christchurch  including  "Northern Explorer",   "Interislander", "Coastal Pacific", and "Tranz Alpine" 

**  Wellington tour

**  Interislander cruise - lounge class

**  "Edwin Fox" and tour of Marlborough vineyards and Aviation Heritage centre. 

** "Coastal Pacific" from Picton to Christchurch, 

** 2 nights accommodation and breakfast in Christchurch with free day.

** "Tranz Alpine" Christchurch to Greymouth return.  

** 1 night hotel and breakfast in Hokitika

** Shantytown and Punakaiki

** 1 night hotel and breakfast in Christchurch

 

 

PART TOUR POSSIBLE: Join or leave in Wellington or Picton if you wish. Minimum 2 passengers.

Option One:  

7 days/6 nights. Southbound: Auckland - Wellington (3nights)  - Picton (1 night) - Christchurch (2 nights) .

Tour cost per person   2 per room  $2,390. Single room $2,990

The nights in Auckland and Christchurch are interchangeable.

 

Optional Top of the South, South Island Highlights, South of the South, or Central North Island and Bay of islands extensions. 

 

 

 

 

 

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