Good news! The Tranz Alpine is operating again, every saturday and sunday until 29 August, and friday to monday from 04 September. The "Coastal Pacific" is expected to start operating again every tuesday, wednesday, thursday in October or November and the "Northern Explorer" from November or December providing through connections from Auckland.
BUBBLE BUSTER WEEKEND SHORT BREAK
Departs Christchurch every saturday. (Minimum 2 people)
Saturday. Christchurch - Hokitika.
8.15am. Depart Christchurch Railway station aboard the "Tranz Alpine" train for one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world,. Cross the Canterbury Plains and wind through the foothills of the Southern Alps criss crossing the Waimakariri River climbing towards Arthurs Pass. After a brief stop in Arthurs Pass National Park travel through the Otira tunnel and descend steeply into the rainforest of the West Coast. See Lake Brunner and the Grey River before arriving in Greymouth at 1.05pm. You will be met by your local guide and after a short tour of Greymouth head south to Hokitika. Enjoy a tour of introduction to Hokitika and enjoy the views of the rainforest from the Treetop Walkway high in the forest. Catch up on Hokitika in its prime during the gold rush era and even a bit of "Luminaries" lore. Accommodation tonight at the Beachfront Hotel overlooking the (often) wild Tasman Sea. Support one of the local restaurants or dine at the hotel - extra expense.
Sunday. Hokitika - Christchurch.
Start the day with a hearty included breakfast and enjoy a free morning to visit the National Kiwi Centre, Gold centre, a Greenstone factory, or walk the wild beach among the driftwood. We recommend the West Coast Scenic Waterways cruise - extra cost $60. All activities extra expense.
Depart Hokitika at 12.45pm and transfer back to Greymouth to rejoin the Tranz Alpine for the journey back to Christchurch arriving 6.15pm. Our arrangements end at Christchurch railway station.
Punakaiki option extra cost $80 (minimum 2 people)
Depart Hokitika 10am and travel north to the amazing Punakaiki Pancake Rocks in the Paparoa National Park. You have an hour to explore the area before returning to Greymouth to join the Tranz Alpine for the journey back to Christchurch.
You are welcome to stay an extra night and return monday if you wish
Tour cost per person
July and August
2 per room $590. Single $670
September - November 30.
2 per room $790. Single $850
December 01 - February 28
2 per room $890 Single 960
Tour cost incldues:
** Return travel from Christchurch to Greymouth aboard the "Tranz Alpine" express
** Transfer to and from Hokitika with tour of Hokitika
** Treetop walk. (Note this is suitable for all ages - a golf cart is available to take those who need it to the viewing platform)
** 1 night accommodation and breakfast at Beachfront Hotel
You are welcome to stayover between tours subject to train timetable. Extra cost per person per night including breakfast in Oceanview Room $140 share twin Driftwood Wing room $100.
CHRISTCHURCH pre and post tour arrangements. Just $350m per person share $490 single room.
Includes: arrival transfer from airport to hotel and hotel to train and departure transfer from ttrain to hotel and hotel to airport plus 2 nights accommodation and breakfast at a central city 4 star hotel.
Tour 212 NEW ZEALAND HOSTED* GRAND RAIL TOUR
Please note: The operation of this tour is dependent on the "Northern Explorer and Coastal Pacific coming back into service.
* Host may be from dinner in Wellington.
Departs Auckland saturdays:
2021: Dates to be advised whhen we know the new train schedule
Breakfasts and dinners included.
"Friendly Four" - 4-5 people reserving and travelling together save 10% each.
"Super Six" - 6-8 people reserving and travelling together save 15% each.
'Bubble' Tours. Form your own bubble up to 8 people and enjoy an exclusive tour with our driver/guide.
Join in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Blenheim, or Christchurch.
9 days/8 nights Auckland to Christchurch
14 days/13 nights Auckland to Dunedin.
You may join this tour in Wellington saturday afternoon or at the ferry terminal monday morning, or in Blenheim monday or tuesday or Christchurch tuesday night or thursday morning.
Option to Catlins Stewart Island, Fiordland, Queenstown.
Includes "Northern Explorer" (From Auckland or Hamilton), Interislander, Coastal Pacific, Tranz Alpine, PLUS "Edwin Fox" ship restoration project in Picton, Peter Jacksons Knights of the Sky and Dangerous Skies exhibitions in Blenheim, optional whale watch cruise at Kaikoura, and comprehensive tour of the central West Coast including Greymouth, Punakaiki, Westport, Treetop Walkway, Eco boat cruise, and Hokitika including special "Luminaries" features. 14 day tour includes Oamaru (overnight) with historic area and blue penguin colony evening visit, Moeraki, Dunedin (3 nights), "Seasider" train, "Taieri Gorge Railway". Olveston House tour, Chinese Gardens, Otago Museum, Larnachs Castle, Albatross colony, Farm 4wd tour to yellow eyed penguins and seals.
Free pick up from any accommodation in Auckland metro area bounded by Albany, Henderson, Pakuranga, and Papakura. (minimum 2 passengers)
Day 1. Saturday AUCKLAND - WELLINGTON (D)
Depart Auckland 7.45am, Papakura 8.40am, and Hamilton 10.15am aboard the "Northern Explorer" and travel 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 and transfer to our accommodation. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 2. Sunday. WELLINGTON (BD)
Morning sightseeing includes Wellington's most famous sights including Mt Victoria, Parliament Buildings,part of the Marine Drive, and a ride on the cable car. The afternoon is free to explore Te Papa Museum of New Zealand, The Maritime Museum, or enjoy the waterfront and cafes.
Optional full day LORD OF THE RINGS tour including city sights and Weta workshop, home of the "Lord of the Rings", "Hobbit" and other great films. Also visit some of the film sites in Wellington including Weathertop, Dunharrow Plateau, Frodo Tree, Race to the Ferry, Shellob's Lair Rock, Helms Deep, Minas Tirith, River Anduin, Gardens of Isengard, Rivendell, Fords of Isen and much more. Picnic lunch included by the river at Rivendell! - extra cost $100.
Dinner on an historic tug boat tonight - moored in Oriental Bay.
Day 3. Monday WELLINGTON - PICTON - MARLBOROUGH TOUR - BLENHEIM (BD)
Transfer to the Interislander terminal for the 3 hour 40 minute cruise across Cook Strait and through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton. We will be met on arrival and visit the "Edwin Fox" ship restoration project. The "Edwin Fox" is the oldest merchant ship, and 9th oldest ship overall, still in existence worldwide. Continue to the Marlborough Museum and discover Marlborough's 700 year old Maori and European history. Overnight in Blenheim. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 4. Tuesday. BLENHEIM - KAIKOURA - CHRISTCHURCH. (BD)
Visit Peter Jackson's KNIGHTS OF THE SKY World War 1 and DANGEROUS SKIES World War 2 exhibitions. Drive down the scenic coast to the charming seaside town of Kaikoura for a short tour and visit to the seal colony. You have time for an optional Whale Watch cruise or flight before joining the "Coastal Pacific" train for the scenic ride down the Kaikoura Coast to Christchurch arriving early evening. We will be met and transferred to our accommodation. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 5. Wednesday TRANZ ALPINE (BD)
Transfer to the rail station to join the "Tranz Alpine Express, renowned as one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world. Depart at 8.15am and arrive Greymouth at 1.05pm. This afternoon take a short tour of Greymouth,
Day 6. Thursday. WESTPORT - HOKITIKA (BLD)
Depart for Denniston, site of one of the most famous coal mining areas on the West Coast. The Brakehead 40 minute loop walk will include a viewpoint over the famous Denniston incline, Denniston's first settlement camp, the Banbury drystone arch, and the historic mine workshop site. Continue to Reefton and visit The Bearded Mining Company for a visit to a recreated miners hut and cup of Billy Tea. Watch the Blacksmith and try your hand at gold panning. A short visit to the Reefton Distillery Co with a little tasting will whet the appetite for lunch at Monteiths Brewery. Explore the recreated gold mining village of Shantytown and ride the steam trains before gong back to nature at the Hokitika Gorge for a short walk among the breathtaking scenery. Last great experience for the day is a leisurely Eco boat cruise on the Mahinapua waterways originally used by pioneers, gold diggers, and early explorers. Arrive at our Hotel in Hokitika overlooking the rugged beach. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 7. Friday HOKITIKA - CHRISTCHURCH (BD)
Our specialist local guide will join us for a walking tour of Hokitika to recapture the atmosphere of the gold rush era in Hokitika when it was the centre of the gold rush and a thriving port. We will also try and recapture the setting for the award winning novel, the "Luminaries", now a major television series and visit the Holitika museum. Enjoy an introduction to West Coast Greenstone (Jade - Pounamu). Continue to the West Coast Treetop walkway for an exhilirating treetop adventure high in the ancient Rimu and Kamahi trees with great views (weather permitting) of Lake Mahinapua, Southern Alps, and Tasman Sea. return to Greymouth to rejoin the "Tranz Alpine train departing Greymouth at 2.05pm arriving Christchurch 6.31. Transfer to the hotel and dinner at the hotel.
Day 8. Saturday. CHRISTCHURCH (BD)
Full day sightseeing includes the Port Hills for a panoramic view over the city, Lyttelton, Sumner Beach, Ferrymead Historical Park, New Brighton Beach, Botanical Gardens, city areas, Canterbury Museum, etc. Free time for a tram ride and/or Punt on the Avon River (own expense). Dinner at a special location tonight.
Day 9. Sunday. CHRISTCHURCH (BD)
Free day for an optional excursion to the charming town of Akaroa, the thermal spa resort of Hanmer Springs, or whatever you wish. All activities own expense.
For those finishing the tour today transfer will be provided to the airport by shuttle but to give you flexibility on the return the air fare is not included.
Day 10. Monday CHRISTCHURCH - OAMARU (BD)
Drive south through Ashburton and Timaru to the 'Whitestone' town of Oamaru. This afternoon explore the historic precinct with its recreated early settlers life and times and maybe ride a Penny Farthing cyle if you dare - extra expense. This evening we visit the Blue Penguin colony as the birds return from the sea.
Day 11. Tuesday. OAMARU - DUNEDIN (BD)
Take the scenic coastal route via Tapanui to the Moeraki Boulders for some beach time then on to Dunedin "Scottish" city of the south. This afternoon we ride the "Seasider" train around Dunedin Harbour with scenic views of Port Chalmers, the white sandy beaches of Careys Bay, and the Pacific Ocean from the Mapoutahi Cliffs.
Day 12. Wednesday. DUNEDIN (BD)
Tour the city including the scenic drive, a guided tour of "Olveston House" histroic homestead, Otago Museum, the Chinese Gardens, Knox Church, and the Octagon. This afternoon we explore the Otago peninsula including a guided tour of Larnachs Castle, Royal Albtaross Centre, and a farm tour to the coast to see seals and Penguins.
Day 13. Thursday. DUNEDIN - "Taieri Gorge" (BD).
Enjoy a ride on the privately operated "Taieri Gorge Railway" into gold rush terrirory and spectacular scenery. Free tiem for your own explorations.
Day 14. Friday. DUNEDIN DEPART (B)
Transfer to the airport for departure or why not continue through the Catlins to Invercargill, Stewart island, Fiordland. and Queenstown.
** Tour cost per person from Auckland, Hamilton, or Otorohanga to Christchurch (9 days)
2 per room $3,300
3 per room $3,190
Single room $3,980
Tour cost from Auckland, Hamilton, or Otorohanga to Dunedin. (14 days)
2 per room $4,990
3 per room $4,700
Single room $5,990
Tour cost includes:
** All travel from Auckland to Christchurch by train and Interislander.
** 7 nights accommodation, dinner, breakfast
** Arrival and departure transfers at all points including home pick up and return in Auckland
** Sightseeing tour of Wellington including Weta Workshiop and cable car ride, "Edwin Fox" ship, Aviation Museum, all sightseeing on the West Coast including Shantytown admissions.
Tour cost from Wellington joining at hotel sunday afternoon. Dinner included
2 Per room $2,790
3 per room $2,660
Single room $3,480
Tour cost from Wellington joining at Interisland terminal monday morning.
2 per room $2,320
3 per room $2,220
Single room $2,790
Tour cost from Blenheim joining tuesday morning.
2 per room $1,950
3 per room $1,900
Single room $2,330
Tour cost from Christchurch joining wednesday morning at rail station, ending friday night at rail station on return. 3 days.
2 per room $1,140
3 per room $1,100
Single room $1,340
Tour cost Christchurch joining at hotel tuesday afternoon and ending saturday morning. 5 days
2 per room $1,490
3 per room $1,410
Single room $1,890