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AFRICA | ASIA | AUSTRALIA | PACIFIC ISLANDS | THE AMERICAS | UK & EUROPE
Until sold out
12 day/11 night tour from
per person share twin
New Zealand offers many superb train journeys, several of which we will include on this rail adventure. Traverse through the central North Island onboard the Northern Explorer; journey on the world-renowned TranzAlpine from Christchurch through the majestic Southern Alps to Arthurs Pass. We also make stops at small private railways, perfect for all train enthusiasts.
✔ Door to door home collection & drop off service available from select areas
✔ 11 nights accommodation
✔ Christchurch to Auckland flight with Air New Zealand - other ports on application/price on application
✔ Touring in modern air conditioned tour coach
✔ 11 breakfasts and 9 dinners
✔ Northern Explorer train from Auckland or Hamilton to Wellington
✔ Admission to Fell Locomotive Museum
✔ Admission to Silver Stream Railway
✔ Local train rides in Wellington
✔ Interislander sailing from Wellington to Picton
✔ Admission to Omaka Aviaition Heritage Centre
✔ Private charter on the Weka Pass Railway
✔ Admission to Ferrymead Heritage Park
✔ Guided tour of Airforce Museum of New Zealand
✔ TranzAlpine Train from Christchurch to Arthurs Pass
✔ Admission to Shantytown Heritage Park
✔ Lake cruise on TSS Earnslaw including BBQ at Walter Peak Station
✔ Admission to Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
✔ Private charter on the Pleasant Point Railway
From $6100 per person share twin
Travel: Mon 28 Mar - Fri 8 Apr 22
Day 1 Monday 28 March 2022
JOURNEY TO WELLINGTON (D)
Our railway adventure commences today as we depart Hamilton (or Auckland at extra cost) on the Northern Explorer train for a full day scenic rail journey through the heart of the North Island to Wellington. Enroute we pass through picturesque farming country and forests. A highlight will be the climb up the famous Raurimu Spiral, which was a masterpiece of 19th century railway engineering. See rural towns and villages, the volcanoes of Tongariro National Park and the sea views as we travel down the Kapiti Coast into Wellington. On arrival in Wellington, we’ll be met by our touring coach and driver and will be transferred to our accommodation. Tonight, we’ll enjoy a group dinner at the hotel.
Accommodation: James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel, Wellington – 2 nights
Day 2 Tuesday 29 March 2022
Today we journey by rail on the local Wairarapa line to the town of Featherston – passing through the 8.8-km long Rimutaka Tunnel. Here we’ll pay a visit to the fascinating Fell Locomotive Museum and discover an abundance of rail history and technology including the H199, the only locomotive of its type in the world. Following this, we travel by coach a short way to Upper Hutt, where we’ll visit the eclectic collection of the Silver Stream Railway and enjoy a ride on a diesel electric hauled goods train and an ex Public Works Department steam train (Barclay 1749) before travelling back to Wellington by coach, arriving in the late afternoon. Dine this evening at our hotel.
Day 3 Wednesday 30 March 2022
WELLINGTON — BLENHEIM (BD)
This morning board the Interislander for a journey described as, “one of the most spectacular ferry rides in the world”. Journey across the Cook Strait to Picton, then on arrival we reboard our coach for a short drive to Blenheim. After stopping for lunch in Blenheim (own cost) we board the little narrow-gauge Riverside Railway from Brayshaw to Omaka. The railway traverses along the picturesque Taylor River and meanders its way through the middle of Blenheim, providing an insight to the changing landscapes. On arrival at Omaka we visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre home to a collection of military aircraft from both World Wars, displayed in brilliantly realistic dioramas created by the magic of Weta Workshop and WingNut Films, including Sir Peter Jackson’s own WW1 aircraft and artefact collection. Dinner tonight is included at our hotel.
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Marlborough, Blenheim
Day 4 Thursday 31 March 2022
BLENHEIM — CHRISTCHURCH (BD)
After breakfast this morning we depart Blenheim and travel down State Highway 1 through to Christchurch. Our first stop of the day will be in Kaikoura. Take some time in the town to purchase lunch and explore before we continue the journey south. Next we stop at Waikari to embark on an exclusive private charter of a vintage railcar on the historic Weka Pass Railway. Travel on the 12.8-kilometre scenic line through stunning limestone formations, down the escarpment to the Canterbury Plain. This round trip is an hour in total, and it showcases the exceptional beauty of the Waikari and Waipara areas. Following this we continue onto Christchurch. Dinner tonight is at the hotel’s restaurant.
Accommodation: Quality Hotel Elms, Christchurch – 2 nights
Day 5 Friday 01 April 2022
Hit by devastating earthquakes in 2011 and 2012, Christchurch lost many of its heritage buildings and churches. However, it is being rebuilt and the city is as vibrant as ever, with its open-air markets and the innovative Cardboard Cathedral. Start the day with a half-day city tour with our first stop being the Ferrymead Heritage Park, an early 1900s (Edwardian) township complete with its own school, church, jail, railway station and more. Next, visit the Air Force Museum of New Zealand, the national museum for the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) and New Zealand military aviation. Set on the site of a former air base at Wigram, this is home to a collection of aircraft telling the story of military aviation in New Zealand. More than just planes, it also tells the story of the people who crewed and serviced them. From pre-World War I, through the formation of the RNZAF in the 1930s, and then World War II to the present day, the mostly original aircraft are supported by displays and other artefacts that bring the airman's experience to life. While here we enjoy a fully-guided ‘Behind the Scenes’ tour delving into the Collections area. Dinner tonight is at your leisure.
Day 6 Saturday 02 April 2022
CHRISTCHURCH — FOX GLACIER (BD)
Today we have a full day of railway highlights and changing landscapes. An early start this morning as we board the TranzAlpine train to Arthurs Pass, a scenic rail journey across the fertile Canterbury Plains and into the heart of the mighty Southern Alps. Travel across towering viaducts, through spectacular gorges and river valleys and into the lush forest of Arthurs Pass National Park. Our coach will meet us in Arthurs Pass then we descend to the West Coast and make our way to the popular heritage park, Shantytown. Here, there will be time to enjoy lunch and explore the living museum. Take a ride on the vintage train and experience gold panning in the alluvial streams that flow through the area. Travel by coach along the scenic West Coast to arrive in Fox Glacier in the early evening. Dinner tonight will be at our hotel.
Accommodation: Heartland Hotel, Fox Glacier
Day 7 Sunday 03 April 2022
FOX GLACIER — QUEENSTOWN (BD)
Our journey today is full of ever-changing spectacular coastal, rainforest, and alpine scenery. The road along the West Coast features native rainforest, wetlands, bush-fringed lakes, sand dunes and surf-pounded shingle beaches. At Haast head inland over the Haast Pass, the lowest of the South Island mountain passes crossing the Southern Alps. Once over the Pass the scenery changes dramatically as the road descends past the waters of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea and into Central Otago. Continue past stone fruit orchards and through the rock hewn Kawarau Gorge to Queenstown stopping enroute at the historic gold-mining town of Arrowtown. Dinner is included at our hotel restaurant this evening.
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Lakefront, Queenstown – 2 nights
Day 8 Monday 04 April 2022
Today is at leisure. Queenstown has a plethora of optional sightseeing activities available from jet-boating on the thrilling Shotover Jet; a jet-boat excursion along the scenic and remote Dart River; winery tours to the premier Central Otago wineries; 4WD tours into unforgettable Skippers Canyon; scenic flights or if you dare – bungy jumping or tandem sky-diving! Extra cost for optional sightseeing excursions.
We group this evening for an unforgettable steamship cruise. Steeped in Queenstown’s pioneering history, our experience commences with a cruise across Lake Wakatipu in the 1912 vintage steamship, the TSS Earnslaw. Disembark at Walter Peak High Country Farm, one of the first farms set up in the region and still a working farm. In the ambience of the Colonel’s Homestead, enjoy a delicious gourmet BBQ dinner which the chef will prepare in front of you. After dinner enjoy an entertaining brief farm experience including a sheep shearing demonstration. On the magical night-time cruise home, enjoy the camaraderie of a sing-a-long with the ship’s pianist or breathe in the fresh night air on the moonlit decks as you watch the lights of Queenstown draw nearer.
Day 9 Tuesday 05 April 2022
QUEENSTOWN — DUNEDIN (BD)
We farewell Queenstown and travel to Dunedin, stopping on the way at Hayes Engineering Works and Homestead, the legacy of English immigrants Ernest and Hannah Hayes, who settled in Central Otago after their arrival in 1882. Explore the historic homestead and workshop and enjoy lunch (own cost) at leisure in the little café. We then continue on our journey via coach to Dunedin. Founded in 1848 by Scottish settlers Dunedin was envisaged as the "Edinburgh of the South". The influence of its Scottish heritage is still strongly evident. It is a city of gracious dignity and charm, characterised by the permanence of many handsome stone buildings and historical monuments. Dinner tonight will be at our hotel.
Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Dunedin – 2 nights
Day 10 Wednesday 06 April 2022
Depart the hotel for a tour of the city with highlights including the views of the harbour from the hill suburbs and the University of Otago with its historic blue stone buildings on the banks of the Leith River. Travel through the CBD along George and Princes Streets and through the Octagon which features the historic Town Hall and St Pauls Anglican Cathedral and a statue of the Scottish poet Robbie Burns. Also included is a visit to the fascinating Toitū Otago Settlers Museum, which highlights the culture, history, character, technology and art of the Otago province. The museum is also home to the steam locomotive Josephine. Josephine began her career on the Dunedin-Port Chalmers Railway – one of two Double Fairlie locomotives brought from England to operate the railway in 1872. She went on to work at various other locations throughout the country, before being sent to the scrap yard 45-years later. She avoided the scrap heap however and, since the latter half of the 1920s, has been on display at the Museum. One of only a handful of surviving Double Fairlies left in the world, Josephine is a much-loved icon of the Museum. Wander the exhibits and enjoy lunch (own cost) in the museum’s café in your own time. The remainder of the afternoon and evening are free for you to enjoy. Perhaps stroll around to Speight’s Brewery (producing ale since 1876) for a brewery tour (extra cost).
Day 11 Thursday 07 April 2022
DUNEDIN — CHRISTCHURCH (BD)
On the last day of our adventure we journey back to Christchurch by coach. On the way stop at Oamaru, a gorgeous harbour town famous for some of New Zealand’s best 19th century architecture. Here, enjoy lunch in your own time (own cost) perhaps in the Victorian precinct of Oamaru. The next stop is the Pleasant Point Railway, to enjoy an exclusively chartered ride on their impressive little steam train. From here we travel to Christchurch. Dinner tonight will be at the hotel.
Accommodation: Quality Hotel Elms, Christchurch
Day 12 Friday 08 April 2022
DEPART CHRISTCHURCH (B)
Today we transfer from our hotel to Christchurch to Christchurch Airport to connect with our flight to Auckland.
Please note that full terms and conditions apply - see your House of Travel consultant for details.
• Package price is based on twin share and is priced in New Zealand Dollars.
• Pricing is correct at the time of submission but is subject to change without notice.
• Valid for travel as specified.
• Inclusions are subject to change based on supplier operational capabilities.
• Cancellation and Amendment fees apply.
• Airfares are included to Auckland, ask your House of Travel consultant for flights to other cities (may incur extra cost)
Supplier code: LTT