Grand Pacific Classic 19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour
Escorted coach tour from Auckland to Christchurch
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New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
Grand Pacific Tours

Grand Pacific Classic 19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour

This extremely popular tour has been designed specifically for rail enthusiasts to enjoy the best of New Zealand at a relaxed pace. The itinerary includes a selection of breathtaking journeys, visiting many exciting attractions and includes a wide range of activities. Journey across the Southern Alps on board the TranzAlpine train, enjoy a relaxing trip on the Silver Fern Seasider and enjoy the beautifully restored Glenbrook Railway vintage train. A highlight is an overnight experience aboard the Milford Mariner as you cruise across the majestic Milford Sound.

Tour summary and feature

Escorted coach tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$7,359 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Auckland, finishes in Christchurch

19 days/18 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Pre and post tour options? YES

 Viewed 32 times in the last 7 days

Tour at a glance

At a glance - Grand Pacific Classic 19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour

Day 1: Arrive into Auckland. Accommodation: Grand Millennium Auckland (or similar)

Day 2: Visit the impressive Kauri museum on the way to the Bay of Islands. Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands (or similar)

Day 3: Bay of Islands free day. Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands (or similar)

Day 4: Bay of Islands to Auckland. Accommodation: Grand Millennium Auckland (or similar)

Day 5: Auckland to Rotorua. Accommodation: Sudima Lake Rotorua (or similar)

Day 6: Thermal adventures in Rotorua. Accommodation: Sudima Lake Rotorua (or similar)

Day 7: Rotorua to Wellington. Accommodation: James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor (or similar)

Day 8: Wellington City. Accommodation: James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor (or similar)

Day 9: Say goodbye to the North Island. Accommodation: Distinction Christchurch Hotel (or similar)

Day 10: Christchurch Touring. Accommodation: Distinction Christchurch Hotel (or similar)

Day 11: Christchurch to Franz Josef. Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (or similar)

Day 12: Head down the west coast and through the Haast pass to Queenstown. Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

Day 13: The Adventure capital Queenstown. Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

Day 14: A glorious night on the Milford Mariner. Accommodation: Milford Mariner

Day 15: Milford Sound to Te Anau. Accommodation: Distinction Luxmore Hotel Te Anau (or similar)

Day 16: Te Anau to Dunedin. Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross (or similar)

Day 17: Listen to scandalous tales of the castle. Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross (or similar)

Day 18: Dunedin to Christchurch. Accommodation: Sudima Christchurch Airport (or similar)

Day 19: Farewell from your tour and new friends.

Tour full itinerary

Detailed itinerary: 19 day tour starting in Auckland

Day 1 - Arrive into Auckland

Grand Pacific Classic 19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour - Day 1
Arrive into Auckland

On arrival into Auckland, you will be met by a Grand Pacific Tours representative and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore. 

Your accommodation: Grand Millennium Auckland (or similar)

Located in the heart of the city, a stay at Grand Millennium Auckland places you within walking distance of some of the city's finest dining, shopping and entertainment venues.

Meals included: Dinner

Day 2 - Visit the impressive Kauri museum on the way to the Bay of Islands

Grand Pacific Classic 19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour - Day 2
Auckland to the Bay of Islands

Board your coach and enjoy a city tour of Auckland, dubbed the "City of Sails", before travelling to Matakohe to enjoy a visit and informative talk at the Kauri Museum. Travel via Whangarei to Paihia, situated in the heart of the beautiful Bay of Islands. Enjoy a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the location of the signing of the treaty between the Maori tribes and the British.

Your accommodation: Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands (or similar)

Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands expansive sub-tropical gardens and extensive guest facilities, enhances the welcoming atmosphere of this resort-style hotel. It's the perfect base from which to explore the beautiful and historic Bay of Islands.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3 - Bay of Islands free day

Grand Pacific Classic 19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour - Day 3
Bay of Islands

Today is a free day. Choose from the many optional activities available, including the Cape Reinga coach trip via Ninety Mile Beach or a spectacular scenic flight. This evening is also free and you may like to enjoy a relaxing dinner cruise (optional).

Your accommodation: Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands (or similar)

Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands expansive sub-tropical gardens and extensive guest facilities, enhances the welcoming atmosphere of this resort-style hotel. It's the perfect base from which to explore the beautiful and historic Bay of Islands.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 4 - Bay of Islands to Auckland

Grand Pacific Classic 19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour - Day 4
Bay of Islands to Auckland

This morning travel aboard a luxury catamaran to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock. Keep an eye out for bottlenose and common dolphins before returning to Paihia. Travel south via Whangarei, call into the Parry Kauri Park to see a magnificent example of a Kauri Tree before returning to Auckland.

Your accommodation: Grand Millennium Auckland (or similar)

Located in the heart of the city, a stay at Grand Millennium Auckland places you within walking distance of some of the city's finest dining, shopping and entertainment venues.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5 - Auckland to Rotorua

Grand Pacific Classic 19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour - Day 5
Auckland to Rotorua via Glenbrook Vintage Railway

This morning travel to Glenbrook Vintage Railway for a nostalgic 15 kilometre trip back in time on a beautifully restored vintage steam train. Visit the restoration workshop and on return to Glenbrook Station, morning tea will be served. Depart Glenbrook and travel through magnificent countryside of rolling hills and green pastures famous for dairying. Continue to Rotorua to visit Paradise Valley Springs, a superb wildlife park where you can hand feed rainbow trout.

Your accommodation: Sudima Lake Rotorua (or similar)

The Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua enjoys a location that is second-to-none on the very shores of beautiful Lake Rotorua, adjacent to the world famous Polynesian Spa complex and just a short stroll to all the attractions in Rotorua.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6 - Thermal adventures in Rotorua

Grand Pacific Classic 19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour - Day 6
Rotorua

Today begins with a gondola ride and breakfast at Skyline Rotorua. There is also time for a luge ride! Next stop is the Agrodome for an action packed hour of farming entertainment and education that's unlike anything you've seen before. Enjoy some free time this afternoon before travelling to Te Puia to see the boiling mud pools and awesome geysers that Rotorua is famous for. This evening experience an entertaining Maori Hangi and Concert.

Your accommodation: Sudima Lake Rotorua (or similar)

The Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua enjoys a location that is second-to-none on the very shores of beautiful Lake Rotorua, adjacent to the world famous Polynesian Spa complex and just a short stroll to all the attractions in Rotorua.

Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner

Day 7 - Rotorua to Wellington

Grand Pacific Classic 19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour - Day 7
Rotorua to Wellington

Travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway to the spectacular Huka Falls. Continue to Lake Taupo for some free time to enjoy this scenic lakeside town. Travel via the Tongariro National Park and then continue south to the capital city of New Zealand, Wellington.

Your accommodation: James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor (or similar)

At the heart of Wellingtons commercial and retail districts the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor has 260 well appointed rooms and suites.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8 - Wellington City

Grand Pacific Classic 19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour - Day 8
Full day in Wellington

A highlight this morning will be time to explore Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum with exhibits that embrace both Maori and European views. Reboard your coach for an extensive city tour which showcases the history and culture on show. Enjoy free time this afternoon and this evening is also free to choose your own dining arrangements.

Your accommodation: James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor (or similar)

At the heart of Wellingtons commercial and retail districts the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor has 260 well appointed rooms and suites.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 9 - Say goodbye to the North Island

Grand Pacific Classic 19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour - Day 9
Wellington to Christchurch

This morning board the Interislander Ferry, cross Cook Strait and travel through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton. Join the Coastal Pacific, a truly spectacular rail journey that showcases the Kaikoura mountain ranges on one side and the rugged scenic coastline on the other. Travel through numerous tunnels and across several bridges before departing the train in Kaikoura. Travel via coach south through some of the finest farmland areas to the garden city of Christchurch. *Please note the Coastal Pacifc Train does not run in winter, therefore departures in May will not include this rail sector and will be replaced by a coach.

Your accommodation: Distinction Christchurch Hotel (or similar)

This 4.5 star hotel is centrally located in the revitalised Cathedral Square. Ideally positioned, only a few minutes walk from the brand new Christchurch Convention Centre.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10 - Christchurch Touring

Grand Pacific Classic 19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour - Day 10
Christchurch

Today visit the International Antarctic Centre designed to provide an informative account of life in Antarctica. This is followed by an introductory city tour of Christchurch. This afternoon includes a journey on board the Christchurch Tram at your leisure, one of Christchurch's leading attractions. This evening is free to explore the local cuisine.

Your accommodation: Distinction Christchurch Hotel (or similar)

This 4.5 star hotel is centrally located in the revitalised Cathedral Square. Ideally positioned, only a few minutes walk from the brand new Christchurch Convention Centre.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 11 - Christchurch to Franz Josef

Grand Pacific Classic 19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour - Day 11
Christchurch to Franz Josef Glacier

This morning board the TranzAlpine, one of the great train journeys of the world. Travel over massive viaducts, river valleys and spectacular gorges as you ascend to Arthur’s Pass located in the centre of the Southern Alps. Board your coach and travel to Hokitika, famous for its Greenstone before arriving at Franz Josef where time is  available to experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the spectacular glaciers.

Your accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (or similar)

Located in the heart of Franz Josef Village the hotel offers all the amenities you would expect and is close to the shops, restaurants and activities on offer.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12 - Head down the west coast and through the Haast pass to Queenstown

Grand Pacific Classic 19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour - Day 12
Franz Josef Glacier to Queenstown

See the snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel south via the Haast Pass, an area of stunning beauty before arriving into picturesque Queenstown, a year round resort situated on the shores of magical Lake Wakatipu.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

The 4 star deluxe Millennium Hotel Queenstown is located in the heart of Queenstown within minutes of the central shopping and entertainment area.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 13 - The Adventure capital Queenstown

Grand Pacific Classic 19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour - Day 13
Queenstown free day with TSS Earnslaw Cruise and Dinner

Today is a free day for you to explore Queenstown with many optional activities available. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Sit back, relax and enjoy a delicious gourmet barbecue dinner featuring a menu of seasonal, fresh and locally sourced food at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner enjoy a short farm tour then reboard the TSS Earnslaw for a sing along by the piano as you cruise back to Queenstown.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

The 4 star deluxe Millennium Hotel Queenstown is located in the heart of Queenstown within minutes of the central shopping and entertainment area.

Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner

Day 14 - A glorious night on the Milford Mariner

Grand Pacific Classic 19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour - Day 14
Queenstown to Milford Sound for your overnight cruise

This morning travel to Arrowtown and visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue via Te Anau to Milford Sound and board the Milford Mariner for your amazing overnight cruise. There is plenty of time to view the fiord’s spectacular waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife - you’re bound to encounter seals and if you’re lucky maybe dolphins and penguins. As evening falls enjoy a delicious carvery buffet prepared freshly by the onboard chef.

Your accommodation: Milford Mariner

On board the Milford Mariner you will cruise the full length of this spectacular fiord to the Tasman Sea before anchoring for the night in sheltered Harrison Cove. After the day's activities, you enjoy a delicious evening buffet in the spacious saloon before retiring to your private cabin.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 15 - Milford Sound to Te Anau

Grand Pacific Classic 19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour - Day 15
Milford Sound to Te Anau

Start the day with a hearty breakfast before heading back out to the Tasman Sea (weather permitting) to explore more of the fiord. Return back to the wharf to meet your Ultimate Coach and enjoy the scenic drive to Te Anau where you will enjoy an afternoon at leisure. You may like to visit the Te Anau Glow Worm caves, (optional).

Your accommodation: Distinction Luxmore Hotel Te Anau (or similar)

The perfect base for all your Fiordland travel, Distinction Luxmore Hotel provides comfortable accommodation right in the heart of Te Anau.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 16 - Te Anau to Dunedin

Grand Pacific Classic 19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour - Day 16
Te Anau to Dunedin

Travel via Gore and Balclutha to Dunedin.

Your accommodation: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross (or similar)

The Scenic Hotel Southern Cross provides stylish inner city accommodation and is the perfect location from which to explore Dunedin. Just a short walk to the Octagon, Railway Station, theatres, shops, and close to Otago University.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 17 - Listen to scandalous tales of the castle

Grand Pacific Classic 19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour - Day 17
Dunedin

This morning travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach castle where you hear of tragic and scandalous history on a guided tour. Enjoy time to wander around this Garden of International Significance followed by delicious Devonshire Tea. Return to the city for an informative city tour of Speights Brewery (optional) or the chance to see wildlife in their natural habitat (optional). Tonight a Scottish evening will be presented comprising of bagpipes, great food and Haggis and gift ceremony. 

Your accommodation: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross (or similar)

The Scenic Hotel Southern Cross provides stylish inner city accommodation and is the perfect location from which to explore Dunedin. Just a short walk to the Octagon, Railway Station, theatres, shops, and close to Otago University.

Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner

Day 18 - Dunedin to Christchurch

Grand Pacific Classic 19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour - Day 18
Dunedin to Christchurch via Oamaru

This morning visit Olveston House, a prestigious historic home from the turn of the century, before travelling to Oamaru, famous for its limestone. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner with your new found friends.

Your accommodation: Sudima Christchurch Airport (or similar)

Located 2 minutes from the Christchurch International Airport the Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport is just 15 minutes from Christchurch City Centre.

Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner

Day 19 - Farewell from your tour and new friends

Grand Pacific Classic 19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach Tour - Day 19
Depart Christchurch

After breakfast (included) your tour concludes this morning. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.

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Remember - we can create this itinerary with any style of accommodation or customise to suit your interests and timeframe. Just contact us here.

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Jan 8, 2021
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