Guided Coach & Train Tours
This suggested tour costs from NZD$8,749 per person (twin share, low season)
Starts in Wellington, finishes in Queenstown
11 days/10 nights
Hotel 4 star
Pre and post tour options? YES
Viewed 120 times in the last 7 days
Welcome to Wellington – New Zealand’s windy capital! Wellington is known for its world-class dining, great coffee and eccentric shops. Your great journey will officially begin the moment you check into your hotel room. After reading your welcome letter from your Tour Director, head out and explore all that Wellington has to offer. This is the perfect opportunity to get cultured at Te Papa Museum or grab a drink at one of the many quirky bars on Cuba Street. You may even fancy a ride on the cable car!
After an exciting day on the town, join your fellow travellers as well as the Tour Director at this evening’s welcome reception.
Your accommodation: 4-4.5 Star Hotel
This morning you will say poroporoaki ki te motu raki (good-bye to the North Island) as you sail to the South Island, crossing the Cook Strait on the Interislander Ferry. As the shores of the North Island slowly disappear, settle down in the comfy seats in the Premium Lounge. Treat yourself to a mimosa and enjoy a hearty seafaring breakfast, but save some room for morning tea!
On your journey across the Cook Strait you may spot pods of dolphins playing in the wake or, if you are very lucky, a whale. Don’t spend all your time inside – as you enter the stunning Queen Charlotte Sound enjoy the views as you cruise past the remnants of whaling stations, remote working sheep farms, pristine native bush and mussel farms. Admire the beauty of this coastal paradise as you arrive into the gateway of the South Island, Picton. Step off the Interislander Ferry and join your next world-class experience aboard a Marlborough Wine Tour.
The morning is yours to explore Picton. Meander through the impressive Edwin Fox- the world’s oldest surviving merchant sailing ships, the local craft stores, and coastal walks. Enjoy the waterfront cafés before boarding the Coastal Pacific train for another highlight rail journey through the Marlborough Wine Region.
Today you will be travelling into Kaikōura. Relax as the train glides across remote beaches, between mountains and sea, on a timeless journey of breath-taking beauty. Keep an eye out for the fur seals lazing on the rocks!
Once in Kaikōura, the evening will be yours to enjoy some iconic kai moana (seafood) at one of the quaint restaurants before enjoying your luxurious ocean-front hotel.
Today will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You will have the opportunity to go whale watching! Enjoy today’s optional thrill of an up-close encounter with the world's largest-toothed predator, the Giant Sperm Whale. Want to get an aerial experience of the wildlife? Why not request a plane or helicopter ride to capture the true grandeur of it all?
Whether you have decided to go llama trekking or swimming with the dolphins and seals, we're sure you will be feeling peckish. Head to the beach to sample some iconic New Zealand food - you can't go wrong with the humble Kiwiana fish and chips. Work off the deep-fried delights by wandering through the wonderful array of local artisan stores and souvenir shops.
In the late afternoon, your journey will continue, once again, on the Coastal Pacific Train en route to Christchurch, or “The Garden City”. The spectacular scenery doesn’t cease to amaze as you journey south through the rolling hills and flat plains. Enjoy the relaxing journey with a glass of wine in hand from the scenic café.
Christchurch, the hub for South Island exploration is also a wonderful city that blends modern architecture and technology with the existing 19th-century Anglican influence. Often remembered for its earthquake in 2011, the city is still rebuilding itself into a multicultural haven. So, without further delay, jump on the historic tram to learn the history, tales and culture of Ōtautahi Christchurch.
Enjoy your free time as you explore the Arts Centre, Quake City Museum, Antarctic Centre, and botanical gardens. There is also a multitude of delicious cafes tucked into quaint side streets we're sure you will love. If you are in the mood for something different, set off for Akaroa, an ‘incroyable’ French coastal settlement just outside the city.
Dinner awaits as you join your fellow travellers once again to tell them about the exciting places you have discovered.
The moment has come to experience the world-famous TranzAlpine journey through the Southern Alps to the West Coast!
On this fantastic escape, you will see epic vistas, soar on the edges of the ice-fed Waimakariri River, traverse the Southern Alps, and experience miles of native beech forest. The natural scenery isn’t the only marvel though. The TranzAlpine will also pass through the Otira Tunnel, a true engineering marvel of almost 100 years!
Once you arrive on the West Coast, you will travel even further off the beaten track by coach to Punakaiki Pancake Rocks. Here you will walk amongst limestone formations before finishing your day in the coastal town of Hokitika.
This morning you start your West Coast adventure by visiting one of the South Island’s most popular activities– The Treetop Aerial Walkway. This elevated adventure will get you acquainted with the locals – the ancient Rimu and Kamahi trees of course.
After your sky-high experience, continue south into Glacier Country. Franz Josef Glacier is quite special in that it survives in coastal rainforest temperatures. With a short walk to a viewpoint, you'll get a fantastic view of the vast valley, as well as a sneak peek of Franz Josef Glacier itself. If you would prefer to get up close, we recommend booking an optional helicopter flight. This will ensure you are getting the best possible view of this natural wonder.
After indulging in the local activities and retail therapy in Franz Josef’s souvenir shops, join your group for an impeccable highlight meal at Te Waonui Forest Retreat.
Today you will be exploring the mountainous Haast Pass. With changing landscapes around every bend, this journey to Queenstown will be one of the most scenic drives you may ever take. Marvel at the beaches, crystal blue lakes and rivers, mountain peaks, lush vineyards, charming plains and stunning glaciers as your Tour Director guides you between local hidden gems.
Emerging on the other side of the pass, explore a local fruit hotspot before exploring the cobblestone streets of the historic goldmining settlement of Arrowtown. After an exciting plunge into the history of this gold rush village, you will arrive in the world-famous resort town of Queenstown!
Make sure you charge your camera before you set off on today’s adventure. Today you’re heading to Milford Sounds/ Piopiotahi to be engulfed in towering peaks and to waltz through plunging valleys.
After travelling through native rainforests, meadows, and knobs (yes knobs!), you will join your cruise in Milford Sounds. Jump aboard and meander down the sound where you will experience the rumble of Bowen and Stirling Falls as they plummet from glacial hanging valleys sharply into the sea. Marvel at the sheer pinnacle of Mitre Peak, rising from the deep waters of the fiord. Or, if you’d like to soar like the Piopio (ancient bird), why not elevate your day by flying into the Sounds by plane or helicopter?
After this adventure, you will be heading back to Queenstown for the evening. Sip cocktails and indulge in Queenstown’s exciting nightlife along the sparkling Lake Wakatipu.
Queenstown truly has something for everyone. Personalise your day to be as active or relaxed as you’d like. Whether it’s sipping wine in Gibbston Valley or bungy jumping with AJ Hackett, there is no shortage of activities to delight your senses.
Enjoy a ‘final hurrah’ this evening as we board the TSS Earnslaw Steamship Cruise, dinner, and show. Reflect on your great adventure with your fellow travellers as you cruise to your dining experience at Walter peak overlooking the beautiful Table Bay. Sit back and watch a true Kiwi experience as you learn about sheep shearing and dog herding in this beautiful setting. This evening will truly encapsulate your great journey as a truly New Zealand highlight.
Your accommodation: 4-4.5 Star Hotel
Your journey will end after enjoying a final breakfast with your fellow travellers. You will be transferred to Queenstown Airport for your departing flight.