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North to South Scenic Train Explorer

Luxury Holidays to New Zealand

Travelling through the heart of the North Island Auckland to Rotorua to Wellington, this tour allows you to see the incredible diversity that New Zealand offers. Take the Interislander ferry and Tranz Coastal Scenic Train to Christchurch before exploring the South Island's mountains, lakes and glaciers.  The grand finale of this trip is crossing the spectacular Southern Alps on board the Tranz Alpine train. Book your Luxury Rail Holidays New Zealand today.

ItineraryCollapse All
Day 1: Depart the UK for Auckland

Depart UK for Auckland

Day 2: Auckland

Arrive into Auckland the 'City of Sails' , on arrival in New Zealand your detailed tour pack will be hand delivered by one of our trusted representatives. The pack contains everything you need for the duration of your stay. It will include a comprehensive, printed and bound version of your itinerary as well as clear driving instructions and maps for each leg of your journey. It also contains all the reservation details for your accommodation and activities - along with relevant brochures and information. Accommodation: Waldorf Stadium Apartments

Day 3: Auckland to Rotorua

Drive south through the rich fertile farmland of the Waikato and maybe stop at Hobbiton Village on your way to Rotorua .SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Hobbiton Movie Set Tour .Accommodation Quest Rotorua Central.Driving distance and time (approximate) for this driving leg is: 220 kms / 136 miles : 2.6 hours

Day 4: Rotorua

Your day in Rotorua could be spent discovering Maori culture or exploring from the air SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - White Island Helicopter tour with Volcanic Air Safaris and Mitai Maori Village .Accommodation: Quest Rotorua Central

Day 5: Rotorua to Wellington

Today is filled with fantastic scenery including Lake Taupo, the Desert Road and the Kapiti Coastline as you approach Wellington .SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary Night Tour. Accommodation: City Life Wellington Driving distance and time (approximate) for this driving leg is: 441 kms / 273 miles : 5.3 hours

Day 6: Wellington to Christchurch

Wellington to Christchurch via the Interislander ferry to Picton and Coastal Pacific Train Picton to Christchurch .The 92 km journey between Wellington and Picton takes around 3 hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'. Leaving Wellington Harbour you cross the Cook Strait and into the Marlborough Sounds.Then board the Coastal Pacifc train for your  journey between the delightful port of Picton and Christchurch, the South Island's largest city.A private transfer will meet you on arrival into Christchurch train station and drive you to your Christchurch accommodation.

Accommodation: Merivale Manor Motel

Day 7: Christchurch

Collect your rental car .Explore the ever changing city of Christchurch SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - International Antarctic Centre General Admission.

Accommodation: Merivale Manor Motel

Day 8: Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park

Today you’ll drive through the heart of the South Island, crossing the vast Canterbury plains. Catch your breath in Geraldine before continuing into Mackenzie Country. Ascending Burkes pass you'll come to the picturesque lakeside town of Tekapo. Known for its glacier fed turquoise blue color, take in the view of Mt Cook (New Zealand's tallest mountain) from the shores of Lake Tekapo. Continue along the lake to your final destination Mt Cook Village. Choose to view the Mt Cook National Park by a ski plane, or land on one of the glaciers in a helicopter. Find your sense of adventure and Kayak on a glacial lake or test your legs on one of the many walking tracks in and around the village. Before leaving, a visit to the Sir Edmund Hillary Centre is a must do.SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Mt. Cook Ski Planes Glacier Highlights Scenic Flight including Glacier Landing Today you'll enjoy a scenic drive through Canterbury and the MacKenzie Country .Accommodation: Mt Cook Lodge & Motels Driving distance and time (approximate) for this driving leg is: 350 kms / 217 miles : 4.1 hours

Day 9: Mt Cook National Park to Queenstown

Follow the dry lands to Lindis Pass which leads into Central Otago, then through the Kawerau Gorge to Queenstown SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour .Accommodation: Garden Court Suites and Apartments .Driving distance and time (approximate) for this driving leg is: 256 kms / 159 miles : 2.9 hours

Day 10: Queenstown

Today is yours to discover all the scenic spots and fun activities on offer in Queenstown SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Shotover Jet - Canyon Jet Boat Ride and Nomad Safaris Macetown 4WD adventure tour .Accommodation: Garden Court Suites and Apartments

Day 11: Queenstown to Wanaka

Take the Crown Range Road to Wanaka before travelling the spectacular Haast Pass to the West Coast .Accommodation: Punga Grove motel & suites Driving distance and time (approximate) for this driving leg is: 344 kms / 214 miles : 4.4 hours

Day 12: Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef free day . Accommodation: Punga Grove motel & suites SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight and Glacier Hot Pools

Day 13: Franz Josef Glacier to Greymouth. Greymouth to Chirstchurch

Drive north along the stunning West Coast Road and take the  Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch .Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the Tranz Alpine scenic train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You'll travel from the Tasman Sea through Arthur's Pass National Park to the Pacific Ocean.From the comfort of your carriage you will rise from the lush rain forest of the West Coast to the spectacular mountains of the Southern Alps. Traveling through gorges and the river valley of the Waimakariri River you'll descend to the farmland of the Canterbury Plains before arriving in the city of Christchurch.Private transfer Christchurch train station to your accommodation .A private transfer will meet you on arrival into Christchurch train station and drive you to your Christchurch accommodation.Accommodation: Merivale Manor Motel .Driving distance and time (approximate) for this driving leg is: 170 kms / 106 miles : 2.1 hours

Day 14: Fly back to the UK

Private transfer to Christchurch airport.You will be collected from your accommodation and a private transfer will deliver you to Christchurch airport in time for your departing flight.

Day 15: Arrive UK

Arrive UK

14 Nights from £2,699 pp
Price Includes

Please Note all of our trips can be tailor-made to suit your requirements

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Call us free on
0800 484 0325
What's Included:
  • Motels accommodation as stated
  • Rental car insurance included: Fully inclusive with variable excess/deductible
  • Rental car inclusions: GPS navigation. unlimited kms, airport/ferry terminal fees, additional drivers
  • Tour pack: Includes detailed driving instructions, maps, guide books, contact numbers in NZ.. and much more
  • Private train station transfers
  • Private airport transfers
  • Coastal Pacific Train from Picton to Christchurch
  • Interislander ferry crossing
  • Tranz Alpine Train from Greymouth to Christchurch
Tailor-Make Your Holiday

You can swap out any part of this itinerary, add activities, tours or extend your stay and even upgrade your accommodation to build your dream holiday.

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