Grand Tour of New Zealand
Enthralling scenery and breathtaking views are found at every turn in the 'youngest country on Earth'.
Enthralling scenery and breathtaking views are found at every turn in the 'youngest country on Earth'. Discover steaming geysers, picturesque mountains, bottomless fjords and lush forests on this tour showcasing the beauties of New Zealand's North and South Islands.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Scheduled flights in Economy Class from London to Auckland and Christchurch to London
- All rail, coach and ferry travel as described
- 18 nights' hotel accommodation
- 18 meals including 13 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 4 dinners
- 3 Scenic rail journeys on the Northern Explorer, the Coastal Pacific and the TranzAlpine
- Guided tour of Auckland including rail journey on the Glenbrook Vintage Railway
- Visits to the Moeraki Boulders, a lake cruise and glow worm cave experience
- The Waitangi Treaty House and Bay of Islands cruise
- Guided tours of Queenstown and Wellington
- Visits to Rotorua, Lady Knox Geyser and the Antarctic Centre
- Cruise on Milford Sound
- The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from start to finish
Days 1-3 - London to Auckland
Departing from London we fly via Singapore to Auckland, arriving mid-morning on Day 3 and transferring to our hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure before we enjoy dinner together tonight.
Day 4 - To Paihia & Waitangi Treaty House
Today we travel northwards through scenic farmland to Paihia, located in the truly magnificent Bay of Islands. Here we visit the Waitangi Treaty House, where in 1840 Maori and British people reached an historic agreement which effectively marked the birth of New Zealand.
Day 5 - Bay of Islands
After a leisurely morning, today we enjoy a cruise around the bay, passing golden beaches. Later we continue up to the rugged Cape Brett, and (weather permitting) travel to Russell Island. Known in the 1800s ominously as the 'Hell Hole of the Pacific, it was a bustling base for whalers and seamen.
Day 6 - Auckland, The 'City of Sails'
This morning we drive south back to Auckland, the country's largest city, known as the 'City of Sails' for the number of yachts that take to the waters around it. The city dates back to around 1350, when it was inhabited by the Maori people, but little recorded history survives before January 1832 when Joseph Brooks Weller bought the area that is now Auckland. Auckland is also the largest in New Zealand, being home to around 30% of the population of the whole country. We explore on a sightseeing tour, taking in the Hauraki Gulf and the volcanic islands that are characteristic of this beautiful area. We then visit the iconic Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Day 7 - Rotorua
This morning we take a trip on the Glenbrook Vintage Railway, which opened in 1922 and ran for 45 years before closing in 1967. Today, the line is operated by steam enthusiasts, and caters to around 30,000 tourists every season. We then travel across the Bombay Hills, through Waikato Valley to Rotorua, the Maori's spiritual home. We visit the Rotorua Museum, which gives an insight into the region's history and culture. We spend two nights in Rotorua.
Day 8 - Wal-O-Tapu
We visit Wai-O-Tapu (Sacred Waters) to see the Lady Knox Geyser volcano. Here we marvel at the rainbow-coloured pools and former mud volcano, where you can hear the unique sound of erupting, boiling mud.
Days 9 & 10 - Northern Explorer to Wellington
Transferring to Hamilton, we take the Northern Explorer train for a journey through King Country. We view spectacular scenery from panoramic windows including the peaks of Tongariro National Park, Mount Ruapehu and stunning river gorges. On Day 10 we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Wellington. We drive along pretty Oriental Bay to Mount Victoria for stunning views and see the Parliament Buildings.
Day 11 - To the South Island by Ferry
Today we take the Interislander ferry across Cook Strait to Picton on the South Island. On arrival in Picton we board the TranzCoastal train for a scenic journey to Christchurch via Blenheim, the Marlborough wine region and down the Pacific Coast through Kaikoura.
Days 12 & 13 - Dunedin & the Taieri Gorge
We cross Canterbury Plains through Timaru and Oamaru, stopping at Moeraki to see the mysterious spherical boulders scattered on the beach. We check in at the Scenic Hotel for two nights. On Day 13 your morning is free to explore Dunedin. In the afternoon we follow the trail of 19th century gold miners to the gold fields of Central Otago on the Taieri Gorge Railway in carriages dating back to the 1920's.
Day 14 - Te Anau
Today we travel to Te Anau, nestled by the serene waters of Lake Te Anau, the second longest lake in New Zealand. We cruise across the lake for a guided tour of the Te Anau Caves, with their subterranean limestone caverns and magical glow worm grotto.
Day 15 - Milford Sound
We travel into the Fiordland National Park for a cruise on stunning Milford Sound. Lush rainforests cling precariously to the fiord's cliffs and the cruise takes us past magnificent waterfalls and out to the Tasman Sea. We enjoy a buffet lunch on board the ship.
Day 16 - To Queenstown
This morning we travel to Queenstown, a popular destination loved by outdoor enthusiasts thanks to the magnificent surrounding scenery. Here we enjoy a ride on the Skyline Gondola, which offers a wonderful panorama.
Days 17 & 18 - Queenstown & Lake Wakatipu
Today we enjoy a sightseeing tour, driving across Shotover River to historic Arrowtown, the site of a major gold rush in the 1860s and a 'Lord of the Rings' film location. We continue to Gibbston Valley Winery for a tour of the cellars and wine tasting. Day 18 is at leisure, relaxing in Queenstown overlooked by Lake Wakatipu.
Day 19 - Franz Josef Glacier
Travelling past Lake Wanaka, we descend to the Haast River. Continuing through the native rainforest by coach, we pass Fox Glacier before reaching the Franz Josef Glacier. An overnight stay and dinner at the Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier or Quality Hotel Elms allows us to view the glacier or to take a helicopter flight to the snowfield (payable locally).
Day 20 - The TranzAlpine
We visit Hokitika, the centre for New Zealand jade, before heading to Christchurch, at the township of Arthur's Pass. On arrival we take a guided tour of the city, spending our last night at the Sudima Hotel and enjoy a farewell dinner together.
Days 21 & 22 - The Journey Home
On our final day in New Zealand we visit the International Antarctic Centre, before transferring to the airport for our flight home, which lands in London mid-morning on Day 22.
Rail Your Way
Own your holiday, make it bespoke, especially designed for you. This could be as simple as a variation to one of our existing tours by choosing where and when you want to begin and end your journey. Or something totally unique with your chosen destinations and hotels for the time you want. Rail Your Way allows you to tailor make your holiday so you can have the experience you want.
Ask your rail specialist for details.
Add long-haul or domestic flights from your nearest airport and make your holiday air-inclusive. Look for the Air Available icon to identify those holidays where flights can be included.
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Train and Hotel Accommodations
Grand Millennium Auckland, Auckland
With an excellent location near the centre of Auckland, minutes away from the harbour and Queen Street, there are few better places for exploring this fine city than the 4-Star Grand Millennium Auckland. This charming hotel offers two restaurants and a modern lounge-bar. The well-designed rooms provide complimentary WiFi, a television and tea & coffee making facilities.
Scenic Hotel Dunedin City, Dunedin
The 4-Star Scenic Hotel Dunedin City is centrally located, close to shops, parks and other attractions. The hotel's facilities include a restaurant and bar and gym. All rooms include television, minibar, tea and coffee making facilities and hairdryer.
Southern Cross Hotel, Dunedin
This traditional hotel was built in 1883. It enjoys a central location, a gymnasium with sun bed, two restaurants, cocktail bar and casino. Room facilities include a minibar, hairdryer, tea/coffee making facilities and television.
Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge, Paihia
The Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge in Paihia enjoys a wonderful location in the Bay of Islands, with stunning views over the ocean. The hotel benefits from a restaurant, cocktail bar, outdoor swimming pool, indoor hot tub, a fully-equipped gym, games room and complimentary bicycles. All rooms are air conditioned and come with a telephone, satellite television, refrigerator and tea and coffee making facilities.
Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua, Rotorua
Beautifully situated on the shores of Lake Rotorua, the Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua is within walking distance of the city centre and attractions such as the Rotorua Museum and Government Garden. The hotel has a restaurant, bar and a gift shop. Leisure facilities include a geothermally heated open-air swimming pool, three spa pools plus a selection of massages and therapies area available (pay locally). The comfortable rooms feature a telephone, television, tea and coffee making facilities and a hairdryer.
Distinction Luxmore Hotel, Te Anau
The Distinction Luxmore Hotel is located in the centre of Te Anau, just a short stroll from the shores of the lake. The hotel has a carver restaurant, a buffet restaurant, café, bar and lounge. The hotel also has a fitness centre and offers free Wi-Fi internet access in the hotel bar.
James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington
Situated at the heart of Wellington's retail district is the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor. Facilities include a restaurant, bar, spa and gym. Rooms are equipped with minibar, iron, tea/coffee making facilities, air conditioning and television.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|10th November 2019||£4,995||Book Now|
|16th February 2020||£5,395||Book Now|
|15th November 2020||£5,095||Book Now|
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: Departs 10th November 2019 (£4,995), 16th February 2020 (£5,395), 15th November 2020 (£5,095)
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Prices are per person based on double occupancy. Prices are correct at the time of this web page going live; however are subject to confirmation at time of booking. Itinerary and accommodations may vary for 2020 departures, please speak with a rail specialist for details.
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