The Great New Zealand Train Journey - SIC
New Zealand rail travel offers spectacular scenery you simply can’t see from the road.
Travel in comfort gliding through the heart of New Zealand's beautiful scenery, with epic landscape views filling your carriage windows. You can even get closer to nature by stepping outdoors into an open-air carriage to breath in the magnificent New Zealand scenery. At the heart of a rail experience are spacious reclined seats, panoramic windows, glass skylights and air-conditioned carriages.
Travel Period: 25 September 2023 – 22 April 2024
Operates: Monday departures only (excludes 23 Dec 2023, 01 Jan, 08 Jan & 25 Mar 2024)
The Great New Zealand Train Journey - SIC Itinerary
Arrive Auckland (Monday Departures Only)
On arrival you will be met and privately transferred to your accommodation. Auckland is New Zealand's largest city, set between two harbours with gentle sandy shores on the east coast and black sand, wild surf beaches on the west coast. Home to sheltered, sparkling blue waters dotted with beautiful emerald islands Overnight: Auckland
Auckland - Hobbiton - Rotorua
Today’s coach tour takes you through the rolling green hills to the iconic Hobbiton Movie Set, one of New Zealand’s ‘must-see’ destinations. See where the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies were filmed as your tour guide shares behind-the-scenes tales. You’ll see sights like Hobbit Holes, the Mill, and The Green Dragon Inn, and learn how farmland was transformed into a living, breathing piece of Middle-earth. After exploring Hobbiton, tuck into a delicious lunch before continuing to Rotorua. Overnight: Rotorua.
Rotorua is surrounded by a fascinating geothermal landscape with its unique steam vents, spouting geysers and bubbling mud pool set alongside freshwater lakes and majestic native forests. It is also a region immersed in fascinating Maori myths and legends. Overnight: Rotorua
Rotorua - Hamilton - Wellington
You’ll be transferred to Hamilton to connect with the Northern Explorer train to Wellington. Experience the extremes of New Zealand’s scenery, from fertile farmlands to the volcanic peaks and sparkling coast. Journey through Tongariro National Park, with its three spectacular volcanic mountains is a highlight, a place of extremes and surprises, where snow-blanketed fields, ancient lava flows and dense beech forests can be seen side by side. Overnight: Wellington.
Set between a sparking harbour and rolling green hills the compact city of Wellington is best explored on foot. Great shopping, arts culture, cafes and restaurants are all within minutes of the city’s untouched nature spots. Make your own way around the city to experience a charming cable car ride to enjoy stunning views of the city and harbour, and visit Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum. Overnight: Wellington
Wellington - Picton - Kaikoura
New Zealand's North and South Islands are separated by three hours of sensational scenery and ocean fresh air. Transfer to Wellington Ferry Terminal where your ship will ferry you across the Cook Strait, past the beautiful beaches, bays and coves of the Marlborough Sounds to the historic port town of Picton. Here, you’ll be met and transferred to the train station to climb aboard one of the most picturesque journeys on New Zealand railways.
Meandering along the Pacific Coast the Coastal Pacific Train journeys breathtakingly close to the sea, where the roaring Pacific Ocean meets the rising Kaikoura mountains. Explore the stunning Kaikōura Coastline, famous for its marine life and whale watching. Voyage through vineyards and idyllic countryside. The Coastal Pacific train takes you along rugged coastlines, across remote beaches, between mountains and sea, on a timeless journey of breathtaking beauty. Overnight: Kaikoura
Kaikoura - Christchurch
The seaside settlement of Kaikoura is set midway and overlooked by majestic mountains. The unique marine geography at this location provides the perfect environment for Sperm Whales and other marine life.
This afternoon you’ll be transferred to Kaikoura Railway Station for the next section of the Coastal Pacific Train Journey into Christchurch. Christchurch is set between the deep blue Pacific Ocean and the mighty snow-capped Southern Alps. This is a vibrant, ever-changing city with inner city parks and gardens delightfully interwoven by the meandering Avon River. Overnight: Christchurch
Enjoy a sightseeing tour around the historical and scenic sights of Christchurch before arriving at the International Antarctic centre. Experience a slice of this astounding continent with its blue penguins, husky dogs, Antarctic storm, 4D movie and exciting Hagglund vehicle ride. Overnight: Christchurch
Christchurch - Greymouth
Today you will be transported to the Christchurch Railway Station for the Tranz Alpine Scenic Train Journey. Crossing from coast to coast in New Zealand's South Island, the TranzAlpine is one of the world's most spectacular train journeys. Cross fertile farmlands and enjoy the majesty of the chiselled alpine landscape as you travel the edges of the ice-fed Waimakariri River and through miles of unique native beech forests. Witness epic vistas and the striking beauty of the mighty Southern Alps. On arrival in Greymouth, you will be met and transferred to the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes for a short self-guided walk to view the fascinating pancake-shaped rock formations before being delivered to your accommodation. Overnight: Greymouth
Greymouth - Glacier Region
This morning, you’ll be transferred to Shantytown Heritage Park for a sense of what it was like to live in New Zealand during the gold rush before returning to Greymouth for your transfer to Glacier Country. The temperate climate at a low altitude makes Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers among the most convenient to visit in the world. Steep valleys bear scars from where glaciers have retreated and advanced over millennia and here, the ice age is still underway. Overnight: Franz Josef
Glacier Region - Queenstown
This morning you will be collected from your accommodation for your transfer through wilderness towns, waterfalls and river scenery on the journey to Queenstown. Magnificent vistas and majestic mountains dominate this compact alpine resort town and with such an expansive natural physical environment it is not surprising that Queenstown has been described as the Adventure Capital of the World.
Queenstown - Milford Sound - Queenstown
Fiordland is one of the world’s last great wildernesses. Today's stunning tour takes you past mirror lakes and waterfalls into Milford Sound, carved by ice age glaciers and famously described as the eighth wonder of the world. On arrival, board your vessel for a cruise of the fiord surrounded by towering mountains and cliffs that plunge into the sea. Feel the refreshing spray of a waterfall as you cruise close to sheer rock faces before returning to shore. After a big day out, reflect on memories of a lifetime on your coach return to Queenstown. Overnight: Queenstown
Magnificent vistas and majestic mountains dominate this compact alpine resort town and with such an expansive natural physical environment it is not surprising that Queenstown has been described as the Adventure Capital of the World.
Today is a free day to add some of the endless optional activities Queenstown has to offer. Overnight: Queenstown
Queenstown - Mt Cook/Tekapo - Christchurch
Today’s tour departs Queenstown through the stunning Kawarau Gorge and fruit and wine growing region of Cromwell. The journey follows beautiful Lake Dunstan and meanders through the dramatic Lindis Pass. Travel the vast plains of the Mackenzie district, alongside magnificent turquoise blue lakes, framed by Aoraki Mt Cook and the spectacular Southern Alps to Mt Cook Village where you have some free time. Leaving Mt Cook it’s not hard to see why many Lord of the Rings scenes were filmed nearby. Make a stop close to the popular Church of the Good Shepherd sitting in solitude on the banks of Lake Tekapo before continuing through the amazing countryside to Christchurch. Overnight: Christchurch
Arrangements conclude today with a departure transfer to Christchurch Airport..
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All prices are per person, in New Zealand dollars
*Optional breakfast add-on for the duration of this tour
Just a quick note to let you know that all went extremely well with our New Zealand Tour. Our accommodations were excellent – breakfasts were superb!...
Kashif Mohamed, India
We absolutely loved our trip around New Zealand. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly! Matt has some mobility issues to deal with so it was fantastic...
Georgia & Matt Pace, USA
We are back from New Zealand and we had a fantastic tour of our life! We started to miss New Zealand and we are planning to visit again in the near...
Mr Akira Ng & Ms Ruiling Peng, Singapore
We have completed our trip in the North Island of NZ and returned to Singapore last weekend. It was an enjoyable and fun itinerary planned by you .....
Joie Toh, Singapore
The trip was very well organized & we enjoyed the trip so much. Thanks!
Jui Hui Yap, Singapore
The guides and driver were very professional and accommodating. Many thanks for all the service!
Mr Regino, Manila
General Travel New Zealand, is extraordinary. Highly recommended. Good hotels, good itinerary. Every thing is conducted clockwork!
Asha Singh, India