New Zealand Rail, Cruise & Coach

TSS Earnslaw, Queenstown
from £4075 18 nights | Sep - May Exc. flights See price details
  • Departs:
  • Sep - May


This escorted luxury group tour combines comfortable coach travel with four unforgettable rail journeys including the TranzAlpine and Taieri Gorge as well as five scenic cruises. Starting in Auckland discover classic highlights across both islands with a host of attractions included.

Enjoy the best of New Zealand at a relaxed pace. Combine rail, coach and a variety of stunning scenic cruises on a holiday that will appeal to rail enthusiasts and their travelling companions.


  • Trip on a restored steam train
  • Geothermal wonders of Rotorua and Maori concert
  • TranzAlpine train through incredible scenery
  • Cruise on the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw
  • Overnight cruise on spectacular Milford Sound
  • Renowned Taieri Gorge rail journey

Each of the four rail journeys are diverse; experience the romance of the bygone era on an operating steam railway; view the rugged and spectacular Taieri Gorge River; and see the magnificent Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine, rated as one of the world’s great train journeys.

Maximum group size: 48

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Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1 arrive Auckland (D)
Upon arrival in Auckland you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Overnight:
Grand Millennium Hotel, Auckland
Day 2 Auckland - Bay of Islands (B,D)
Today enjoy an Auckland city sights tour before travelling to the Parry Kauri Park to see a magnificent example of a Kauri Tree. Continue through Whangarei to the Bay of Islands. This afternoon enjoy a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the location of the signing of the treaty between the Maori tribes and the British.
Overnight: Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands
Day 3 Bay of Islands (Free Day) (B)
Today is a free day. Choose from the many optional activities available, including the Cape Reinga coach tip 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).
Overnight: Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands
Day 4 Bay of Islands - Auckland (B,D)
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 where you will enjoy a packed lunch. Continue south via Whangarei and the Parry Kauri Museum to Auckland's north shore, where you will see stunning views of Rangitoto Island, Auckland Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf.
Overnight: Spencer on Byron
Day 5 Auckland - Rotorua (B,LD)
This morning enjoy a city sights tour of Auckland before travelling to Glenbrook Vintage Railway for a nostalgic 15 km trip on a beautifully restored vintage steam train. Visit the restoration workshop and on return to Glenbrook Station, morning tea will be served. Continue on to Rotorua and visit Paradise Valley Springs, a superb wildlife park where you can hand feed rainbow trout.
Overnight: Sudima Hotel Rotorua
Day 6 Rotorua (B,SD)
Begin with a Gondola ride to the Stratosfare Restaurant where a buffet breakfast and spectacular views are on offer. There is also time for a luge ride! Travel to the Agrodome where you see a shearing display and sheep dog trial. Enjoy some free time this afternoon before travelling out to see the boiling mud pools and awesome geysers that Rotorua is famous for. This evening experience an entertaining Maori Hangi and Concert.
Overnight: Sudima Hotel Rotorua
Day 7 Rotorua - Wellington (B,D)
Travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway to spectacular Huka Falls then continue to Lake Taupo for some free time to enjoy this scenic lakeside town. In the afternoon travel via Tongariro National Park and the snow-capped peaks of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro. Continue south along the Kapiti Coast to Wellington.
Overnight: James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor
Day 8 Wellington (B)
A highlight this morning will be time to explore Te Papa, New Zealand’s fabulous National Museum, and the exhibits that embrace both Maori and European views. Reboard your coach for an extensive city tour. Enjoy some leisure time this afternoon. This evening is also free to dine out at one of the many fine local restaurants.
Overnight: James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor
Day 9 Wellington - Christchurch (B, D)
This morning board the Interislander Ferry, cross the Cook Strait and enjoy the magnificent views as you travel through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton. Enjoy lunch in Picton (own expense) before boarding the Coastal Pacific train and journeying via Kaikoura to Christchuch.
Overnight: Distinction Christchurch
Day 10 Christchurch (B)
This morning you will visit the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch. This afternoon enjoy a city sightseeing tour or make use of your included tram pass.
Overnight: Distinction Christchurch
Day 11 Christchurch - Arthur's Pass - Franz Josef (B,D)
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.
Overnight: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
Day 12 Franz Josef - Queenstown (B)
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. This evening is free and you may choose to dine at one of the many fine restaurants.
Overnight: Mercure Queenstown Resort
Day 13 Queenstown - (free day) (B,SD)
Today is a free day for you to explore Queenstown. Your Tour Guide and Coach Captain are available to assist with the many options available. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Sit back and relax, as you are treated to a gourmet barbeque dinner prepared at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner enjoy a short farm tour then reboard the TSS Earnslaw for a sing along by the piano on your return cruise.
Overnight: Mercure Queenstown Resort
Day 14 Queenstown - Milford Sound - Te Anau (B,D)
This morning travel to Arrowtown, an old gold mining village where you 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 are bound to encounter seals and if you are lucky perhaps dolphins and penguins. As evening falls enjoy a delicious carvery buffet freshly prepared by the on-board chef.
Overnight: Milford Mariner
Day 15 Milford Sound - Te Anau (B,D)
Start the day with a hearty breakfast before heading back out to the Tasman Sea (weather permitting) to explore more of this stunning fiord. Return to the wharf to meet your coach and enjoy the scenic drive to Te Anau. This afternoon enjoy a cruise across Lake Te Anau to visit the Glow Worm Caves where you will admire the incredible limestone caverns, waterfalls and mysterious Glow Worm Grotto.
Overnight: Distinction Luxmore Hotel (Deluxe Room)
Day 16 Te Anau - Dunedin (B,SD)
Today travel via Gore and Balclutha to Dunedin. After time for lunch board the Silver Fern railcar for a journey along spectacular clifftops overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Blueskin Bay. On return to Dunedin’s historic Edwardian Railway Station, board the coach for an informative city tour. Tonight a Scottish evening will be presented comprising of bagpipes, great food and a Haggis Ceremony.
Overnight: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross
Day 17 Dunedin (B,D)
Travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle for a guided tour and sumptuous Devonshire tea. Return to the city for some free time. You might choose to board the Taieri Gorge for a journey through spectacular scenery only accessible by rail.
Overnight: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross
Day 18 Dunedin-Christchurch (B,SD)
This morning visit Olveston House, a prestigious historic home before travelling to Oamaru, famous for its limestone. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner with your new found friends.
Overnight: Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport
Day 19 Christchurch (B)
Time to say goodbye today. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday.

KEY: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner (SD) Specialty Dinner





Accommodation Options

Distinction Luxmore Hotel, Te Anau

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Hotel

A 180-room hotel offering an extensive range of amenitie…

Mercure Resort, Queenstown

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Hotel

Located just outside Queenstown yet still within walking…


A variety of accommodation options are included in this holiday, some of which are listed above. For further details, please contact us.

Prices & Dates

Airfares start from around £825 per person and are quoted separately to the holiday price.

When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport. We recommend booking early to secure the best airfares.

2018/2019 season (1 Sep 2018 to 31 Aug 2019)

Prices from £ per person

Twin Share  Single Supplement
 £4,075  £1,303

Guaranteed Departure Dates*
2018 14, 25 Oct; 03, 11, 13 & 26 Nov
2019 18, 21 Jan; 05, 08, 18 & 23 Feb; 02, 03, 07, 13, 16, 22 & 26 March; 06, 10, 13 & 21 April; 04 May

*Departure dates are based on the start date in New Zealand. Please note that it takes 2 calendar days to travel to New Zealand from the UK.

Price Includes
Luxury (48 seater) coach travel with 2 door access, restroom, reclining seats and panoramic windows ● Professional Coach Captain & Tour Guide ● Personalised Meet & Greet on arrival ● Return airport transfers in New Zealand ● 17 nights superior hotel accommodation ● Five 2 night stays ● Hotel porterage ● 4 rail journeys ● 5 cruises ● All sightseeing and pre paid attractions ● GST (New Zealand Goods and Services Tax) ● Comprehensive documentation pack (includes a durable travel bag, ticket wallet, toiletry wet pack, laundry bag, luggage label, personal name badge, personalised itinerary, Optional Tours Directory, postcard, customs required resealable plastic bag and touring map)

18 cooked breakfasts including a specialty breakfast at Cableway Restaurant - Rotorua ● 15 sumptuous dinners including 4 specialty dinners: Maori Hangi & Concert - Rotorua,  Haggis Ceremony - Dunedin, Walter Peak Homestead - Queenstown, Farewell Dinner – Christchurch ● 1 delicious morning tea ● 1 pack lunch

Note Dinner on Day 1 not included for anyone arriving later than 8pm.

Price Excludes
International and domestic flights and airport taxes ● Tips and gratuities ● Travel insurance

Solo Travellers
If someone is not compatible with the person they have been matched up with, any additional costs incurred to assist with changing their room type will be at the traveller's expense and will be subject to availability. Acceptance of Single to Twin share basis is subject to the individual's medical condition being suitable for this type of arrangement.

Please note:

  • The average age for travellers on this tour is approximately 60-80 years.
  • Luggage Limits on coach -  All travellers are supplied with a Grand Pacific Tours Travel Bag for personal and small items which can be carried on the coach when travelling. In addition, each traveller is entitled to travel with ONE suitcase on tour measuring (length + width + depth) no more than 140cm. Weight limits also apply to luggage due to Occupational Health and Safety issues. Approximately, the maximum weight allowed is 20kg (44lbs). Please be aware that oversized or overweight luggage may be refused to be carried by coach companies. All luggage is entirely at the ‘owners risk’ whilst on tour and we strongly recommend that travel insurance be taken out by each traveller to cover accidental damage or loss.

We pride ourselves on our ability to tailor make holidays for our clients. Please let us know if you have any specific requests.


Save up to £350pp on selected NZ escorted tours

31 Jul 2018
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How to book

Book this trip

So that we may send you a personalised quote and confirmation of availability, please click on the link below and complete our Enquiry form. One of our Travel Specialists will then be in touch to complete your booking or answer any further questions you might have.

travel guaranteeWe will always offer the best price available at the time of booking and guarantee no surcharges - see our 100% Guarantee for full details.

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Speak to a specialist: 1-844-584-0668

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