New Zealand Scenic Journey

The contrasts within New Zealand are remarkable. Experiencing the world famous rail journeys of the Coastal Pacific, TranzAlpine and Taieri Gorge.

Day 1:

Auckland - Waitomo - Rotorua
Travel south to Waitomo Caves for a boat ride under a galaxy of glowworms. Continue east to to Rotorua. Tonight enjoy a Maori Hangi (feast) and concert.

Stay 2 nights in Rotorua.

Preferred accommodation: Ibis Hotel (bronze/standard), Millennium Hotel Rotorua (silver) and Millennium Hotel Rotorua Lake View (gold/superior).

Day 2:

At Rotorua
This morning see roaring geysers and boiling mud pools at the thermal areas, tame trout and Kiwi at Rainbow Springs and see performing sheep and dogs at the Agrodome. Your afternoon is free.

Day 3:

Rotorua - Wellington
Drive south to Wairakei, wreathed in steam, then skirt Lake Taupo and cross the volcanic landscape of the Desert Road past the majestic peaks of Tongariro, Ngaruahoe and Ruapehu. Continue accross the fertile plains of the Manawatu and along the rugged Kapiti coastline to Wellington. Arrive late afternoon. Today's coach has limited commentary

Stay 1 night in Wellington.

Preferred accommodation: Kingsgate Wellington (bronze/standard), Mercure Wellington (silver) and Copthorne Oriental Bay (gold/superior).

Day 4:
Wellington - Christchurch
Cross Cook Strait by ferry, to the Marlborough Sounds and Picton. The Coastal Pacific train skims the spectacular coastline between the Kaikoura Ranges and the Pacific. Continue through North Canterbury sheep country to Christchurch arriving early evening.

The Coastal Pacific Train Journey does not operate from May to October and will be replaced with a coach. Continue through north Canterbury to Christchurch.

Stay 1 night in Christchurch.

Preferred accommodation: Heartland Hotel Cotswold (bronze/standard), Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport (silver) and Rendezvous Christchurch (gold/superior).

Please note: The Coastal Pacific trains on this day (Picton to Kaikoura to Christchurch) will be replaced by a coach in the periods of 5th May to 30th of September.

Day 5:

Christchurch - Dunedin
Travel south across the Canterbury Plains through seaside Timaru, and historic Oamaru to Dunedin 'the Edinburgh of the South'. Arrive early afternoon. Stay 1 night in Dunedin. Today's coach has limited commentary.

Stay 1 night in Dunedin.

Preferred accommodation: Kingsgate Hotel (bronze/standard), Scenic Hotel Dunedin (silver) and Mercure Dunedin (gold/superior).

Please note no commentary is provided on this journey.

Day 6:

Dunedin - Taieri Gorge - Queenstown
This morning is at your leisure for optional sightseeing. Board the Taieri Gorge train for a journey through spectacular gorges and over historic viaducts to Pukerangi where you will join your coach for the remainder of the journey to Queenstown. Arrive in Queenstown in the late evening.

Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.

Preferred accommodation: Copthorne Lakefront (bronze/standard), Scenic Suites Queenstown (silver) and Heritage Hotel (gold/superior).

Day 7:
Queenstown - Milford Sound - Queenstown
Pass through pristine beech forests to view the majesty of Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls, while enjoying lunch on board a cruise on Milford Sound. Return via Te Anau, and the shores of Lake Wakatipu to reach Queenstown by evening.

Day 8:
At Queenstown
Today is free for you to enjoy this fabulous alpine resort. We have included the Skyline Gondola in your tour. There are dozens of optional activities from thrilling jet boat rides to leisurely lake cruises, 4WD safaris and bungy jumping.

Day 9:
Queenstown - Glaciers
Travel to Cromwell and on through the Southern Lakes district to the Haast Pass. Travel north, through dense rainforest broken by rugged coastal vistas, towards the glaciers. A shuttle will take you to view one of these massive rivers of ice*.

Stay 2 nights in either Fox or Franz Josef Glacier townships.

Preferred accommodation: Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier (bronze/standard), Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (silver) and Te Weheka Inn (gold/superior).

*Due to shorter daylight hours, this may not be available during winter.

Day 10:
At Glaciers
A whole day is available for optional excursions on the glaciers, by foot or by helicopter or for local sightseeing.

Day 11:
Glaciers - Christchurch
Travel north along the narrow, bush clad, coastal plain past Hokitika, to Greymouth. Board the famous TranzAlpine train and travel over the Southern Alps and accross the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, arriving early evening.

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