World’s Most Scenic Rail Journeys - New Zealand
- Interislander Ferry
- Coastal Pacific Train
- Return trips on the TranzAlpine, Seasider and Taieri Gorge Railways
- The unique Island of Niue
- Time to explore Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Te Anau and Aucklan
New Zealand is consistently deemed one of the most beautiful, dramatic and varied places in the world when it comes to landscapes and scenery, and it is best seen - wherever possible - by rail. This Tailored Rail tour includes some stunning, scenic rail journeys and takes in some of New Zealand’s amazing natural wonders and even includes a stay on the unique island of Niue. This tour can be adapted to include other areas of New Zealand you may wish to visit.
Days 1-3 – London to Wellington
Take an overnight flight from London Heathrow to Wellington via Dubai and Sydney. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel for the next 2 nights.
Day 4 – At Leisure in Wellington
A day at leisure in Wellington. Visit Te Papa, the national museum of New Zealand, with innovative and interactive exhibits showcasing New Zealand’s unique biological, geological and cultural history. Alternatively, ride the historic Wellington cable car which runs from Lambton Quay up to Kelburn.
Day 5 – On to the South Island
An early morning journey to the South Island via Interislander ferry, known as one of the most beautiful ferry journeys in the world and one of New Zealand’s most iconic experiences. Then, travel on the Coastal Pacific train which operates between the delightful port of Picton to Kaikoura – the home of whale watching – and on to Christchurch – the South Island’s largest city – for a 3-night stay.
Day 6 – At Leisure in Christchurch
Christchurch is an exceedingly diverse city with picturesque natural surroundings and a thriving art scene. Visit the 150-year-old Botanic Gardens, which offers bird watching opportunities in the Spring, or visit the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial to honour the memory of those tragically killed in a devastating earthquake in February 2011.
Day 7 – TranzAlpine
Experience the striking natural landscape of the South Island by taking the TranzAlpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth and back. On this day trip you’ll cover 446 kilometres, see stunning vistas and travel the edges of the ice-fed Waimakariri River.
Day 8 – By Road to Dunedin
Collect your rental car and travel from Christchurch to Dunedin, your base for the next 4 nights.
Day 9 – Seasider to Waitati
A late morning trip on the Seasider train to Waitati. The cliff tops overlooking both the Pacific Ocean and Blueskin Bay are particularly delightful, and the best way to see this is by rail. Afternoon at leisure.
Day 10 – Taieri Gorge
Deemed one of Dunedin’s top attractions, the Taieri Gorge Railway travels through the ever-changing Taieri River Gorge to Pukerangi and offers spectacular views and an insight into the building of the line by New Zealand’s early pioneers.
Days 11 & 12 – At Leisure in Dunedin
A city steeped in heritage, with nature only moments from the city centre, Dunedin promises a unique and authentic experience. It is a city of firsts, as it boasts New Zealand’s first (and only!) castle – Larnach Castle and New Zealand’s first botanic garden, home to 6,800 plant species. Enjoy visits to Otago Museum, Tunnel Beach or the Otago Peninsula.
Day 13 – By Road to Te Anau
Dunedin to Te Anau, the perfect base for the glacier-carved wilderness that is Fiordland National Park, and conveniently located for visiting Milford Sound. Enjoy a 3-night stay at your lakeside accommodation.
Days 14 & 15 – At Leisure in Te Anau
Milford Sound, known internationally as the eighth wonder of the world, showcases magnificent mountains, fiords, waterfalls and wildlife such as penguins, seals and dolphins – making it well worth a visit. Te Anau’s Bird Sanctuary and Glowworm Caves are also highly recommended.
Day 16A – Back to Christchurch
Travel by road back to Christchurch, where you drop off your rental car and stay at the airport ready for an early morning flight.
Days 17A/16B – Fly to Niue
Early morning flight from Christchurch via Auckland to the Island of Niue. As Niue is separated from New Zealand by the International Date Line, you will arrive a day earlier (Day 16). Upon arrival, collect your rental car and travel by road to your accommodation for the next 4 nights, located in Tamakautoga, one of Niue’s fourteen villages.
Days 17B-19 – At Leisure in Niue
Built from volcanic rock, limestone and coral, Niue offers unique experiences in a stunning tropical setting. Whale watching opportunities are available from July to October, and there are more than 30 well-signposted ‘sea tracks’ to explore.
Days 20 & 21 – Fly to Auckland
Return your rental car to the airport before an afternoon flight back to Auckland (arriving Day 21). Upon arrival you’ll be transferred to your hotel for the next 4 nights.
Days 22-24 – At Leisure in Auckland
Three full days to explore New Zealand’s largest city, beautifully situated between two harbours. You can enjoy 360-degree views from the iconic Sky Tower or wander up the city’s tallest natural point, Mount Eden – a dormant volcano – that delivers great views.
Days 25-26 – Homeward Bound
A leisurely morning before transferring to the airport for an overnight flight back to London via Dubai, arriving late morning.
Mercure Wellington Abel Tasman, Wellington
Rendezvous Hotel, Christchurch
Distinction Dunedin Hotel, Dunedin
Distinction Hotel & Villas, Te Anau
Sudima Christchurch Airport, Christchurch
Scenic Matavai Resort, Tamakautoga, Niue
Auckland City Hotel Auckland
Please note - hotels can be subject to change
- Economy flights as specified
- Airport transfers as specified in Wellington and Auckland
- Accommodation as specified on a bed and breakfast basis
- Tickets for the Interislander Ferry
- Tickets for the Coastal Pacific Train
- Return tickets for the TranzAlpine, Seasider and Taieri Gorge Railways
- Car hire as specified
Price per person
Quotes available upon request
Download your tour booking form here.