10 Day Christchurch to Auckland Intrepid Rail Tour

With three train journeys throughout New Zealand included and many opportunities for additional train / tram spotting, this tour is sure to please railfans of all ages.

10 Day Christchurch to Auckland Intrepid Rail Tour

See the spectacular sights of a number of different national parks on board the TranzAlpine train, the Coastal Pacific and the Northern Explorer as you make your way from Christchurch to Auckland.

Tour Type: Rail Tour
From: Christchurch to Auckland
Departs: Daily
Duration: 10 days
Tour Code: RT10IR

Regions Visited

Click on the region name to view more information about the region

Christchurch, Greymouth, Franz Josef, Haast, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Te Anau, Dunedin, Kaikoura, Picton & Marlborough Sounds, Wellington, Auckland

Tour Inclusions

  • All transport & transfers
  • 9 Nights accommodation
  • Superior accommodation includes breakfast
  • Tranz Alpine train
  • Transfer to view glacier
  • Milford Sound Cruise & picnic lunch
  • Coastal Pacific Train
  • Kaikoura Whale Watch cruise
  • Interislander ferry
  • Northern Explorer train

Day By Day Itinerary

DAY 1: CHRISTCHURCH / GREYMOUTH / FRANZ JOSEF - TRANZALPINE TRAIN
South Island Tours

Join the famous TranzAlpine train. Departing Christchurch, the South Islands largest city, you cross the patchwork plains of Canterbury, following the Waimakariri braided river. Travel over viaducts and through tunnels before ascending to Arthur’s Pass. Once through the Otira Tunnel, notice a change in landscape as we have moved from the east to west coast. Travel through lush valleys, past lakes before arriving into Greymouth, on the shores of the Grey River. Connect with your coach as you continue south through Hokitika before arriving into Franz Josef.

Stay: Franz Josef

DAY 2: FRANZ JOSEF AT LEISURE
Glacier Tours. New Zealand

Part of the Te Wahipounamu South West New Zealand World Heritage Area, the Franz Josef Glacier is widely regarded as its gem. The village has a busy cafe scene and provides the hub to the region’s many exciting outdoor activities such as guided glacier hikes, scenic helicopter flights and kayaking on nearby Lake Mapourika. Visit the hot pools complex set within the rainforest for an ultimate relaxing experience. An ideal opportunity to do at least one of the many unique optional activities.

Stay: Franz Josef

DAY 3: FRANZ JOSEF / QUEENSTOWN

Head south through the alpine village of Fox Glacier, past Lake Paringa and Lake Moeraki to the rugged Tasman Sea coastline. Travel through the “Gates of Haast”, following the rugged Haast River into the extraordinary, remote beauty of the Mount Aspiring National Park. Skirt the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea and on to the vibrant alpine resort town of Queenstown.

Stay: Queenstown

DAY 4: QUEENSTOWN AT LEISURE

Queenstown’s vast array of outstanding activities includes thrilling river jet boating, out back 4WD trips, white water rafting, bungy jumping, tandem skydiving, hot air ballooning, mountain bike and hiking trails. For a more relaxing day perhaps choose a scenic lake cruise in the historic TSS Earnslaw, visit a high country farm, play a round of golf at one of the many world class courses, ride on the Skyline Gondola for breathtaking views, take a guided Lord of the Rings film site tour or a guided wine tour. Visit historic Arrowtown for insights into the early gold mining days. Queenstown’s enticing cafes, restaurants and nightlife will complete the day.

Stay: Queenstown

DAY 5: QUEENSTOWN / MILFORD SOUND / TE ANAU
15 Day Enchanted New Zealand Tour

Leave Queenstown following the road through Garston, Kingston and Lumsden. The scenery here is stunning – lakeside vistas are framed by the rugged face of the magnificent Remarkables mountain range. Easy rolling countryside soon leads you to the shores of Lake Te Anau, the biggest of the South Island’s many lakes. Travel through Fiordland National Park including Milford Sound.

This is a World Heritage area of 1,252,297 hectares, which includes a vast often-remote wilderness of snow-capped mountains, glacial lakes, valleys, fiords, islands, waterfalls and dense forests. Travel further into the mountains and over “The Divide” into the upper reaches of the Hollyford Valley. Travel through the 1200 metre long Homer Tunnel into the Cleddau Valley. Enjoy a cruise on Milford Sound, viewing Bowen Falls, Mitre Peak and Stirling Falls and the Tasman Sea. After your cruise return to Te Anau.

Stay: Te Anau

DAY 6: TE ANAU / DUNEDIN
Dunedin, South Island Tours

This morning leave Te Anau and travel through the rugged farmlands onto Gore. Continue north through Balclutha, crossing the “Clutha River” and into Dunedin, the “Edinburgh of the South”. Enjoy this university town, with its stunning architecture, clear blue harbour and bush clad hills – a city full of character.

Stay: Dunedin

DAY 7: DUNEDIN / CHRISTCHURCH
Tours of New Zealand

You will have time this morning to further explore this beautiful city and its natural wonders. Perhaps visit the peninsula, viewing the unique wildlife or maybe Larnach Castle sitting on the top of the peninsula? This afternoon travel to Christchurch up the east coast through Oamaru, Timaru and Ashburton before arriving into Christchurch.

Stay: Christchurch

DAY 8: CHRISTCHURCH / KAIKOURA - COASTAL PACIFIC TRAIN

The Main North Line railway, on which the Coastal Pacific runs, began its journey as two separate railways, today you’ll venture on the first sector, Christchurch to Kaikoura. Leave the suburbs of Christchurch behind as you travel north crossing the Waimakariri River through Waipara, Canterbury’s wine region. Over the rolling hills and out to the Pacific Ocean Coast through tunnels and hugging the coastline before arriving into Kaikoura.

This afternoon join a Whale Watch tour. Enjoy this unique whale watching experience, an up-close encounter with the world’s largest toothed predator, the giant sperm whale. Look out for other wildlife, including seals, dolphins, and birds. Looking back to land view the prestigious mountain range.

Stay: Kaikoura

DAY 9: KAIKOURA / WELLINGTON - COASTAL PACIFIC TRAIN

Meet the Coastal Pacific Train for the remainder of your journey up the east coast of the South Island. As you head travel along the newly developed track, one of the most stunning views is Mangamaunu Bay. Looking at the Kaikoura Mountain ranges rising up out of the water to the north. From here cross into Marlborough and leave the coastline, travel through tussock covered hills, and the pink tones of Lake Grassmere salt plains. Across the Dashwood pass and into wine country, and the town of Blenheim before continuing to Picton to join the Interislander ferry.

Leave the South Island travelling through the picturesque Marlborough Sounds, Tory channel and Cook Strait before travelling through the heads of Wellington Harbour.

Stay: Wellington

DAY 10: WELLINGTON / AUCKLAND - NORTHERN EXPLORER TRAIN

As you leave Wellington on the Northern Explorer train, travel around the harbour edge through to the Tasman Sea coastline. Cross a number of viaducts as you head through National Park where the skyline features the distinctive volcanic cones of the Tongariro National Park. Continue through the rolling hills of the King Country onto the Waikato Plains before arriving into Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city.

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Prices valid from 1st October 2020

Accommodation Standard Superior  
Twin/Double $2,923 NZD $4,025 NZD Enquire / Book
Triple $2,908 NZD $3,485 NZD Enquire / Book
Single $4,367 NZD $5,435 NZD Enquire / Book
Prices are per person and in New Zealand Dollars.

Frequently Asked Questions – Rail Tours

What is a Rail Tour?
Our rail tours are designed to make the most of New Zealand’s intricate Scenic Rail network. As New Zealand’s passenger rail services are limited, we have taken the worry out of the logistics. We have connected the dots for you, so you can travel by rail as much as possible during your time on tour. Our packages include the iconic Northern Explorer, Coastal Pacific and TranzAlpine train journeys. Where possible we have added in some local gems operated by volunteers with in certain regions – all our rail tours have been created with the ferroequinologist in mind. Essentially it’s a very relaxing way to travel.

What dates do your tours depart?
Due to train timetables, rail journeys leave on specific days of the week. Most major services run at least 3 times a week, so let us know your arrival date and we will work out the day your tour will start.  All tours are subject to availability at time of booking.

What is included in the tour cost?
All tours include transfers, rail journeys, car hire (if required), accommodation and sightseeing activities where specified. A detailed travel wallet with your travel vouchers and comprehensive itinerary will be sent to you or delivered to your pre tour accommodation for you to collect on check in.

What is not included in the tour cost?
Expenses of a personal nature such as meals (except where stated in the itinerary), beverages, travel insurance, laundry and optional sightseeing (except where stated in the itinerary) are not included in the tour cost.

What services are provided on the rail journeys?
The major rail services (Great Journeys of New Zealand), offer a buffet dining car providing drinks, tea and coffee, snacks and meals. Bathrooms are also provided. You can upgrade (additional cost) to “Scenic Plus”. This upgrade includes a fully serviced carriage with local cuisine. Please advised us should you wish to upgrade.

Do the local trains run by volunteers offer services on the excursion train?
All these services are round trip excursions, there will be a local café and restrooms usually at the starting pointing and sometimes both ends of the track. Parking is available at these stations. Note: These services are usually historical trains and are short excursions.

What is required to hire a vehicle within New Zealand?
A valid driver’s licence in English is required to hire a rental vehicle within New Zealand.  Please note drivers must be over 21 years to hire a vehicle. If you are aged between 21 – 25 years, a young driver surcharge is applicable. We recommend all clients have a credit card for car rental, the card number is then held for a bond. All vehicles are automatic transmission, we do not offer manual transmissions. Winter conditions may see the need to hire snow chains.

I am travelling alone – can I pay the triple or twin share rate and be linked with other travellers?
No, unfortunately. You must pay the single room – per person cost.

I am travelling with children, what price will I pay?
Please contact us for information on child fares, as these vary based on the specific product you require. Some sightseeing activities are unsuitable for children.

Are any meals included in the tour cost?
Our Superior and Premium accommodation option includes breakfast. No other meals are included in the tour cost except where stated in the itinerary.

Is Halal and other speciality food available in New Zealand? 
Along with a small population of Muslims, New Zealand has an increasing number of Muslim visitors. Halal food and restaurants are now found in many areas of the country, let us now if you require this and we will compile a list for you. We can also offer advice in regards to Vegan and other special requirements.

Can I add in additional nights to a tour?
Yes you can. All tours are very flexible. Please ask one of our Travel Consultants for extra nightly rates.

What is the difference between the two tour types Standard, Superior Tours?
Standard:  Motor Lodge, apartment style accommodation, self-contained accommodation, ensuite bathrooms. Your rental car is a small compact car.

Superior: 4 star hotel accommodation, includes breakfast. Your rental car is a mid-size car.

Note all accommodation is reviewed regularly by staff, we have high standards and good relationships with all our providers.

What if I cannot find exactly what I am looking for on the website?
Let us know what is on your wish list to see and do and we are more than happy to help you plan a customised tour.

How much luggage can I take on my tour?
Each passenger may take 2 pieces of luggage (max 25kg each). For safety reasons, each passenger is limited to one carry on item (max 5kg). We also advise you check the maximum baggage allowance with your chosen airline.

How do I make a payment for a tour?
For bookings made more than 30 days prior to travel, Pacific Travel require a deposit of NZ$50 per person. This deposit is non-refundable. Balance of payment is due 30 days prior to travel. For bookings made 30 days or less prior to travel, full payment is required at the time of booking. Visa & MasterCard are accepted forms of payment. A 2.5% Credit Card Fee applies to all payments by credit card. You may pay via direct bank transfer to avoid the credit card fee. Bank details will be on your booking advice. All prices advertised are in New Zealand dollars and are GST inclusive.

What is your cancellation policy?
If after your booking has been confirmed you wish to cancel, the following cancellation fees will apply:
Cancellations 30 or more days prior to travel: Your deposit.
Cancellations 0 – 29 days prior to travel: no refund.
Booking amendments made by you. An amendment fee may be charged, to cover our administration and communication costs. We may also need to pass on any amendment/cancellation fees imposed by our suppliers.

Conditions of travel
Pacific Travel reserves the right to alter fares, amend itineraries, book alternative accommodation or to cancel tours. Pacific Travel Ltd shall not be held responsible for any loss or damage to luggage or personal effects and/or damage resulting in death or personal injury, which may arise whilst travelling with Pacific Travel Ltd or its nominated suppliers. All transportation, both land and sea, is subject to the terms and conditions of the company providing the transport, some of which limit or exclude liability. These are available from the carriers concerned on request.

Will I need travel insurance?
We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance. Factors may arise that require you to cancel or amend your holiday, so it is essential you are covered for any costs that may be incurred. We recommend purchasing your travel insurance locally at the same time as you book your tour and flights. Pacific Travel Ltd does not sell travel insurance.

Do I need to tip in New Zealand?
If you wish to reward someone for a job well done it is always much appreciated.

Do I need a visa to visit New Zealand?
Most visitors to New Zealand do not require a visa to enter for the purpose of a holiday or vacation under the visa waiver program. If you do need a visa to visit New Zealand then you should contact the New Zealand consulate in your home country well before your departure date. We recommend you also check with your local travel agent or airline for any visa requirements to New Zealand particularly if you are passing through Australia. Information on the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) can be found here: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa/about-visa/nzeta

What currency is used in New Zealand?
The New Zealand dollar is the only legal tender in New Zealand. View a guide between your local currency and the New Zealand dollar. Please note: Your tour and all purchases using a credit card in New Zealand will be charged in New Zealand Dollars (NZD) at the current exchange rate at the time of purchase.

10 Day Christchurch to Auckland Intrepid Rail Tour

Tour Type: Rail Tour Tour Code: RT10IR From $2,908 Per Person Departs: Daily With three train journeys throughout New Zealand included and many opportunities for additional train / tram spotting, this tour is sure to please railfans of all ages. Enquire about this tour

Where this tour will take you...