8 Day Queenstown to the North Tour

Starting in Queenstown and travelling up the West Coast of the South Island for a 2 night stay in Fox Glacier. Traverse the Southern Alps to Christchurch then Kaikoura for a spot of whale watching. Continue north to NZ's capital city Wellington. Visit Rotorua & Waitomo before finishing your New Zealand tour in Auckland.

8 Day Queenstown to the North Tour

An 8 day New Zealand tour starting in Queenstown and travelling north to Auckland. Highlights include the stunning West Coast with a transfer to visit Lake Matheson & time to view the glacier, the TranzAlpine train and a Kaikoura Whalewatch tour.

Tour Type: Rail Tour
From: Queenstown to Auckland
Departs: Daily
Duration: 8 days
Tour Code: RT8Q

Regions Visited

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

Queenstown, Fox Glacier, Greymouth, Christchurch, Kaikoura, Picton, Wellington, Rotorua, Waitomo, Auckland

Tour Inclusions

  • All transport & transfers
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Superior accommodation includes breakfast
  • Visit Lake Matheson
  • Kaikoura Whale Watch cruise
  • Rotorua Sightseeing tour
  • Visit Waitomo Glow Worm Caves

Day By Day Itinerary

DAY 1 - QUEENSTOWN / FOX GLACIER
South Island Tours

Leaving Queenstown we travel to the West Coast passing through Cromwell, Wanaka and Hawea, before climbing over Haast Pass into Westland National Park. The Haast Pass is our Southern most Pass that traverses the Southern Alps linking the East Coast with the West Coast.

Stay: Fox Glacier

DAY 2 FOX GLACIER / VISIT LAKE MATHESON
8 Day Queenstown to the North Tour

Today we have included a transfer to Lake Matheson. Offering unparalleled views of Fox Glacier, Mount Tasman and Aoraki/Mt Cook, Lake Matheson is the most photographed lake in New Zealand. Winding through ancient native rainforest, the walkway has three viewing platforms along the journey, providing unprecedented views. The full circuit around the lake takes approximately 1 – 1 ½ hours.

Stay: Fox Glacier

DAY 3 - FOX GLACIER / GREYMOUTH / CHRISTCHURCH
Christchurch, South Island Tours

Travel north through lush rainforests and spectacular scenery to Greymouth where we transfer on to the world famous TranzAlpine train. A remarkable journey of little more than four hours from the West Coast to the East Coast including the lush rainforest of the Arthur’s Pass National Park. Pass through the Southern Alps via the Otira Tunnel, cross massive viaducts over the Waimakariri Gorge descending to the fertile farmlands of the Canterbury Plains and on to the “Garden City” of Christchurch.

Stay: Christchurch

DAT 4: CHRISTCHURCH / KAIKOURA
Kaikoura Sperm Whale

Board the Coastal Pacific train* for your journey north to the seaside resort of Kaikoura. See rolling farmland, the beautiful Kaikoura coastline and the rugged Kaikoura mountain range. On arrival into Kaikoura join a 3 hour cruise with Kaikoura Whale Watch to marvel at the giant sperm whale and the dusky dolphin. Kaikoura Whale Watch has won many international awards for tourism excellence and marine conservation. Afternoon at leisure to explore Kaikoura.

Stay: Kaikoura

* Travel may be by coach if the Coastal Pacific train is not operating

DAY 5: KAIKOURA / PICTON / WELLINGTON

You will be transferred to the railway station to meet with the Coastal Pacific train*. Enjoy the rugged Kaikoura coastline and the imposing seaward Kaikoura mountain range as you make your way to Picton in the Marlborough Sounds.  Upon arrival in Picton, board the Interislander ferry for your scenic cruise through the Marlborough Sounds in the South Island to Wellington in the North Island.

Stay: Wellington

* Travel may be by coach if the Coastal Pacific train is not operating

DAY 6: WELLINTON / ROTORUA
Rotorua Tours

Begin the North Island section of the tour this morning heading north out of the capital city. Travel along the Kapiti Coast and over the Manawatu Plain to Palmerston North before skirting the volcanic plateau to Taupo and then on to Rotorua.

Stay: Rotorua

DAY 7: ROTORUA SIGHTSEEING

This morning you join a coach tour visiting Te Puia, Rainbow Springs and the Agrodome. Afternoon at leisure in Rotorua.

Stay: Rotorua

DAY 8: ROTORUA / WAITOMO / AUCKLAND
Waitomo Glowworm Caves, North Island Tours

Depart Rotorua travelling north to the Waitomo Caves. Visit the Glow-worm grotto for a spectacular display of tiny lights emitted by these unique life forms deep in the grotto. Continue on to Auckland, the ‘City of Sails’ where your tour ends mid afternoon.

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Prices valid from 1st October 2020

Accommodation Standard Superior  
Twin/Double $2,667 NZD $3,271 NZD Enquire / Book
Triple $2,396 NZD $3,030 NZD Enquire / Book
Single $3,645 NZD $4,418 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.

8 Day Queenstown to the North Tour

Tour Type: Rail Tour Tour Code: RT8Q From $2,396 Per Person Departs: Daily Starting in Queenstown and travelling up the West Coast of the South Island for a 2 night stay in Fox Glacier. Traverse the Southern Alps to Christchurch then Kaikoura for a spot of whale watching. Continue north to NZ's capital city Wellington. Visit Rotorua & Waitomo before finishing your New Zealand tour in Auckland. Enquire about this tour

Where this tour will take you...