Great NZ Steam Journeys in conjunction with Grand Pacific and Mainline Steam are delighted to present steam enthusiasts an exclusive opportunity to discover New Zealand by Steam, Rail and Coach.
Sit back and enjoy the breathtaking scenery as the steam locomotives take charge up front. Step back in time as the romance of travelling by Steam Train provides great appeal, combined with New Zealand’s key attractions you can be assured the tour offers something for everyone. Amazing photo opportunities will be on offer and the list of tour highlights is extensive.
Don’t miss your opportunity to jump onboard and experience this exciting Steam Train tour which also includes the Centenary Celebrations of the TSS Earnslaw, New Zealand’s last surviving and grandest steamship.
A hundred years later this vintage steamship is set to create another stir at her centenary celebrations. A week long party includes special lake cruises, period costumes, bands, entertainment, food and lots of activities for the family.
Grand Pacific Tours has secured tickets to one of the major highlights of the centenary celebrations. Board the TSS Earnslaw for a special cruise that follows the historical freight and mail routes on its way to (and from) Glenorchy, passing sheep stations at Walter Peak, Mount Nicholas, Elfin Bay, Greenstone and Kinloch. At Glenorchy disembark and spend time exploring the area.
Enjoy the 1900s theme with entertainment, morning / afternoon tea and mingle with the historians on board who will proudly relive the history of one of New Zealand’s most recognised icons.
(B) Breakfast. (L) Lunch. (D) Dinner. (SD) Specialty Dinner.
DAY 1: Arrive Auckland (D)
Arrive into Auckland where you will be met by a local representative and transferred to your hotel.
Hotel - Copthorne Hotel Auckland City (2 nights)
DAY 2: Auckland - Glenbrook Railway - Auckland (B,L,D)
Today travel to Glenbrook Vintage Railway and enjoy a nostalgic 15 kilometre trip back in time on a beautifully restored vintage steam train. You will enjoy a visit to the restoration workshops and there will also be a number of photo runs. On return to Glenbrook Station enjoy a delicious lunch. Return to Auckland and travel along the waterfront as you are provided with an informative city tour followed by some free time to explore at leisure.
DAY 3: Auckland - Rotorua (B,L,D)
Depart Auckland and travel through the magnificent countryside enroute to Longlands Restaurant & Farm which is located in a beautiful setting. A delicious home cooked lunch will be served by a rural New Zealand family before continuing to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua.
Hotel - Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua (Superior Rooms, 2 nights)
DAY 4: Rotorua (B,SD)
Today begins with a Gondola ride to Cableway Restaurant where a buffet breakfast and spectacular views are on offer. Travel to the Agrodome where you see performing sheep, a shearing display and sheep dog trial. Enjoy some free time this afternoon before travelling to Te Puia to see the boiling mud pools and awesome Geysers that Rotorua is famous for. This evening experience an entertaining Maori Hangi and Concert.
DAY 5: Rotorua - Te Kuiti - National Park (B,D)
Travel to Te Kuiti by coach this morning to join your steam train. Excitement builds as you watch the scenery change from rolling green hills to a more rugged bush clad landscape and climb to the Poro-o-tarao Tunnel.
Descend towards Taumarunui and explore this small country town. Your climb continues to the volcanic centre of the North Island culminating in the ascent of the world famous Raurimu Spiral. From the top the train skirts the edge of the World Heritage Tongariro National Park which encompasses three active volcanoes. Continue to National Park station and transfer by coach to your hotel which is located at the base of Mount Ruapehu.
Hotel -Bayview Chateau Tongariro.
DAY 6: National Park - Wellington (B,D)
Transfer to Ohakune to join your steam train and “steam” south as you enjoy the spectacular views of Mount Ruapehu. From Waiouru to Palmerston North the train climbs through some rugged country crossing several high viaducts along the way. Pass through a number of rural towns then continue along the Kapiti Coast providing fantastic sea views on your approach to Wellington.
Hotel - James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor (2 nights)
DAY 7: Wellington (B)
This morning an extensive city tour will showcase the history and culture on show in New Zealand’s capital.
This afternoon is at leisure and a range of options are available including Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum; a trip to Featherston to visit the Fell Museum, housing the last surviving Fell locomotive; a local train to Plimmerton to visit the Mainline Steam Depot or enjoy a ride on Wellington’s famous Cable Car.
This evening is also free for you to dine at leisure.
DAY 8: Wellington - Blenheim (B,D)
This morning board the Interislander Ferry, cross Cook Strait and travel through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton where you will board your coach for the short journey to Blenheim. Visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre which has a superb display of aviation history like no other.
Hotel - Chateau Marlborough or Scenic Hotel Marlborough
DAY 9: Blenheim - Christchurch (B,D)
A stunning day lies ahead as your steam journey continues to Christchurch. Pass through 22 tunnels as you travel along the Kaikoura Coast which is pinned between the sea and the spectacular Kaikoura Ranges. You may see the seals sunning themselves on the rocks before arriving at Kaikoura, famous for Whale Watching. Continue your steam travels across the Northern Canterbury Plains to the garden city of Christchurch.
Hotel Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport
DAY 10: Christchurch - Dunedin (B,SD)
This morning board your steam train and travel to Ashburton. A short coach ride brings you to The Plains Vintage Railway. Experience a ‘K’88 Steam Locomotive at work, view informative displays and enjoy a delightful morning tea before rejoining your Mainline steam train. Cross several rivers before arriving at Timaru for a stop and to admire the
historic buildings. The scenic beauty continues as you approach Dunedin, known as the “Edinburgh of the South” and renowned for its distinctive architecture. This evening dinner will include a Scottish performance complete with bagpipes,
great food, Haggis Ceremony and gift.
Hotel -Scenic Hotel Southern Cross (2 nights)
DAY 11: Dunedin (B,D)
Travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle and enjoy a guided tour. Next visit Glenfalloch Woodland Gardens, view the superb collection of flowers followed by a delightful morning tea. Return to the city for some free time before boarding The Taieri Gorge Limited for a journey through spectacular scenery only accessible by rail. On return to Dunedin’s historic Edwardian Railway Station your coach will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.
DAY 12: Dunedin - Te Anau (B,D)
Travel to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland and cruise across Lake Te Anau to visit the Glow Worm Caves. Admire the incredible limestone caverns, waterfalls and mystery of the Glow Worm Grotto before arriving at your hotel.
Hotel - Distinction Luxmore Hotel (Deluxe Rooms)
DAY 13: Te Anau - Milford Sound - Queenstown (B,L,SD)
Enjoy a fascinating drive to Milford Sound where you board your launch for a cruise on this magnificent fiord. See the spectacular Bowen Falls and towering Mitre Peak as you enjoy a picnic lunch. This afternoon travel to Fairlight and board the Kingston Flyer for a historic steam train trip to Kingston. Enjoy a delightful dinner before the short coach ride to Queenstown, your home for the next three nights.
Hotel - Mercure Queenstown Resort (Lakeview Rooms, 3 nights)
DAY 14: Queenstown - TSS Earnslaw Centenary Celebrations Cruise (B,D)
Today is a highlight of your trip as you enjoy the Centenary Celebrations of the TSS Earnslaw. Depart Steamer Wharf on the “Grand Lady of the Lake” and trace the historical freight and mail routes, cruising past sheep stations at Walter Peak, Mount Nicholas, Elfin Bay, Greenstone and Kinloch. Enjoy the 1900s theme onboard with entertainment, morning tea and commentary by local historians. Disembark at Glenorchy and enjoy the local festivities before returning to Queenstown
after a memorable day.
DAY 15: Queenstown (Free Day) (B)
Today is a free day to explore Queenstown at leisure. Your Coach Captain and Tour Guide are available to assist with the options available. This evening is also free to dine out at one of the many fine restaurants.
DAY 16: Queenstown - Mt Cook - Christchurch (B,D)
Today see spectacular mountain ranges including Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. View the brilliant turquoise water of Lake Tekapo, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Sheep Dog Statue before arriving into hristchurch.
Hotel - Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport (2 nights)
DAY 17: Christchurch - Arthurs Pass - Christchurch (B,SD)
Today experience one of the most scenic sections of railway in the world. Your steam train travels west across the Canterbury Plains into the heart of the Southern Alps. Before long you are surrounded by magnificent vistas of snow capped mountains. Cross viaducts and twist through tunnels as you make your way to Arthurs Pass. Here the locomotive will be turned on a turntable for the return trip. This evening you will be treated to a farewell dinner with your new found friends.
DAY 18: Depart Christchurch (B)
Time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a once in a lifetime Steam and Rail experience around New Zealand.