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For 2018 please scroll down:

Previous Tours below: Click in box to the right for pre-2015:

Recently: Ab Restoration Celebration South Island Vintage Train 

Be one of the first to travel behind Ab 608 Passchendaele on its maiden South Island tour after a mammoth 15 year restoration programme.

This promises to be the landmark rail tour of 2015. Ab608 and the vintage train will travel across the Cook Strait to Picton, then down the full length of the scenic east coast to Christchurch, Oamaru and Dunedin, arriving in Invercargill and Bluff on October 22.

It will then return North on 23rd to Dunedin for local excursions to Port Chalmers and up the incredibly scenic Taieri Gorge, to Middlemarch before returning to Oamaru on 27th and Christchurch on 28th. The following day we will be travelling across the stunning Southern Alps to Arthur's Pass to Greymouth with excursions to Hokitika, Moana, Westport, Reefton and Ngakawau planned for the next few days, before returning to Christchurch again on 2nd November.

On it's way back home special running days on the Weka Pass Railway have been planned, with the final mainline steam leg from Waipara to Picton scheduled for Sunday 8th November.

This tour will travel on several lines not normally open to passengers. Fares are available to travel just one way or you can stay the whole tour and return to Wellington.

This tour represents by far the furthest you will be able to travel by steam anywhere in New Zealand during 2015.

As well as side trips to rail museums and freight only lines throughout the tour, there is plenty of free time planned into the itinerary to explore all the main towns visited. 

Please note this tour is not escorted, though Steam Inc has a team of very friendly train stewards with excellent local knowledge.

Costs will be between NZ$80 and $250 a day for steam train rail travel, depending on the length of steam travel that day. Costs for accommodation and meals to be confirmed based on your own travel requirements, but we suggest you budget an additional NZ$200 a day maximum.

This tour can be tailored to your own availability and budget, so do email us today for the draft itinerary to see how we can make this tour work for you.

The anticipated local demand means that seats will be confirmed strictly on a first deposit received basis, so if you are interested you really should get in touch today.


2018: New Zealand Summer January to April:

Itinerary is shown below:

NB The 2016 Kaikoura earthquake means the Picton to Christchurch rail line is closed for the forseeable future. This means this part of the journey is now by road and may mean one night's stay in Blenheim and one night in Christchurch instead of the originally planned two nights in Christchurch. Thanks for your understanding.

This will be a combination of rail, coach and boat travel using diesel and electric locos on the mainline, steam on preserved railways and coach travel where rail lines do not exist: 

2018 departures: January, February, March and April 

 

Click here to view earlier Steam Journeys

 

2015: 

South  Island Vintage Train Tour 

Oct 19-Nov 8 

2016:

5 Tours

Jan - May

2017 Dates:

NZ Rail Coach and Cruise Tours

Jan 18-Feb 5

Feb 5-23 

Mar 16 - Apr 3

Apr 6 - 24


2018 Dates

Jan 18- Feb 5

Feb 5 - Feb 23

Further dates to be confirmed

All these tours sold out in 2015 2016 and 2017.

2018: Please get in touch now to register your interest and ensure your place.

Great NZ Steam Journeys in conjunction with Grand Pacific are delighted to present you with an exclusive opportunity to discover New Zealand by Rail, Coach and Cruise.

Sit back and enjoy the breathtaking scenery as the romance of travelling by rail, combined with visiting New Zealandís key attractions means you can be assured this tour will offer something for everyone.

Amazing photo opportunities will be on offer and the list of rail and other tour highlights is extensive.

Donít miss your opportunity to jump onboard and experience this exciting rail, coach and cruising tour:

Three breathtaking Rail Journeys

A highlight of this tour includes three breathtaking rail journeys and provides a nice balance of rail and coach travel. Each rail journey offers something different and includes a range of diesel and steam locomotives.

Glenbrook Vintage RailwayGLENBROOK VINTAGE RAILWAY Experience the thrill of travelling by steam train on this 15 kilometre scenic journey. Meander through beautiful rural countryside on a vintage train hauled by one of the lovingly restored steam locomotives. Settle into the immaculate wood carriages and get to know the staff in vintage uniform who will clip your ticket as you listen to the panting steam engine. Enjoy time to visit the restoration workshops enroute before returning to the Glenbrook Station for a delicious morning tea.

THE COASTAL PACIFIC* This truly spectacular journey commences at the coastal port of Picton. Travel through the picturesque Marlborough Wine Region then continue along the East Coast via a thin wedge of land pinned between the Pacific Ocean on one side and the rugged beauty of the coastal mountains on the other. You may see amazing wildlife from your carriage including dolphins, seals and penguins before arriving at the seaside village of Kaikoura.

*Currently suspended due to damage caused by Kaikoura earthquake but may be restored by later in season departures

THE TRANZALPINE World renowned as the Great New Zealand Rail Adventure. Travel through the patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains then over massive viaducts, river valleys and spectacular gorges as you ascend to Arthurís Pass, located in the centre of the Southern Alps. Pass through the Otira Tunnel and continue through lush beech forest, skirt lakes and follow rivers as you travel right through to the West Coast.

THE SILVER FERN SEASIDER RAIL JOURNEY 

Optional: THE TAIERI GORGE LIMITED A fascinating journey through rugged, spectacular scenery only accessible by train. Depart from Dunedinís Historic Edwardian Railway Station and see grand examples of Victorian Stonework on bridges and tunnels plus travel across iron latticework viaducts built in the 1880ís. Take in the sights onboard modern carriages with panoramic windows and skylights plus refurbished traditional style wooden cars. Full commentary provided with opportunities to disembark at points of interest.

 

 

2018:

19 Day New Zealand Rail, Cruise & Coach Holiday

ONE LOW PRICE INCLUDES

PRE PAID ATTRACTIONS

Waitangi Treaty Grounds*

Dolphin/Hole in the Rock Cruise

Kauri Museum

Glenbrook Vintage Railway

Paradise Valley Springs*

Skyline Rotorua Gondola & Luge Ride

Agrodome

Thermal mud pools & geysers*

Te Puia traditional Maori Hangi & Concert

Te Papa, New Zealandís National Museum*

Cruise on the Interislander Ferry

Omaka Vintage Aviation Centre

TranzAlpine Rail Journey

Cruise Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw

Lakes District Museum

HIGHLIGHT: Milford Sound Overnight Cruise 

Cruise Lake Te Anau, visit Glow Worm Caves

Silver Fern Seasider Rail Journey

Optional: Taieri Gorge Railway Journey

Larnach Castle*

Glenfalloch Woodland Gardens

Haggis Ceremony & Gift

Olveston House

City sights tour of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch & Dunedin

*Denotes guided tour is included with 1 guide per 24 travellers.

TOURING

  • Modern coach travel with 2 door access, restroom, reclining seats and panoramic windows
  • Professional Coach Captain
  • Great NZ Steam Journey Experienced Tour Guide
  • Personalised Meet & Greet on arrival
  • Return airport transfers in New Zealand
  • Milford Sound Overnight Cruise
  • 17 nights superior hotel accommodation
  • 6 two night stays
  • Hotel porterage
  • 3 rail journeys
  • 5 cruises
  • All sightseeing and pre paid attractions
  • GST (New Zealand Goods and Services Tax)
  • Comprehensive documentation pack

MEALS

  • 18 cooked breakfasts including a specialty breakfast at the Stratosfare Restaurant - Rotorua
  • 15 sumptuous dinners including 4 specialty dinners: Maori Hangi & Concert - Rotorua, Walter Peak Homestead - Queenstown, Haggis Ceremony - Dunedin, Farewell Dinner - Christchurch
  • 2 delicious morning teas

Note: Dinner on Day 1 not included for anyone arriving later than 8pm.

ITINERARY:

(B) Breakfast. (L) Lunch. (D) Dinner. (SD) Specialty Dinner.

DAY 1: Arrive Auckland (D)

On arrival into Auckland you will be met by our Tour representative and transferred to your hotel.

Hotel - Grand Millennium Hotel

DAY 2: Auckland - Bay of Islands (B,D)

Depart Auckland and travel to the Parry Kauri Park to see a magnificent example of a Kauri Tree. Enjoy a visit and informative talk at the Kauri Museum at Matakohe, then travel via Whangarei to Paihia in the heart of the beautiful Bay of Islands. This afternoon enjoy a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the location of the signing of the treaty between the Maori tribes and the British.

Hotel - Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands (2 nights)

DAY 3: Bay of Islands (B)

Today is a free day. Choose from the many optional activities available, including the spectacular Cape Reinga scenic flight or coach trip via ninety mile beach. This evening is also free and you may like to join a relaxing optional dinner cruise.

DAY 4: Bay of Islands - Auckland (B,D)

This morning travel aboard a luxury catamaran to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock. Keep an eye out for bottlenose and common dolphins before returning to Paihia. Travel south via Whangarei, to Auckland's North Shore for some time at leisure. Enjoy a stroll on the beach with magnificent views of Rangitoto Island, Auckland Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf.

Hotel - Spencer on Byron

DAY 5: Auckland - Rotorua (B,L,D)

Depart Auckland and travel to Glenbrook Vintage Railway for a nostalgic 15 kilometre trip back in time on a beautifully restored vintage steam train. Visit the restoration workshop and on return to Glenbrook Station, morning tea will be served. Depart Glenbrook and travel through magnificent countryside of rolling hills and green pastures famous for dairying. Continue to Rotorua and visit Paradise Valley Springs, a superb wildlife park where you can hand feed rainbow trout.

Hotel - Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua (Superior Room. 2 nights)

DAY 6: Rotorua (B,SD)

Today begins with a Gondola ride and breakfast at Skyline Stratosfare Restaurant where a buffet breakfast and spectacular views are on offer. There is also time for a Luge ride! Next stop is the Agrodome for an action packed hour of farming entertainment and education that's unlike anything you've ever seen before. Enjoy some free time 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 7: Rotorua - Wellington (B,D)

Travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway to the spectacular Huka Falls. Continue to Lake Taupo for some free time to enjoy this scenic lakeside town. Travel via the Tongariro National Park passing the famous 'Mt Doom' from Lord of the Rings and then continue south along the Kapiti Coast to the capital city of Wellington.

Hotel - James Cook Grand Chancellor (2 nights)

DAY 8: Wellington (B)

A highlight this morning will be time to explore Gallipoli: A scale of war exhibition at Te Papa, New Zealandís National Museum.

Cutting edge technology brings these stories to life through the eyes of New Zealanders who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Reboard your coach for an extensive city tour. Enjoy your free time this afternoon. This evening is also free to dine out at one of the many fine local restaurants.

DAY 9: Wellington - Blenheim (Christchurch) (B,D)

This morning board the Interislander Ferry, cross Cook Strait and travel through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton. If the earthquake damage has been restored then we will Join the Coastal Pacific*, a truly spectacular rail journey that showcases the Kaikoura mountain ranges on one side and the rugged scenic coastline on the other. Travel through numerous tunnels and across several bridges before departing the train in Kaikoura to complete the rest of the journey to Christchurch by coach.

*Currently suspended due to Kaikoura earthquake. This journey will be by coach on Day 10 until rail services resume.

If not restored we will travel to Blenheim the heart of wine growing Marlborough and have a fascinating tour of the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. You will be transported from WW1 to WW2 featuring an extensive collection of aircraft belonging to Sir Peter Jackson.  

Blenheim Hotel - if railway not restored: Hotel Scenic Marlborough or Chateau Marlborough (1 night)

DAY 10: Blenheim - Christchurch (B,D)

Today's travel takes you through the alpine village of St Arnaud the enchanting beech Marauia Forest and the scenic Lewis Pass. Continue south to the Garden City of Christchurch for an informative city tour.

Day 10 if railway restored:

A leisurely start this morning with a visit the International Antarctic Centre followed by a city sights tour of Christchurch and time to enjoy the Christchurch Tram (optional) or travel on the Christchurch 'Caterpillar' tour of the magnificent Botanical Gardens (optional).

Christchurch Hotel - Quality Elms Hotel (2 nights ) 

DAY 11: Canterbury - Arthur's Pass- Franz Josef (B,L,D)

This morning board the TranzAlpine, one of the great train journeys of the world. Travel over massive viaducts, river valleys and spectacular gorges as you ascend to Arthurís Pass located in the centre of the Southern Alps. Board your coach and travel to Hokitika, famous for its Greenstone (jade) before arriving at Franz Josef where time is available to experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) landing on the spectacular glaciers.

Hotel - Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

DAY 12: Franz Josef - Queenstown (B)

See the snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel via the World Heritage area of Haast to Queenstown, a year round resort situated on the shores of magical Lake Wakatipu. This evening is free to dine at one of the many fine restaurants.

Hotel - Copthorne Hotel & Resort (2 nights)

DAY 13: Queenstown (Free Day) (B,SD)

Today is a free day for you to explore Queenstown. Your Tour Guide and Coach Captain are available to assist with the many options available. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a gourmet barbecue dinner which the chef will prepare in front of you at the Colonelís Homestead. After dinner enjoy a short farm show then reboard the TSS Earnslaw for a sing along by the piano on your return cruise.

DAY 14: Queenstown - Milford Sound Overnight Cruise (B,D)

This morning travel to Arrowtown, an old gold mining village and visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue via Te Anau, the gateway to the Fiordland, to board your amazing overnight cruise on the Milford Mariner. There is plenty of time to view the fiord's spectacular waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife - you're bound to encounter seals and if you're lucky maybe dolphins and penguins. As evening falls enjoy a delicious carvery buffet prepared freshly by the onboard chef.

Hotel - Milford Mariner

Day 15: Milford Sound

DAY 15: Milford Sound - Te Anau - (B,D)

Start the day with a hearty breakfast before heading back out to the Tasman Sea (weather permitting) to explore more of the fiord. Return back to the wharf to meet your coach and enjoy the scenic drive to Te Anau. This afternoon enjoy a scenic cruise across Lake Te Anau to visit the Glow Worm caves where you can admire the incredible limestone caverns, waterfalls and mystery of the Glow Worm grotto.

Hotel - Distinction Luxmore  (Deluxe Room)   

DAY 16: Te Anau - Dunedin (B,SD)

Travel via Gore and Balclutha to Dunedin. After time for lunch board the Silver Fern railcar for a journey along spectacular clifftops, overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Blueskin Bay. On return to Dunedin's historic Edwardian Railway Station board your coach for for an informative city tour. Tonight a Scottish evening will be presented comprising of bagpipes, great food, Haggis ceremony and gift

Hotel - Southern Cross Hotel Dunedin City (2 nights)

DAY 17: Dunedin (B,D)

Today travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle for a guided tour. Visit Glenfalloch Woodland Gardens, view the superb collection of flowers followed by a delightful morning tea. Return to the city for a free afternoon. You might choose to board the Taieri Gorge Limited for one of the world's most spectacular rail journey up the Gorge, an area only accessible by rail.   

DAY 18: Dunedin - Christchurch (B,SD)

This mornin visit Olveston House, a prestigious historic home before travelling to Oamaru, famous for its whitestone buildings and it's unique Precinct, before travelling to Christchurch. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner with your new found friends.

Hotel - Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport

DAY 19: Depart Christchurch (B)

Time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday.

While in Christchurch we thoroughly recommend a visit to Ironhorse Hobbies, one of New Zealand's best model railway retailers. www.ironhorsehobbies.co.nz

COSTS:

2017 Land Only cost: NZ$7059 per person share twin, Single supplement NZ$2210. Please note this does not include airfare cost from home port to Auckland and then return from Christchurch.

If this looks interesting to you or you have further questions just email paul.hashfield@gmail.com