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Premier

Great New Zealand Rail and Cruise Experience

Auckland to Christchurch
16 Days Request Quote
Trip Code: NRC16
  • Trip Highlights
  • Map & Itinerary
  • Travel & Accommodation
  • Pricing & Availability

Trip Highlights

Auckland In Full Glory

Auckland's stunning highlights are on display during your Hauraki blue Overnight Cruise aboard the Ipipiri

Wonderful Wellington

With a two-night stay in the New Zealand capital, you have plenty of opportunities to explore its best-loved landmarks

The Milford Mariner

Enjoy a stunning overnight cruise along Milford Sound, taking in the enchanting views of the fiord

Your Vacation Includes

  • Enriching Signature Experiences and Freedom of Choice Inclusions
  • 15 breakfasts, 6 dinners and 6 feature dinners
  • APT Tour Director, plus expert local guides
  • Arrival and departure transfers in New Zealand
  • Luggage porterage and tipping

Map & Itinerary

Save As Pdf
New Zealand Map NRC16 2017/18

Auckland to Christchurch

Designed Exclusively for APT guests
SIGNATURE EXPERIENCE

These once-in-a-lifetime moments allow you to experience an unforgettable world of exclusive moments, incredible cultures and charming surprises

FREEDOM OF CHOICE™ - Sightseeing

Personalise your holiday with a choice of included sightseeing options sure to leave you with lifelong memories

FREEDOM OF CHOICE™ - Dining

Choose from a variety of included dining options sure to tantalise the tastebuds of every guest

Today your New Zealand Rail and Cruise adventure begins. Prepare for a journey of discovery, delving into unique and traditional experiences, a colourful cultural history and awe-inspiring natural wonders. Arrive in Auckland where you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy some time to settle in and spend the evening at your leisure.

Stay: Two Nights, Grand Millennium Auckland

FREEDOM OF CHOICE™ - Sightseeing

Perhaps take a cruise on Waitemata Harbour, head off on a Waiheke Island wine tour, or explore the fantastic Auckland Museum. Alternatively, get up close to marine life at Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium and see New Zealand’s only colony of Antarctic penguins, or perhaps set off on a Wilderness Adventure into the Waitakere Rainforest, or take a trip to the harbourside suburb of Devonport.


Enjoy the opportunity to discover the ‘City of Sails’ with our range of sightseeing inclusions. This evening, enjoy a delicious Welcome Dinner as you get to know your Tour Director and fellow travellers.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
SIGNATURE EXPERIENCE

Board the Glenbrook Vintage Railway. Lovingly restored, you will enjoy a journey through the beautiful rural Franklin countryside aboard this historic steam train, revelling in the sense of travelling back in time.

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCE

Immerse yourself in Māori culture as you enjoy a traditional Hāngī Feast and witness a fascinating cultural performance.


This morning travel to the rural area of Glenbrook. Travel to Victoria Avenue and Waiuku, before enjoying a stop at the Pukeoware Depot to explore the workshop, view other historic regional locomotives undergoing restoration, and indulge in a delightful morning tea. Later, reboard the train and travel back to Glenbrook. This afternoon, board your coach for your journey to Rotorua. Known for its bubbling mud pools, geysers shooting jets of water high into the air and steaming hot springs, Rotorua is a land humming with geothermal activity.

Stay: Two Nights, Holiday Inn Rotorua, overlooking Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
FREEDOM OF CHOICE™ - Sightseeing

Perhaps experience the icons of Rotorua at the famed Agrodome Farm Show, then make your way to Rainbow Springs Nature Park. Here you will visit a working kiwi nursery, learning all about the national animal and the conservation endeavours that are being implemented to protect these extraordinary endangered birds. Various other bird species and reptiles also reside here, an ode to the efforts taken by the country to protect their native wildlife. Afterwards, visit the fascinating Te Puia Thermal Reserve, the centre for Māori culture. The unique architecture of the Marae, or meeting place, with its engraved buildings and carved symbols perched on the top of the roof speaks volumes about Māori history and artistry. Alternatively, take a Hobbiton Movie Set tour for an enthralling insight into the making of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Perhaps drive through forest and farmland to visit New Zealand’s largest boiling mud pool and colourful hot springs; or explore Redwood Treewalk with a Māori guide, walking up to 12 metres above the ground amongst the 115-year-old gentle giants.


Today presents an outstanding opportunity to explore Rotorua your way, with a selection of fascinating included sightseeing options available.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
SIGNATURE EXPERIENCE

Enjoy a self-drive rail cruising experience along a decommissioned railway line. Hop aboard and travel through tunnels, over bridges and past a collection of charming towns at your own pace on a leisurely discovery through the landscapes of Whanganui National Park.


Farewell Rotorua and travel to Taumarunui. Experience the beauty of the North Island as the rolling green hills brush gently by, and take some time out over a delicious picnic lunch. Afterwards, travel to Tongariro National Park for a night at the historic and iconic Chateau Tongariro Hotel.

Stay: Chateau Tongariro Hotel

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
SIGNATURE EXPERIENCE

Take the opportunity to explore the fascinating Fell Locomotive Museum, home to H199, the only locomotive of its type in the world. This museum offers a great insider’s look at New Zealand’s intriguing rail history.


Farewell the beautiful Tongariro National Park following breakfast this morning. Today’s journey takes you to the town of Featherston. Delight in a relaxing afternoon tea before travelling to Wellington, New Zealand’s vibrant capital city by the water. In spite of its small size, Wellington is brimming with character and charm. Enjoy time to settle in at your hotel before dinner this evening.

Stay: Two Nights, Rydges Hotel Wellington

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Discover the delights of Wellington today. After breakfast, set off on a sightseeing tour. Take in the city’s best-loved landmarks and sights, including New Zealand’s national museum - Te Papa Tongarewa, renowned for being interactive and innovative. Afterwards, ride Wellington’s iconic Cable Car, gaining a fresh perspective as you gaze out across this coastal city to landmarks such as the Nagasaki Peace flame, which commemorates the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. The afternoon and evening have been left free for you to enjoy Wellington at your own pace. Perhaps grab a bite to eat at one of the renowned waterfront restaurants.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
SIGNATURE EXPERIENCE

Step aboard the Interislander ferry and cruise across Cook Strait, passing through the picturesque Marlborough and Queen Charlotte sounds to Picton. Take in the stunningly serene vistas as you relax on board.

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCE

Board the Coastal Pacific train and enjoy a journey through the rugged east coast. Traverse rolling fields and glimpse at hidden towns along the Kaikoura coast, famous for its marine mammal encounters.


This morning, say goodbye to the North Island as you make your way to Picton. Make your way to the idyllic Southern Island and Christchurch. Set against a backdrop of the majestic Southern Alps that descend into the roiling ocean, Christchurch is a city of innovation. Here you will find a city which celebrates art, creativity and regeneration while simultaneously staying true to its traditional English heritage.

Stay: Christchurch, Commodore Hotel

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
SIGNATURE EXPERIENCE

Board the TranzAlpine train for one of the world’s greatest rail adventures. Head to the open-air viewing platform and enjoy stunning views as you journey through the striking patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains.

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCE

Take in the dramatic terrain of the Franz Josef region. From the alpine snowfields, to verdant rainforests, blue ice caves, beautiful lakes and glacial rivers, the natural surrounds of the area are guaranteed to captivate.


Follow the Waimakariri River and travel across the magnificent Southern Alps within Arthur’s Pass National Park. Disembark at Greymouth and travel by coach to Franz Josef.

Stay: Franz Josef Glacier, Scenic Hotel Franz Josef

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
FREEDOM OF CHOICE™ - Dining

Perhaps sample the delicious fresh produce at waterside Finz Seafood and Grill restaurant, or board a scenic gondola ride to the Skyline Restaurant to enjoy views across Queenstown as you dine. Alternatively, cruise aboard the TSS Earnslaw, a vintage steamboat, or enjoy dinner at the acclaimed Elements Restaurant. Whatever your choice, your meal is sure to be a memorable one.


Enjoy a day of truly breathtaking scenery as you travel along the Haast River. Rich in cultural and geographical significance, the river offers sublime views of some of New Zealand’s most picturesque stretches. Arrive at Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital. This evening you will choose from four tempting restaurants in which to dine.

Stay: Two Nights, Queenstown, Novotel Queenstown Lakeside

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
FREEDOM OF CHOICE™ - Sightseeing

The Lord of the Rings fans will jump at the chance to visit key filming locations on a Safari of the Scenes tour, fusing the cinematic landscapes of New Zealand with the magic of Middle-earth. Thrill seekers may opt to take an exhilarating ride on the famous Shotover Jet Boat, a Skippers Canyon adventure or a river safari along the Dart River. New Zealand is rightly famous for its many vineyards and wines, and a tour of the wine-producing areas is a tempting offer today. Why not tour the country’s premier wine-producing region and savour the delicious local offerings? Nature enthusiasts may enjoy a farm experience at Mt Nicholas or a bird walk through the surrounding wilderness. A relaxing cruise on Lake Wakatipu is also on offer should you wish to marvel at the magnificent alpine scenery at close quarters.


Enjoy the opportunity to personalise your journey today by choosing from a range of Freedom of Choice sightseeing activities.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
SIGNATURE EXPERIENCE

Board a spectacular overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound to discover rugged peaks, hidden islets and pristine rainforests.


Embark on one of the most scenic drives today as you journey along into the heart of Fiordland National Park. Here you’ll find some of the world’s most sublime natural landscapes, from immense lakes to picturesque walking tracks. Board a cruise across Lake Manapouri before travelling by coach over Wilmot Pass to arrive at Doubtful Sound, the second largest fiord within the national park. The fiord is rich in flora and fauna, so keep watch for New Zealand Fur Seals and Fiordland Crested Penguins that call this place home.

Stay: Doubtful Sound overnight cruise

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Leave the Fiordland region this morning and travel to Dunedin on the east coast of New Zealand. This long-established city is often referred to as being the Edinburgh of the South. Wander the streets and admire the historical buildings that still stand in immaculate condition.

Stay: Two Nights, Dunedin, Scenic Hotel Southern Cross

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
SIGNATURE EXPERIENCE

Step aboard the Taieri Gorge Railway and journey through the picturesque Southland countryside. One of the world’s greatest rail trips, the Taieri Gorge Railway reveals some of the South Island’s most diverse and splendid scenery while weaving through tunnels and over bridges in a smooth and effortless fashion.


Wake up this morning in Dunedin, a city that was originally planned in Scotland and whose name is derived from the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh. With its proud Victorian and Edwardian heritage buildings that are still impeccably maintained today, it is reminiscent of its European counterpart. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
SIGNATURE EXPERIENCE

Board the Seasider train and travel along Otago Harbour before climbing the gentle slopes of Port Chalmers on the Pacific coast.

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCE

Continue to World Heritage-listed Aoraki Mt Cook National Park to view Australasia’s highest mountain and the sublime alpine scenery.


Rejoin your coach and journey to Oamaru. Head north to see the unusual Moeraki Boulders. Scattered across the Koekohe Beach and weighing several tonnes each, these large, spherical stones were formed more than 60 million years ago. According to Māori legend, the boulders are gourds, kumaras and eel baskets that washed ashore after the legendary voyaging canoe, Araiteuru, was wrecked upon landing in New Zealand hundreds of years ago. Head to the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, which includes a visit to the planetarium and a stargazing session with an astronomer.

Stay: Mt Cook, The Hermitage Hotel, in a room with alpine views

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Awake to the captivating landscapes that New Zealand boast for the final time this morning. Your journey may be coming to an end, but not before enjoying more incredible sightseeing and travel opportunities. Following breakfast, drive along the spectacular shores of Lake Pukaki to Lake Tekapo. Here you will visit the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd. Built from locally gathered stone and oak, this church was erected as a tribute to the early pioneers of the area. Take a quiet moment to step inside the church and gaze out onto breathtaking views of the immense lake and surrounding alpine vistas. Later, continue to Christchurch, where your tour concludes as you transfer to the airport for your onward journey.

Daily :
  • Breakfast

Travel & Accommodation

Stylish Hotels and Resorts

Stay in hotels that enhance your destination, including The Hermitage in Mount Cook

Flavours of New Zealand

Enjoy feature dinners including a four-course meal degustation at Franz Josef

Chateau Sanctuary

Be taken to the blissful sanctuary of national park scenery at the iconic Chateau Tongariro Hotel, built in the 1920s

It has been a privilege to welcome so many guests aboard APT’s award-winning journeys, and a joy to see those guests fall in love with each new experience the world presents.