Day 1 Departure/Auckland
Today we depart Australia on our flights to Auckland. On arrival, we will be met by our private coach and transferred to the hotel for check in. This evening we enjoy an included Welcome Dinner.
Day 2 Auckland
This morning we enjoy a tour of the main sights of Auckland including the Harbor Bridge which spans the beautiful Waitemata Harbor, the Sky Tower, Auckland City Hall, the Ferry Building and the quaint and stylish shopping area of Parnell. This afternoon we enjoy a visit to the Auckland Museum where we will enjoy a special Maori Cultural Performance and time to explore the museum exhibits at leisure.
Day 3 Wellington
This morning we board the Northern Explorer train for our journey to Wellington. The train service is a scenic rail journey through the five unique geographical regions of the North Island. We travel from Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, through the central heartland of the Northern Island. Along the way, we enjoy the farming landscapes and rocky sea scapes of the lower North Island and ascend through stunning river gorges to the volcanic plateau passing the majestic volcanoes of Mt Tongariro, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Ruapehu, the home of the North Island ski fields. Upon arrival in Wellington, we are transferred to our hotel.
Day 4 Wellington
This morning we will have a sightseeing tour of the main sights of Wellington, including the Houses of Parliament known as “the Beehive”. We visit Mount Victoria, where we have 360 degree views of the city, then travel by cable car to the Botanical Gardens. This afternoon will be free to explore Wellington or perhaps visit the award winning New Zealand museum.
Day 5 Nelson
This morning we take the Interislander ferry across Cook Straight to Picton, gateway to the beautiful Marlborough Sound and the famous wine growing region of Blenheim. There will be time for lunch before we visit a local winery to taste some of the Sauvignon Blanc the region is famous for. We continue onto Nelson, located on the doorstep of Abel Tasman National Park. Nelson is a popular holiday spot due to its sunshine and golden beaches.
Day 6 Nelson
This morning we will enjoy a cruise along the coast of the Abel Tasman National Park. We will cruise past the famous Split Apple Rock and view sea birds and seals at Tonga and Adele Islands. After the conclusion of our cruise we continue our tour of the region, finishing in Nelson.
Day 7 Christchurch
This morning we return to Picton, where we will embark the Coastal Pacific train to Christchurch. We travel via Kaikoura, the home of whale watching with the rugged Kaikoura mountain ranges on one side of our train, the Pacific Ocean coastline on the other. We will have views of marine wildlife such as seals and penguins all from the comfort of our carriage. The journey then takes us through some of New Zealand’s finest horticultural and farmland areas of the Canterbury Plains. Arriving into the South Island’s largest city Christchurch, we are transferred to our hotel where we spend the next two nights.
Day 8 Christchurch
We begin the day with a sightseeing tour of Christchurch with its very English feel. It is the largest city on the South Island of New Zealand. The city boasts modern architecture and historic buildings set against beautiful parks, gardens, rivers and beaches. After time for lunch we drive to the nearby village of Akaroa. Originally founded by the French, it is now a delightful town, still retaining the ambience of France.
Day 9 Franz Josef Glacier
On our excursion today we travel on one of the most scenic train journeys in New Zealand – the TranzAlpine Express Train. From Christchurch we cross the flat Canterbury Plains to the small community of Darfield. We continue through beautiful alpine scenery as we enter the Arthur’s Pass National Park. Take in the beautiful scenery as we wind our way across the highest and most spectacular mountain pass across the Southern Alps. After arrival in Greymouth we board our coach and transfer to Franz Josef Glacier. We stop along the way in the gold rush town of Hokitika where you will have the opportunity to watch authentic carvers get to work on green jade and take a look at traditional Maori art. On arrival into Franz Josef, we check into our hotel.
Day 10 Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier is one of the steepest glaciers in New Zealand, descending from its origins high in the Southern Alps deep into the lush native rainforest of Westland’s National Park. It also moves faster than your average glacier at around 50cm per day. Today we will enjoy a Glacier Valley Walk. You will be taken up alongside the mighty Waiho River bed following the glacier’s path of retreat in this remarkable landscape. You will learn about the glacier’s history, see what is left behind by this majestic giant, and learn the legend of Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere.
Day 11 Queenstown
We depart Franz Josef today and head south to Queenstown, travelling through Haast Pass, beautified by ancient rainforests, small glaciers and waterfalls. Along the way, we will stop in the town Wanaka, a pretty ski resort town situated on a lake front and dwarfed by mountains. On arrival into Queenstown we check into our hotel.
Day 12 Queenstown
Queenstown lies on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, and is surrounded by beautiful snow-capped mountains. Today we will enjoy a sightseeing tour of Queenstown, including a ride on the 450m high skyline for spectacular views. In the afternoon, we visit historic Arrowtown. Established during the gold rush of the 1860s, it is still a vibrant town centre today. This evening enjoy a scenic cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the iconic century-old coal-fired steamship, the TSS Earnslaw.
Day 13 Dunedin
Today we travel to Dunedin. Originally founded by Scottish settlers and known as the “Edinburgh of the South”, it now consists of beautifully preserved buildings overlooking parklands. On arrival we enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city including the historic Larnach Castle which has a rich history that dates back to 1871 as well as time to explore the exquisite gardens. We check into our hotel late afternoon.
Day 14 Dunedin
This morning we travel on the spectacular Taieri Gorge Railway. Departing from Dunedin’s beautiful railway station, our train begins its scenic journey into some of New Zealand’s ever-changing, most spectacular and iconic scenery on its journey to Pukerangi, a peaceful outcrop out the other side of the Taieri Gorge. The train travels through the Southern parts of Dunedin city until it arrives at Wingatui junction, where it turns off onto the Taieri branch. From here the train sneaks across the Taieri Plains and climbs into the Taieri Gorge, a narrow and deep gorge carved out over aeons by the ancient Taieri River. The train will stop or slow down at various scenic points along the way for photos where we can disembark and stretch our legs and enjoy the best of beauty, peace and quiet that nature has to offer. We return to Dunedin late afternoon.
Day 15 Christchurch
Today we head back north along the coast to Christchurch for an overnight stay before flying home tomorrow. This evening we enjoy a Farewell Dinner, to celebrate the fabulous trip!
Day 16 Departure
Today we transfer to Christchurch Airport for our flights back to Australia.
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Touring can involve a considerable amount of walking and stair-climbing in the places visited and it is important that all tour participants have a level of physical fitness that allows them to take part in this activity without the need of assistance from others.
Tour Operator: Travelrite International Pty Ltd, (ABN 64 005 817 078) is the tour operator.
Tour Costs: The tour costs are based on general transport, entry, and accommodation costs. Travelrite reserves the right to alter the costs if any of these factors change, giving any passenger that has booked the right to withdraw with full refund of monies paid or modify arrangements. No alterations to price will be made within 60 days of departure from Australia.
Deposit and Payment: deposit of $750 per passenger for is required at the time of booking. Full payment will be required 60 days before departure for the New Zealand Rail and Coach Exploration. Cancellation over 90 days will allow you to receive your deposit refunded. Deposits 90 to 61 days before tour departs results in loss of deposit. Cancellation under 61 days before tour departs will result in a loss of all monies paid. Payment may be made by cheque or cash a 1.5% administration fee will be charged on payments made by credit cards.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is recommended to cover the costs of cancellation fees due to illness, death in family, etc.
Minimum Tour Numbers: The tour has been priced on the basis of a minimum number of passengers having booked 60 days prior to departure. Travelrite reserves the right to cancel the tour, giving a full refund of all monies paid or offer arrangements to proceed with the tour at a modified cost.
Tour Organisation: Travelrite reserves the right to change advertised entrances if necessary for the smooth operation of the tour.
The tour is based on arrangements that do not allow for any refunds in respect to sightseeing, accommodation, meals, airfare or other services not utilized after the tour has commenced.
Baggage: Due to coach restrictions, tour members can only bring one large suitcase.
Children under 5 years of age are ineligible on coach & cruise tours. Children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Passengers with disabilities are welcome on Travelrite & Cruise Offers tours provided they are accompanied by a companion capable of providing all necessary assistance, and do not require special assistance from Travelrite & Cruise Offers personnel. Travelrite and Cruise Offers reserves the right to refuse to carry anyone if it is felt the individual cannot cope with the requirements of coach & cruise tour travel and who may require services and facilities that Travelrite & Cruise Offers cannot guarantee will be available. You agree to not hold the Travelrite & Cruise Offers responsible for any decision made by any of them or any service provider to refuse to carry you, provide any facilities or accommodation to you or to provide any service to you.
Responsibilities: Travelrite International Pty Ltd. (ABN 64 005 817 078) is the tour organizer. Travelrite acts only as an agent in the making of arrangements for hotels, transportation, restaurants or any other service and does not assume any liability whatsoever for any injury, damage, death, loss, accident or delay to person or property due to an act of negligence or a default of any hotel, carrier restaurant company or person rendering any services included in the tour, or by act of God. Further no responsibilities are accepted for any damage or delay due to sickness, pilferage, labour disputes, machinery break-down, quarantine, government restraints, weather, terrorism or other causes beyond their control. No responsibility is accepted for any additional expense, omission, delays, re-routing or acts of any government authority. The passage contract between the carriers concerned, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the carriers and the purchasers of this tour and/or the passengers. The right is reserved to withdraw any tour and/or make such changes in the tour as may be found desirable or necessary for the convenience of the parties and the proper carrying out of the tour. This contract shall be construed in accordance of the laws of the State of Victoria, Australia and any legal action must be undertaken in the State of Victoria.
DELAYS AND UNFORESEEN EVENTS:
You engage Travelrite International to book this tour on your behalf and you acknowledge that Travelrite International acts as your agent for the purpose of making contracts between you and the various providers of accommodation, transportation and other services that comprise the tour. Travelrite International may without reference to you provide or make available to you, or may as your agent engage any third party to provide or make available to you, any good or service which Travelrite International reasonably believes is necessary for your benefit to maintain the tour itinerary, repatriate you or otherwise accommodate, transport or sustain you in circumstances in which the tour itinerary fails wholly or partly for any reason. You appoint Travelrite International your attorney for this purpose. You agree to pay Travelrite International any cost thereof and you indemnify Travelrite International in respect of any cost it incurs in this regard. Travelrite advises you to obtain travel insurance generally including in respect of the risk that any such good or service may become required.
How to Book: Bookings can be made by sending full names and addresses of intending tour members with a deposit of $750 for the tour. Please send to:
Travelrite International Pty Ltd
423 Whitehorse Road Balwyn, Victoria 3103
Further information or a booking form can be obtained by contacting Travelrite International on the following numbers:
About Travelrite International: Travelrite International Pty Ltd (ABN 64 005 817 078) is a well-established family-owned business that’s been operating in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs for more than 35 years. Travelrite International is a full member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA), is fully Accredited with ATAS (A10538) and IATA. As such they directly represent the major airlines of the world and all major domestic and international hotel, tour and transport operators.
“Being part of an organised tour was a new and enjoyable experience for us. We could relax because the Tour Manager had everything organised.”
“The Tairei Gorge out of Dunedin was our favourite – it had great scenery, bridges and tunnels!”