Example Only - 21 Day KiwiRail/Bus Tour
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  • Quoted by: Marion
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Experience the sweeping landscapes of New Zealand's North and South Island by train and bus - one of the best and most relaxing ways to see the country.

The coasts and mountains of both islands will impress you; animals only found here; landscapes only found in movies (a fact); and the Kiwis will remain in your memories for a long time.

On many small hikes (if you wish) in some of the most beautiful national parks, you will experience the scenic highlights of both islands: rainforests, volcanoes, geysers, glaciers, mountain lakes, beaches and - in contrast - the big cities.

New Zealand, the double island on the other side of the globe, is a paradise for friends of nature. Nowhere else will you find climate zones, sceneries and vegetation as diverse and close to each other than here. Bushwalking, the name that New Zealand has given hiking, is the most direct way to experience Nature's beauty. Therefore, this tour offers many possible hikes and walks in the most beautiful national parks. You will see sleeping and active volcanoes, lonely bays, deep mountain lakes, geysers and thermal areas as well as fiords and rainforests. Experience the "double culture "of Polynesian Maori and European immigrants with their diverse traditions and feel the flair of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

This train and bus adventure will lead you:

  • In the "Northern Explorer "through the volcanic plateau of the North Island (departure Mondays);
  • In the "Coastal Pacific" along the Pacific Coastline. DUE TO THE EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE UNFORTUNATELY NOT AVAILABLE, A CHANGED ROUTE BY BUS IS IN PLACE.
  • In the "Transalpine" through the mountains of the Southern Alps.
  • Sense the touch of a bygone era on a nostalgic train ride through the tight canyons of the Taieri Gorge.

A relaxed journey for friends of trains who would like to discover New Zealand on one's own. Transfers, Tickets and accommodation are already booked - our English/German speaking office in New Zealand will take care of you.

Why choose this trip? Tips from our guides:

  • With the wet and cold season in Europe starting, at the other end of the world the spring has just arrived in New Zealand. Or come in our autumn - the perfect way to prepare yourself for your summer, by warming yourself up after a northern winter!
  • Experience culinary delights and finest wines in fantastic nature
  • Train routes along coasts, rainforests and volcanoes - an intense train adventure.
  • 8th wonder of the World - the Milford Sound, rainforests, half-deserts, alpine high country, volcano plateaus and the most beautiful coastal areas untouched since the last glacial period! An intense experience of Nature!
  • Free days with the option for more activities or just time to relax
  • Maori Evening, one of the "101 New Zealand Must-do's"

Sales price in EURO

for one Person in one room from ca. 3.845,00 Hotel/Motel 3*+

per Person in one room from (2 travellers) from ca. 2.685,00 Hotel/Motel 3*+

Übernachtung im Hotel/Motel 3*+, Studio

Übernachtung im B&B 3* inkl. Frühstück

Price and availability are subject to change due to the booking situation in high season (October until End of April incl) and provider.

Services:

  • Airport transfers
  • 20 nights in Motels/Hotels 3*+ incl. kitchenette, without breakfast
  • or in Bed & Breakfast 3* incl. Breakfast
  • Train journeys as described in the itinerary as well as a journey on the Taieri Gorge Railway
  • Other transfers in public, comfortable overland busses
  • Transfers between train station National Park and Taupo
  • All Transfers between train or bus stations and accommodation, according to arrival or departure times
  • Ferry: Wellington - Picton
  • Individual, half-day cruise in Queen Charlotte Sound
  • German speaking support by our office in Taupo
  • Info-folder with Insider-Tips

Non-service:

International flights, additional trips and excursion

Please note:

There are 2 overnight stay varieties for this tour.

1. Overnight in B&B of middle class incl. Breakfast. Other categories on request.

2. Overnight in Motels or Motor Lodges of middle class without Breakfast.

Price based on 2 travellers in one room. Price and availability are subject to change due to the booking situation in high season (October until End of April incl.).

Accommodation:

The right choice of overnight stays is very important to us at the end of an active day, every guest would like to relax in comfortable and pleasant surroundings. In cities such as Auckland, Christchurch or Queenstown, we use centrally located 3-4 star hotels/motels. In other areas, we prefer selected accommodation "NZ-owned and operated" where possible, combining Kiwi authenticity with the comfort of a good 3-4-star accommodation.

Motels: Meals/Breakfast:

In most of the accommodation you will be able to order breakfast. Some accommodation also has a Restaurant where one can get breakfast. The prices vary between NZ$16 und NZ$25 ("Continental" with toast, cheese, luncheon, marmalade/jam and cereal or "Cooked/English Breakfast" with e.g. scrambled or fried eggs and tomatoes, bacon and baked beans). You can go shopping for your own breakfast as most units have cooking facilities, microwave and sink, some have an electric cooker or hob / electric frying pan.

Gluten-free food is available all over New Zealand.

Individual extension of your vacation with the option e.g. Bay of Island and Cape Reinga or the Cook Islands can be included, if wished.

Possible hikes/walks: all hikes/walks have an easy to medium rating

  • Wai O Tapu Wonderland                                                                            ca. 2h
  • Huka Falls                                                                                                   ca.1/12h
  • Waitomo - Ruakuri Walk                                                                             ca. 3h
  • Beach walk west coast/North Island                                                         ca. 1h
  • Abel Tasman Coast Track                                                                          ca. 4h
  • Golden Bay Farewell Spit                                                                          ca. 2h
  • Pancake Rocks                                                                                           ca. 1h
  • Hokitika Beach                                                                                           ca. 1 - 2h
  • Botanical Garden Christchurch                                                                 ca. 1-3h

Itinerary:

1. Day - Arrival in Auckland

Welcome in New Zealand! A Shuttle will bring you to your hotel in the centre of Auckland, just minutes away from the wharfs. The rest of the day is at your own disposal.

Perhaps you can already find your first restaurant for your first dinner in New Zealand?

You will be contacted at around 6pm to be greeted and to have answered possible questions and/or book additional activities.

ON: Auckland 

2./3. Day: Auckland - "The City of Sails"

The day after arrival is perfect for exploring the city and harbour and to recover from Jet Lag. You have time to explore the City of Sails. Your accommodation is close to the so-called 'Viaduct Basin' - the yacht harbour of Auckland's millionaires - so that it is easy to find interesting places and the many restaurants and pubs. And a lot of good restaurants and pubs and bars are just minutes away from your hotel. The "Hop on - Hop off" Busses are a good possibility to get from sight to sight in the City. 

Tip: We can book German or English guided tours of Auckland and surrounds with a car. Please advise when booking.
ON: Auckland 

4. Day: On the "Northern Explorer" to the middle of the North Island - Tongariro National Park

Today is the day your exciting train/bus journey through New Zealand begins!

At 7:45am the "Northern Explorer" leaves Auckland southward. The train heads towards the heart of the North Island, to the Tongariro National Park. Before arriving at the "National Park" Station, the train traverses the famous Raurimu Spiral, a masterpiece of engineering. Our local office will pick you up at the station to bring you to Taupo on the beautiful Lake Taupo (actually a crater). 

On: Taupo

5./6. Day: Free Days in Taupo

Optional Possibilities: "Lord of the Rings", guided tour of Hobbiton (original Filmset) on a farm near Matamata. In the afternoon choose between a visit to the geothermal Park "Whakarewarewa-Te Puia" or "Wai-o-Tapu" or a Maori Evening with Hangi, all in Rotorua. Transfer from Taupo via Rotorua and return to Taupo. "Wai-O-Tapu". Geysers and hot springs offer insight into 5 Million years or earth's history.

- Would you like to learn more about the culture and lifestyle of the Maori, indigenous Peoples of New Zealand? Then you might like a visit at a cultural event with traditional greeting and show of dances - and a hangi feast.

  • If you would rather be active - how about a bicycle tour around the township and/or the lake? Or a day hike (ca. 6h) on one of the most spectacular tracks in New Zealand - the Tongariro Crossing! (Shuttle $60pp return)

Tip: We can book support with car on request. Please state when booking. 

ON: Taupo

7. Day: The "Northern Explorer" ends in the Capital - Wellington

The train leaves Nationalpark Station at ca. 1.15pm. The "Northern Explorer" travels past the impressive North Island volcanoes Ruapehu, Tongariro und Ngaruahoe through the typical New Zealand farmcountry and along the coast to Wellington, the Capital of New Zealand. 

ON: Wellington

8. Day: To the South Island

Use your morning to explore Wellington and visit the "Beehive" (New Zealand's Parliament, guided tours on the hour) Or spend time at our National Museum TE PAPA, directly on the waterside promenade, and combine this visit with an easy walk on that promenade. Entry is free.

The Māori name, 'Te Papa Tongarewa', translates literally to 'container of treasures'. A more comprehensive interpretation is 'our container of treasured things and people that spring from mother earth here in New Zealand.' Modern and interactive the museum shows New Zealand's history, Maori and their culture as well as very interesting aspects of the geological makeup of the island (a markedly intense experience of an earthquake simulation) and changing special exhibits. The Ferry will bring you the South Island and Picton in the afternoon.

ON: Picton

9. Day: Scenic Marlborough on foot?

A cruise into the Marlborough Sounds shows you the natural beauty of New Zealand from another perspective. The Arms of the Sounds are home to many sea dwellers and numerous bird species. The Marlborough Region is famous for its Sauvignon Blancs which are a delicious accompaniment to the "Green lip" mussels which grow abundantly in the bays.

Would you like to walk part of one of the most beautiful coastal walk ways of New Zealand - the Queen Charlotte Walkway?

Choices Queen Charlotte Walkway:

Early in the morning you cruise to one of the bays of the Marlborough Sounds, e.g. Ship Cove. Here begins the likely most beautiful part of the Queen Charlotte Tracks to Furneaux Lodge (ca. 5 h). Alternatively, you can cruise to Furneaux Lodge directly and enjoy several shorter and easier walks right there and enjoy the bay. The boat returns to Picton in the afternoon. Demands for the walk from Ship Cove: Moderate coastal walk with sometimes steep up and downhill parts, esp. at the beginning. Height difference ca. 200m. 

ON: Picton

10./11. Day: To Nelson with the overland bus

The bus brings you to Nelson, a pretty little city on the Tasman Bay, close to Abel Tasman National Park. You can book a Cruise & Walk Tour which transfers you to the Coastal Walkway where you can walk and/or kayak ...

There are other day trips that can be booked at the local I-Site. 

ON: Nelson 

12. Day: Towards Hokitika, our Gold and Jade Centre

Your bus drives you through the Hinterland to the wild west coast and will stop at the Pancake Rocks Punakaiki. In Hokitika you can expect one of the most impressive sunsets that you will ever see. Go for a walk on the beach and enjoy this grandiose spectacle! If you need souvenirs, the township offers some of the best gold and jade crafts - Souvenir Alarm! 

ON: Hokitika

13. Day: Along the coast to the Glaciers

Carry on to Franz Josef Glacier Village where you can book a Heli Hike. This flight gets you on the glacier to explore and marvel at the views or you just walk to the face of the glacier in the middle of the rainforest. 

ON: Franz Josef 

14. Day: The adventure capital awaits - wild coast, rainforest and mountains

The bus gets you through the mountains of the Southern Alps - you will be amazed how dramatically the landscapes change! You drive along a wild coast through rainforest, then you enter the mountains with their canyons and waterfalls and finally on a lake plateau with some of the highest situated and deepest lakes. A really unbelievably impressive journey! 

ON: Queenstown 

15. / 16. Day: Queenstown

Queenstown, the St. Moritz of New Zealand, offers a wide array of activities. Whether you are interested in a jet boat trip or want to try a bungee jump (first commercial bungee in New Zealand), rafting, walking, hiking, steamboat trip across Lake Wakatipu with a high-country farm visit or would like to try the fabulous Central Otago wines - almost everything is possible.

You can join a bus tour to the 8th wonder of the world "Milford Sound" in Fiordland National Park. This Park is a World Heritage Area and a scenic boat trip (at 1.45pm) through the dreamy background of the Sounds, surrounded by almost vertical rock of 1200m height is breath-taking and mystical. The drive there will lead you through one of the last, since the last ice age unchanged mountain regions.

ON: Queenstown 

17. Day: Through the Hinterland to Dunedin

On this day the bus brings you to Dunedin, known as the most Scottish city outside of Scotland. After check-in you can explore Dunedin.

Tip: Dinner in a hearty restaurant/pub with live music.

ON: Dunedin 

18. Day: (Free) Day in Dunedin

Taieri Gorge Railway

A nostalgic train journey on the "Taieri Gorge Railway" goes through the Taieri Gorge to Middlemarch or Pukerangi. This special experience begins in one of the most beautiful train station in the world and shows you some of the remarkable landscapes with their amazing Canyons, rocks, mountains, hills and paddocks. The train stops for photo opportunities (service included).

Or, you could explore the Otago Peninsula. There is a possibility to book a nature cruise along the breeding colony of the Royal Albatross, the only colony on mainland where these giant seabirds breed close to civilization. You would also see shags, penguins and other sea mammals such as sea lions (Please let us know if you would rather book this day trip). Attention: price change!) 

ON: Dunedin

19. / 20. Day: Our garden city awaits you

Optional

  • Visit of the historic Ferrymead Village with Train museum
  • City Tour in a Doppeldecker
  • Visit of the Botanical Gardens
  • Kayak or punting on the Avon River.
  • Excursion to Akaroa, our French town on the Banks Peninsula (If you are interested, you can book a cruise of the harbour or to go out to swim with the Hector dolphins, the smallest and rarest dolphins of the world. The inquisitive dolphins are in the bay most of the year and greet the boats regularly; Shuttle to Akaroa runs daily).
  • Arctic Center at the Airport - all Antarctic expeditions begin in Christchurch and this Museum/Exhibition has all the interesting details.

Tip: On request, we can provide local support with car. Please let us know!

ON: Christchurch

21. Day: Home with many memories

Today a shuttle transfers you to the airport for your flight home - or stay awhile longer (because you liked it here so much?) and book an extension of your vacation.

Tip: e.g. Christchurch, Bay of Islands, Cook Inseln, Fiji or Kingdom Tonga. Ask us for details.