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Picton Harbour blue skies and water on South Island New Zealand
Auckland, New ZealandWellington New ZealandPassenger taking photo out of the window on TranzAlpine TrainChristchurch, New Zealand

Auckland to Christchurch 10-Day Rail Tour


Combine three of New Zealand’s great rail journeys and explore the spectacular North Island and South Island on a self-guided tour. Enjoy extended hotel stays in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, plus the scenic Interislander Ferry is included with this special deal.

Trip Details:

New Zealand North & South Island by Train – 10 days

Combine three of New Zealand’s great rail journeys on a self-guided tour from Auckland to Christchurch!

With central hotels, train travel and ferry crossing all pre-booked, your time will be free to enjoy the three exciting cities on this worry-free trip. After a 3-night stay in Auckland, journey through Tongariro National Park aboard the Northern Explorer train. Following a 2-night stay in Wellington, take the scenic crossing from the North Island to the South Island aboard the Interislander Ferry.

On arrival in Picton, skirt the Pacific Coast between en route to Christchurch aboard the Coastal Pacific. During your 4-night stay in the charming city, there’s a full day trip that’s bound to be a highlight as you ride the famous TranzAlpine train through the Canterbury Plains and Southern Alps.

Why you’ll love this trip:

  • It’s a comprehensive, worry-free trip travelling around New Zealand by train and ferry!
  • Spend extended stays in Auckland, Wellington & Christchurch
  • Discover historic monuments, iconic sights & cultural experiences in the cities
  • Breathtaking train rides through volcanic mountains, rich forests & alongside icy blue rivers!

Your Holiday Includes:

  • Rail journeysNorthern Explorer from Auckland to Wellington through central North Island
    • Coastal Pacific from Picton to Christchurch between the sea and the mountains
    • TranzAlpine return from Christchurch through the South Island’s striking landscapes
  • Ferry – Interislander scenic ferry to marvel at the beautiful Marlborough Sounds
  • Accommodation – 9 nights in standard rooms, based on twin share
    • 3 nights Auckland – VR Auckland Hotel or similar
    • 2 nights Wellington – Astelia Hotel or similar
    • 4 nights Christchurch – Carnmore Hotel or similar

Departure Dates:

The lowest price deals depart Tuesdays during the following periods:
2023 – 10 October to 30 November
2024 – 26 January to 30 April & 10 October to 30 November

Please contact us for departures at other times of the year or to add flights from Australia.

Note: Prices are per person, based on twin share. Departures are subject to confirmation at time of booking and price may vary depending on your travel date.

Get the Brochure:

View Brochure

Click on the button to view or download a copy of the brochure. The brochure includes more details and the full itinerary.

Want to Stay Longer or Upgrade?

You can add extra nights in New Zealand or upgrade your accommodation.

Extend your holiday: from an extra $100 per person per night.

Upgrade the hotels: from an extra $600 per person for 9 nights.

Want to explore Queenstown? Add on a flight to Queenstown with a 2-night hotel stay and Milford Sound Day Cruise from an extra $600 per person.

Let us know if you’d like to see more of New Zealand by adding car hire or extend your stay with an escorted tour.

Ask us today about staying in other properties or adding more services. We are happy to design a holiday that will suit you best.

Travelling Solo?

We can look after you. A single supplement from $999 covers the cost of having your own rooms.

Booking Conditions:

This special deal is valid for a limited time. Please contact us for current rates.

All prices are per person, based on twin share, and listed in Australian dollars (AUD). Prices were correct as of 26 May 2023.

The package is subject to confirmation at the time of booking and prices may change without notice. Booking conditions and cancellation fees apply.

Please read Australia & New Zealand Travel Company’s Terms & Booking Conditions prior to making a reservation. By booking any travel service with us, you have agreed to be bound by these terms and conditions.

How to Book

To make a booking please call Australia & New Zealand Travel Company on 1300 168 910 or email reservations@anztravelco.com.

You can also select a trip and request it via this website – please make sure you enter the quantity for the number of people travelling. In the ‘Additional Information’ field on the Checkout page, add your preferred departure date plus any other information that will help us process your booking, such as departure city and travel preferences.

No payment is required to submit an online booking request, but your booking is pending and no place is being held. Your booking status will be advised when you hear from our travel consultants. Bookings are normally actioned within 24 hours – Monday to Friday.

Itinerary & Booking Info

Travel Style

Independent city stays and rail travel



Day 1 Arrive Auckland
Arrive Auckland and catch a taxi to your hotel for the next three nights.

Days 2 & 3 Free Days Auckland
The next two days are free to explore Auckland. Auckland, based around two large harbours, is a major city in the north of New Zealand’s North Island. In the centre, the iconic Sky Tower has views of Viaduct Harbour, which is full of superyachts and lined with bars and cafes. Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park, is based around an extinct volcano and home to the formal Wintergardens. Near Downtown, Mission Bay Beach has a seaside promenade.

Day 4 Auckland – Northern Explorer Train Journey – Wellington
Today make your own way to Auckland Train Station for a 7.45am departure onboard the famous Northern Explorer train. New Zealand's longest running passenger service, the Northern Explorer is a long-distance scenic train service running between Auckland and Wellington, stopping at Palmerston North, Ohakune, National Park and Hamilton.
The journey through Tongariro National Park, with its three spectacular volcanic mountains – Tongariro, Ngāuruhoe and Ruapehu – is a highlight, a place of extremes and surprises, where snow-blanketed fields, ancient lava flows and dense beech forests can be seen side by side. Arrive in Wellington this evening and make your own way to your centrally located hotel.
A&NZ Travel Tip: Take NZD cash on all the trains, as card facilities are often unavailable due to variable service coverage.

Day 5 Wellington Free Day
Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, sits near the North Island’s southernmost point on the Cook Strait. A compact city, it encompasses a waterfront promenade, sandy beaches, a working harbour and colourful timber houses on surrounding hills. From Lambton Quay, the iconic red Wellington Cable Car heads to the Wellington Botanic Gardens. Strong winds through the Cook Strait give it the nickname "Windy Wellington."

Day 6 Wellington – Interislander Ferry – Picton – Coastal Pacific Train Journey – Christchurch
This morning, check out of your hotel and make your way to the ferry terminal for your 8:45am departure on the Interislander Ferry. Connecting the North Island and South Island together since 1962, the Interislander ferry service is New Zealand's original Cook Strait ferry. Sailing between Wellington and Picton several times a day, the Interislander journey is considered one of the most beautiful ferry journeys in the world and one of New Zealand's most iconic experiences.

Arrive in Picton on the north of the South Island at approximately 12.15pm where you will disembark and make your own way to the Picton Station for a 1.40pm departure on the Coastal Pacific Train Journey. The station is very close to the ferry terminal, approximately 5 minutes’ walk and any checked luggage is automatically transferred for you.

All aboard for another picturesque journeys on New Zealand railways, meandering along the Pacific coast between Picton and Christchurch. The Coastal Pacific isn't just a scenic activity, combined with the Interislander Ferry it is the perfect way to connect between Wellington, Blenheim, Kaikoura and Christchurch.
The Coastal Pacific train takes you along rugged coastlines, across remote beaches, between mountains and sea, on a timeless journey of breathtaking beauty. View the stunning Kaikōura Coastline, famous for its marine life, sunbathing fur seals and whale watching. Travel through the vineyards of Blenheim, dripping with New Zealand's premium crop. Canter amidst the idyllic Canterbury countryside to the Garden City of Christchurch. Upon arrival in Christchurch make your own way to your centrally located accommodation.

Days 7 & 8 Free Days Christchurch
Enjoy two free days to explore Christchurch at leisure. Christchurch, known for its English heritage, is located on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Flat-bottomed punts glide on the Avon River, which meanders through the city centre. On its banks are cycling paths, the green expanse of Hagley Park and Christchurch Botanic Gardens. In 2010 and 2011, earthquakes destroyed many of the historic centre's stone-built buildings and today you can see the inspired resurrection and recovery of the vibrant city.

Day 9 Christchurch – TranzAlpine Rail Journey – Christchurch
Today make your own way to Christchurch Train Station for an 8.15am departure onboard the famous TranzAlpine train. This will be a full day return journey finishing back in Christchurch. Experience the South Island’s striking natural landscape by taking a train between Christchurch and Greymouth. Along this journey you’ll see epic vistas, travel the edges of the ice-fed Waimakariri River, traverse the Southern Alps, and see miles of native beech forest.
The TranzAlpine is one of the world's great train journeys covering 223 kilometres (139 miles) each way. You’ll traverse the majestic Canterbury Plains, to the backdrop of the mighty Southern Alps – the journey of a lifetime.
Return to Christchurch station in the evening and make your own way back to your centrally located accommodation.

Day 10 Depart Christchurch
Please catch a taxi Christchurch airport for your flights home. We trust you have had a wonderful time.

Please note: The day by day descriptions published are intended as an indicative guide only. Travel by nature is unpredictable. Weather patterns, rail & road conditions, public holidays, travel restrictions and a multitude of other factors may necessitate itinerary changes that ultimately are for the client’s benefit. It is essential that clients are flexible and open minded in this regard.

How to Book

Bookings can be made by calling Australia & New Zealand Travel Company on 1300 168 910 or email to reservations@anztravelco.com.

Online booking requests may also be submitted via this website by selecting a trip. Please make sure you include your preferred departure date in the ‘Additional Information’ field on the Checkout page.

Bookings are pending and not confirmed until you receive a status update from an Australia & New Zealand Travel Company consultant.


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