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Marlborough Sounds New Zealand
Auckland, New ZealandWellington New ZealandChristchurch, New Zealand

New Zealand North & South by Rail

(2 customer reviews)


Explore New Zealand by rail and experience three of the country’s most spectacular train journeys. Enjoy hotel stays in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, plus flights are included from Australia on this great North and South Island adventure!

Trip Details:

New Zealand North & South Island Rail Tour – 7 days

Combine three of New Zealand’s greatest rail journeys and explore the spectacular North and South Island!

Fly to Auckland to begin your New Zealand discovery. Your time will be free time to enjoy the urban delights of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch on this self-guided trip. Journey through Tongariro National Park aboard the Northern Explorer train, skirt the Pacific Coast between Picton and Christchurch aboard the Coastal Pacific and feel like you’ve arrived in Middle Earth on the TranzAlpine train through the Canterbury Plains and Southern Alps.

A scenic crossing from the North Island to the South Island aboard the Interislander Ferry is sure to be another highlight of this memorable New Zealand holiday!

Why you’ll love this trip:

  • It’s a comprehensive, worry-free trip travelling around New Zealand by train and ferry!
  • Spends overnight 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:

  • Flights to New Zealand – Return economy class airfare to Auckland & from Christchurch 
    • Fly from Melbourne, Brisbane & Sydney with luggage included (contact us for other cities)
  • Rail journeys – 3 legendary train rides
    • Northern Explorer from Auckland to Wellington through central North Island
    • Coastal Pacific from Picton to Christchurch between the mountains and sea
    • TranzAlpine train through the South Island’s striking natural landscapes
  • Ferry – Interislander scenic ferry to marvel at the beautiful Marlborough Sounds
  • Accommodation – 6 nights in standard rooms, based on twin share
    • 2 nights Auckland – VR Auckland Hotel or Grand Central Serviced Apartments
    • 1 night Wellington – Mercure Hotel or Quest on Lambton
    • 3 nights Christchurch – ibis Christchurch or BreakFree on Cashel

Departure Dates:

Available from 01 February to 30 November, 2024 (excluding school holidays and peak travel periods).

The lowest price deals depart during the following period:
2024 – 21 February to 10 March

Extra $299 per person for flights from Adelaide, Hobart or Canberra. Extra $599 per person from Perth.

Please contact us for departures at other times of the year or flights from different cities.

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. Lead prices are subject to sale airfares being available at your time of booking. Conditions apply.

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.

Upgrade with the Scenic Plus Experience

Scenic Plus dining is now available aboard the Coastal Pacific and TranzAlpine trains.

Elevate your experience with and a full-sensory exploration of the lands you travel through aboard these two spectacular rail journeys.

Using the finest ingredients, carefully selected from the Canterbury and West Coast regions, you’ll get to enjoy a curated menu of seasonal delicacies that are freshly prepared in the custom-built kitchen carriage and served at your seat throughout the journey.

Enjoy the upgrade from just $470 per person extra for both trains, when you depart from 23 January 2024 onwards.

Hurry, space is limited so let your travel designer know today if you’d like to upgrade to Scenic Plus!

Want to Stay Longer

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 $370 per person for 6 nights.

Fly Business class: contact us for the latest deals.

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 $900 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 14 November 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 2 nights.

Day 2 Free Day Auckland
Today is free at leisure to explore Auckland. Auckland, based around 2 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 3 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 Wellington accommodation.

Day 4 Wellington Free Day
Today is free at leisure to explore the capital city. 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 5 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 9am departure on the Kaitaki Interislander Ferry. Connecting our 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 12.30pm 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.
Climb aboard one of the most picturesque journeys on New Zealand railways, meandering along the Pacific coast between Picton and Christchurch. Upon arrival in Christchurch make your own way to your centrally located accommodation. The Coastal Pacific train takes you along rugged coastlines, across remote beaches, between mountains and sea, on a timeless journey of breathtaking beauty. Explore the stunning Kaikōura Coastline, famous for its marine life and whale watching. Voyage through the vineyards of Blenheim, dripping with New Zealand's premium crop. Canter amidst the idyllic Canterbury countryside to the Garden City of Christchurch.

Travelling between Christchurch and Picton, the Coastal Pacific meanders breathtakingly close to the sea, where the roaring Pacific Ocean meets the rising Kaikōura mountains. 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.

Day 6 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 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 7 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.

2 reviews for New Zealand North & South by Rail

  1. traveller

    The whole trip was great, the Kiwi Rail train trips and the Interislander journeys are a great way to travel and so many memorable highlights.

    Some feedback…

    The 3 hotels…. all very clean and good quality, the hotel apartments in Wellington and Christchurch were top notch and great locations.The Ibis in Auckland was pretty small but a very good location.

    Kiwi Rail trains, very comfortable, easy checkin, great views and commentary, the Auckland to Wellington Northern Explorer was a surprise with regard to the variety of different thing to see, staff on all these trains are really customer focused.

    TranzAlpine was great going all the way to Greymouth and back, had done half before off a cruise ship to Arthur’s Pass but it’s a great train trip and measures up well against the White Pass train trip from Skagway. Needed more time in Greymouth but very interesting.

    Highlights for us were the train trips, the Wellington Museum is fantastic, particularly the Gallipoli exhibit which is stunning. Loved the Air New Zealand flight from Christchurch to Queenstown, spectacular views from the turbo prop plane.

    Qantas were great both ways and their interchange bus service at Sydney is hassle free.

    The trip back Friday via Sydney from Queenstown took 12hr from hotel to my house due to all the check-in times required and delays leaving Sydney, next time will leave NZ direct to Melb.

    Overall great value for money and worth doing, people doing the trips should be aware the train stations and ferry are a bit outside the capital cities, they leave early and are 10 to 15 minutes in a taxi.

    Many thanks again Laura.

    Cheers, Mike & Jill.

  2. traveller

    Hi Leanne

    Thanks for organising the New Zealand trip last week for my sister and me. All went well. We enjoyed the TranzAlpine trip the best of the 3 trains. But all were fascinating and we saw and learnt much more about New Zealand than any road trip.

    Hotels in Auckland and Christchurch were excellent.

    The Mercure was nicely located but very noisy in room 203. We could hear the street walk crossing on the corner all hours of the night as well as people talking and traffic. Neither bed was good. Need renewing as they sloped. Service was efficient and prompt when we asked for clean towels, how to turn the TV on and when the fridge was not cold (new fridge). Just thought I’d let you know about the Mercure. Old room, needs refurbishing.

    I was able to upgrade our seats Brisbane to Auckland and it was sooo good. Thanks for booking the flexible fare. Not worth applying for the way home as it was a 737-800.

    Thanks once again.

    Two happy clients.

    Take care,

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