Railway journeys through Taieri Gorge
Railway journeys through Taieri Gorge
Clockwise from top left: Auckland, Arthur's Pass, Queenstown and Dunedin
Clockwise from top left: Auckland, Arthur's Pass, Queenstown and Dunedin
Canoeing down the Avon River (left) and Manapouri (right)
Canoeing down the Avon River (left) and Manapouri (right)
Christchurch architecture (left), Mt Cook (top right), and Arthur's Pass (bottom right)
Christchurch architecture (left), Mt Cook (top right), and Arthur's Pass (bottom right)
Franz Josef (left), and TranzAlpine through New Zealand (right)
Franz Josef (left), and TranzAlpine through New Zealand (right)

North to South Scenic Rail Explorer

16 nights from £2,999 per person Including Flights


Venture through the diverse landscape of New Zealand with this 16-night tour, taking you on an exciting journey from Auckland to Christchurch. With picturesque train journeys, scenic ferry rides and amazing city escapes, this exhilarating experience offers up a wealth of memorable moments. From the exceptional natural sights of the Doubtful Sound to the opportunity to get an adrenalin rush in Queenstown, every destination visited on this exciting tour is a fantastic example of New Zealand’s diversity. (NZ)


  • Begin your adventure experiencing the vibrant city life of Auckland
  • Stop off in Wellington, New Zealand’s artsy capital
  • Witness the sensational natural wonders with a Costal Pacific Train ride
  • Spend time admiring the architecture in Dunedin
  • Take in the beautiful scenery on a TranzAlpine train journey

Tailor-make this holiday:
Our travel specialist can tailor-make this self-drive itinerary to your requirements, whether you’d like to extend your stay, change a hotel or perhaps you would like an upgraded stay along the way – our experts will be happy to create a tailor-made holiday for you.

Whats included?
  • Car hire
  • Other internal travel
  • Maps and itinerary
  • 1 breakfast and 3 dinners
  • Flights & Taxes
Why Book with New Zealand Sky?
  • Hassle-free - book direct quickly and easily
  • Choice of airlines and the option to switch
  • A friendly, family run business with a wealth of experience.
  • Great deals on offer for multiple destinations
  • Low deposits
Why New Zealand Sky?
Award Winning
We're award winning Our awards reflect our dedication to delivering incredible tailor-made holidays.
Why New Zealand Sky?
Your money is safe We safeguard your money with ATOL protection and have membership to codes of best conduct.
Why New Zealand Sky?
Award Winning
We answer quickly On average, calls are answered within three rings. We also respond within hours to emails.
Why New Zealand Sky?
Award Winning
We offer expert advice and great service Our luxury tailor-made holidays are created with impeccable service from start to finish.

Day 1


Arrive into Auckland and transfer to your hotel. You will receive a tour pack from your representative which will include all of the required documentation for your trip, including your itinerary and driving instructions. The remainder of the day can be spent exploring Auckland for yourself, from the charming harbours to Ponsonby Road’s great range of restaurants and shops.

Overnight: Waldorf Stadium Apartments

Day 2


Today is at leisure to enjoy the delights of the city, with its extraordinary blend of cultures, urban sprawl and beautiful vistas. Visit the Waitemata Harbour and enjoy the breath-taking views of the city that it provides, or take a ferry trip to Rangitoto Island. The surrounding landscape is dominated by 48 volcanic cones which create a unique topography and excellent viewpoints for admiring the scenery. A city sights tour is highly recommended to ensure you visit as many of the top attractions as you can while you’re here. In the evening, why not opt for a harbour cruise dinner for a unique experience and a chance to enjoy the city at night?

Overnight: Waldorf Stadium Apartments

Day 3

Auckland to Wellington

Embark on a scenic rail journey from Auckland to Wellington, passing the beautiful landscape along the way. Along the way you’ll pass the Central North Island ski towns of National Park and Ohakune, as well as witnessing the beauty of the farmlands, volcanic plateau and the world-famous Raurimu Spiral. The Observation Carriage offers up spectacular views for a truly unique experience.

Overnight: City Life Wellington

Day 4


Spend the day in Wellington today, visiting some of the many museums that the city has to offer. Take a trip to Te Papa, considered to be the ‘museum of New Zealand’ and translating as ‘Our Place’. This fascinating museum is brimming with arts and culture and offers a glimpse into New Zealand’s past. Alternatively, head to the Museum of Wellington City and Sea for a chance to learn about the city’s culture and social history. If you’re curious about the wildlife, take a seal coast safari trip where you’ll traverse the landscape in search of the New Zealand fur seals.

Overnight: City Life Wellington

Day 5

Wellington to Christchurch

Take the Interislander ferry to Picton which is one of the most scenic routes in the world, taking around three hours to complete. The ferry ride passes many points of interest, including the Pencarrow Head where the oldest lighthouse in the country sits, Oterangi Bay and the Cook Strait. Upon arrival into Picton, take the Coastal Pacific train where you’ll journey past the Kaikoura mountain ranges and the Pacific Ocean, beautiful horticultural regions and lush farmlands. The train features an open-air viewing carriage for a unique travel experience.

Overnight: Amore Motor Lodge

Day 6


Today sees you board a luxury coach for a guided tour of Christchurch where you’ll have the chance to see the beautiful gardens and parks, and seaside suburbs. The tour also ticks off four of the top attractions including Punting on the Avon, the Caterpillar Botanic Gardens tour, the Christchurch Gondola and a hop-on-hop-off ticket to see the heritage Tram.

Overnight: Amore Motor Lodge

Day 7

Christchurch to Mt Cook National Park (329km)

Pick up your hire car and journey into the heart of the South Island, crossing the famous Canterbury Plains and stopping en-route at Geraldine before making your way into the Mackenzie Country. After ascending Burkes Pass, you’ll find yourself in the high country where you’ll have the opportunity to visit Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki. After enjoying the picturesque views, continue along the lake to Mt Cook Village. There are numerous ways to make the most of this area, from ski planes to helicopter glacier landings or kayaking. A 4WD tour is a great way to see the sights, including the Tasman Glacier and the scenic flora.

Overnight: Hermitage Motels

Day 8

Mt Cook National Park to Dunedin (318km)

Travel past Twizel as you leave the park this morning, which is the location for many scenes in the Lord of the Rings films. Head into the Waitaki Valley from Omarama and venture east towards the town of Oamaru which is famed for its white stone buildings. Watch the blue penguins come ashore at dusk from the harbour then visit the world-renowned Moeraki Boulders further south. Upon arrival into Dunedin, you’ll be met with charming architecture which is reminiscent of the city’s Edwardian and Scottish heritage.

Overnight: Motel on York

Day 9

Taieri Gorge Railway

The Taieri Gorge train is a prestige rail service operating from the historic railway station in Dunedin, taking passengers on a journey through the Taieri River Gorge and tunnels carved more than 100 years ago. We recommend take a tour of the Speights Brewery which was founded in 1876 and boasts a rich heritage.

Overnight: Motel on York

Day 10

Dunedin to Te Anau (285km)

Traverse the charming Southland farmland scenery today as you make your way to Te Anau; alternatively, you could take the Southern Scenic Route which takes you through The Catlins area, along the Otago coastline and on to Invercargill. From here, head north to Manapouri where you can then embark on a day or overnight cruise to Doubtful Sound. If you’d prefer, a little further onwards takes you to Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound.

Overnight: Lakefront Lodge

Day 11

Te Anau to Manapouri (18km)

Take a short drive to Manapouri which is the gateway to Doubtful Sound. Embark on an overnight cruise on the Fiordland Navigator for a unique dining experience and the opportunity to experience the breath-taking wilderness at night. The wildlife sightings from this vessel are outstanding, with sightings of dolphins, fur seals and even rare penguins in certain seasons all visible from the cruise ship.

Overnight: Lakefront Lodge (Dinner included)

Day 12

Manapouri to Queenstown (166km)

Cross the tussock lands through Mossburn and continue north towards Lake Wakatipu. Journey along the lake edge and be met with the awe-inspiring Remarkables mountain range as you enter Queenstown – the adventure capital of the world.

Overnight: Garden Court Suites and Apartments (Breakfast included)

Day 13


Explore Queenstown today and make the most of its many adrenalin-inducing activities, from skydiving to bungee jumping and kayaking. If you want something more laid-back, why not visit some of the surrounding wineries or explore the history gold mining regions in the vicinity. Take a trip on the vintage TSS Earnslaw steamship to Walter Peak Station where you can enjoy an authentic high country sheep farming experience or a farmhouse dinner. The Skyline Gondola offers up spectacular views of the city and is also the steepest cable car lift in the Southern Hemisphere! In the evening, enjoy a return scenic cruise from Queenstown to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a tour of the gardens and a delicious gourmet BBQ using local ingredients.

Overnight: Garden Court Suites and Apartments (Dinner included)

Day 14

Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier (via Wanaka) (348km)

Cross the Crown Range this morning to the alpine town of Wanaka which serves as the gateway to Mt Aspiring National Park. The route you’ll be taking ventures along the shores of the Lakes Wanaka and Hawea before reaching the village of Makarora. Just outside of the village you’ll find the Blue Pools which are a wonderful 30 minute walk through the native beech forests, offering up beautiful surrounding scenery. Drive towards the Haast Pass and make your way into the West Coast, where you’ll journey through a 600km stretch of rainforests, bushlands and podocarp forests. Upon arrival at Fox Glacier, admire the surrounding beauty of this incredible landscape – Franz Josef township and the glacier region is a further 45 minutes on from here.

Overnight: Aspen Court Franz Josef

Day 15

Franz Josef to Greymouth (169km)

Drive north from Franz Josef to the historic gold mining region of Ross and Hokitika, where you’ll have the opportunity to explore the craft stores. Greymouth is the largest town on the West Coast and also serves as the starting point for the TranzAlpine scenic train. There are countless activities to enjoy in this region, from glow worm caving to white water rafting, horseback riding and cruising along the river. Just outside of Greymouth is the Shantytown Heritage Park which is a living monument to the gold mining era, including pioneer relics and historic buildings.

Overnight: Charles Court Motel (Dinner included)

Day 16

Greymouth to Christchurch

The TranzAlpine scenic train is considered one of the most spectacular train journeys in the world, taking you on an exciting and beautiful route from Greymouth to Christchurch. Making your way from the Tasman Sea you’ll venture through Arthur’s Pass National Park to reach the Pacific Ocean. Travel through the gorges, river valleys and forests to reach the Canterbury Plains before reaching Christchurch – your base for the night.

Overnight: Amore Motor Lodge

Day 17


You’ll be collected from the hotel this morning and transferred to Christchurch Airport where the tour comes to an end.


What’s Included

  • International flights
  • Motel accommodation as listed (16 nights)
  • 1 breakfast and three dinners included
  • Car hire throughout - including rental car insurance, GPS, airport/ferry terminal fees and additional drivers
  • Tour pack - including detailed driving instructions, maps and guide books
  • Doubtful Sound overnight cruise, scenic rail journey from Auckland to Wellington, Interislander ferry to Picton, Coastal Pacific Train from Picton to Christchurch and The Taieri Gorge Train.


The following excursions are available to book - approximate prices per person in New Zealand dollars:

  • Full day Taste of Auckland tour with lunch $330
  • Hobbiton Movie Set tour with Shires Rest $89
  • Rotorua Canopy tour: The Original Canopy Tour $149
  • Mitai Maori Village $123
  • Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary Night Tour $79
  • Whale watch Kaikoura $150
  • Hot Air Balloon ride $395
  • Christchurch Gondola $30
  • Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook $170
  • Tasman Valley 4WD Tour $68
  • Jet Boat the Shotover River $159
  • TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak with farm tour and gourmet BBQ dinner $149
  • Twin Glacier Scenic Helicopter Flight $360

Please note these prices are a guide only and can change at any time.

Holly Reid
Book today

Talk to our travel experts for more information and to book or tailor-make your holiday

01342 310 581 Call us 9am-7pm Mon-Fri / 9am-5pm Sat-Sun

New Zealand Sky also recommends