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Top of the South

In the Spring

Our New Zealand Rail Tours give you an armchair ride through some of the world’s most stunning scenery – Aotearoa

Kiwis enjoy nothing more than sitting back in comfort and watching the world go by – in this case, the picturesque top of the South Island.

 After the ‘Northern Explorer’ rail traverse of the North Island, the South Island awaits.

• A tranquil Marlborough Sound • Picturesque Kaikoura Coast • Banks Peninsula • Scenic Southern Alps • Wild West Coast • Buller Gorge Hinterland • the Abel Tasman Coastline • three memorable train journeys – Auckland - Wellington: Coastal Pacific to Christchurch: Tranz Alpine to Greymouth.

There is time to relax in Blenheim, Christchurch, Akaroa, Hokitika and Nelson. Carriages are comfortably equipped with full on-board facilities and spectacular viewing through panoramic windows, offering uninterrupted views not seen when travelling by road. 

Travelling by rail, coach and ferry allows you to become part of the fabulous scenery. Your tour escort and the crew will ensure your eight-day tour is relaxing, fun and memorable.Each night we stay in comfortable hotels where all guest rooms have their own private facilities.

Daily breakfasts, most lunches and many dinners are included on tour. We look forward to welcoming you on our fifth ‘Top of the South’ Rail Tour.

Your travel itinerary

Tuesday 07 September

Auckland – Nelson

Dinner iconDinner

Fly with Air New Zealand to Nelson. On arrival there is time to relax or explore the town before a welcome dinner tonight.

Wednesday 08 September

Sightseeing Day

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Our tour of the region includes travelling to Motueka and the seaside village of Kaiteriteri with its picturesque golden sands. Board the scenic cruise along the Abel Tasman National Park coastline to Totaranui, passing Split Apple Rock on the way and return to Kaiteriteri. Lunch is served on-board. Return to Nelson by coach with scenic attractions along the way.

Thursday 09 September

Nelson – Hokitika

Breakfast iconBreakfast Dinner iconDinner

After breakfast depart by coach for Murchison and the Buller Gorge, continue on the scenic drive down the West Coast, stopping off at the nationally-acclaimed Punakaiki Rocks.
If possible a brief visit to the former Brunner Mine site, scene of New Zealand’s worst mining disaster in 1896. Arriving at Hokitika for a onenight stay.

Friday 10 September

Hokitika – Greymouth – Christchurch

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After breakfast we take time to explore the preserved old goldmining village ‘Shantytown’. Included in your visit will
be a 20 minute train ride, some gold panning plus time to browse before continuing on to Greymouth. We will have some time before boarding the Tranz Alpine Express and transverse the spectacular Southern Alps. On arrival we transfer to an inner city hotel.

Saturday 11 September

Christchurch – Blenheim

Breakfast iconBreakfast Dinner iconDinner

This morning you will board your exclusive charter train and follow the Coastal Pacific route along the coastline through North Canterbury and Kaikoura to Blenheim. After arriving
at your hotel for a two night stop your afternoon is free to explore the town.

Sunday 12 September

Sightseeing Day

Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch

After breakfast the highlight today will be a guided tour of the world class Omaka Heritage Aviation Centre with its aeroplanes and artefacts from WWI, mannequins and props made by Weta Workshop, before lunch at the beautiful
Wither Hills Vineyard. The afternoon is free to relax and enjoy the region.

Monday 13 September

Blenheim – Picton

Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch

Today starts with a drive to Picton where we then take a commentated boat cruise in the Marlbouough Sounds
with a lunch at Furneaux Lodge before returning to our overnight accommodation in Picton.

Tuesday 14 September

Picton – Wellington

Breakfast iconBreakfast Dinner iconDinner

A morning departure by ferry to cross Cook Strait. On arrival we transfer to our central city hotel before you have free
time to look around Wellington. This evening enjoy a Farewell Dinner.

Wednesday 15 September

Wellington – Auckland

Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch

This morning board the popular ‘Northern Explorer’ train for the daylight adventure travelling along the coastline
and then inland to Palmerston North and then onto the Central Plateau mountains via Waiouru and Ohakune,
to Mt’s Ruapehu, Ngaruahoe and Tongariro. Among the highlights will be the circular descent down the Raurimu
spiral and onto Taumarunui in the heart of the King Country, before reaching your destination.

*Itinerary Subject to Change


• One way Air New Zealand flight Auckland – Nelson ( other main centres please ask )
•Travel by exclusive charter train Christchurch to Blenheim
• Tranz Alpine Train and Northern Explorer Train Journeys
• Cruise the Abel Tasman Coastline
• Eight nights hotel accommodation
• Marlborough Sounds Boat Cruise with lunch at Furneaux Lodge
•Cook Strait ferry crossing
•Guided tour of Omaka Aviation Museum
•Lunch at a local vineyard in Blenheim
• Shantytown entrance fee
•Cooked breakfasts daily
•Four lunches and five dinners
•All sightseeing and entrance fees as specified
•Commentaries provided by your drivers and local guides
•Comfortable air-conditioned coaches with panoramic windows
•All transfers
•Luggage handling on tour


Cost Per Person *
Auckland - Auckland
Twin ShareSingle 
   $ 3,369  $ 3,995
 One night Auckland - pre tour  POA  
 Extra night Auckland – post tour  POA  

*This is a cash or cheque price. Credit cards will incur a 2% fee
*Itinerary and costs subject to change, airline and fuel charges and currency fluctuations prior to final payment


• Cancellation insurance

• Items of a personal nature

Booking Conditions

•A non-refundable deposit of $400 per person will secure a place on the tour.  

•FULL PAYMENT is due no later than 30 July 2021

•Bookings made after 30 July 2021 will require full payment.



• Deposit – non refundable

• After 30 July 2021  – no refund

• All cancellation charges are on a per- person basis.  

•No refund can be made once tour is   underway.

• If the tour is cancelled due to covid 19 Government travel restrictions and a refund is available, Pukekohe Travel reserves the right in addition to any supplier imposed fees, to charge a service and administrative fee of $150 per person.


Travel Insurance

We strongly advise all participants to take out suitable travel insurance to cover cancellation costs. Please contact us for a quote.  


Health and Fitness

At times, entering and exiting the train can be very demanding for those with limited mobility. A good standard of health and fitness is required and clients should be independently mobile. Mobility frames are not practical or permitted.


Note: Pukekohe Travel reserves the right to correct errors and omissions on our website without recourse.
* Itinerary subject to change