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The Ultimate Train Journey

Auckland to Invercargill

Spring provides a stunning panorama of magnificent southern mountain scenery, meandering rivers and coastal plains. Experience the scenic south in style travelling by exclusive charter train.

We travel by rail from Auckland to Wellington then also from Blenheim, along the Kaikoura coastline to Christchurch.  We take the time to explore the City of Christchurch and the Akaroa Peninsula before we travel on the TranzAlpine Train from Christchurch to Greymouth and return. We continue by train South to Oamaru, Dunedin and Invercargill with surprises along the way.

Our tour is planned at a leisurely pace with frequent two night stops and our tour escort ensures your 12 day tour is relaxing, fun and hassle free.

Our Auckland to Invercargill South Island Rail Tour gives you an armchair ride through some of the world’s most stunning scenery – Aotearoa

Your travel itinerary

Thursday 09 September

Auckland – Wellington

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Board the popular ‘Northern Explorer’ train at The Strand in Parnell, Auckland or at any other designated stations on the main trunk line for the daylight adventure through lush rolling hills to Hamilton, Otorohanga and the King Country. Among today’s highlights are the circular climb up the famous engineering feat – the Raurimu Spiral to the Central Plateau and Tongariro National Park with spectacular views of Mt Ruapehu. Continue on to Ohakune, Waiouru and alongside the Rangitikei River to Wellington for a one night stay.

Enjoy a welcome dinner at our centrally located hotel.

Friday 10 September

Wellington – Picton - Blenheim

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After breakfast, enjoy a Wellington city tour including the Botanical Gardens and Mt Victoria before crossing Cook Strait by ferry to Picton. On arrival, travel by coach and check into our centrally-located hotel.


Saturday 11 September

Blenheim – Christchurch

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After breakfast, we include the Omaka Aviation Museum before lunch at the beautiful Wither Hills Vineyard. We join our exclusive Charter Train for a leisurely journey to Christchurch. This special section of picturesque coastline railway line has recently opened following the 2016 earthquake and the opportunity to see the progress as you pass through Kaikoura, will create a lot of interest. Continue inland through the hill country of North Canterbury to Christchurch, arriving at our inner city hotel in the evening for a two night stay. 



Sunday 12 September


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Depart by coach for a tour of the Banks Peninsula. The drive has spectacular views overlooking bays and beaches before arriving in Akaroa with time to enjoy the history, harbour and French character. We return to Christchurch and the afternoon is free for you to enjoy the city.


Monday 13 September

Christchurch – Greymouth – Christchurch

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Today board the Tranz Alpine train to traverse the spectacular Southern Alps to the West Coast. Cross the Canterbury Plains through Darfield and climb the mountain range including a stop at Arthurs Pass. Our descent takes us through Otira and the renowned rain forests and wetlands to Greymouth.   

Tuesday 14 September

Christchurch – Oamaru

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We join our exclusive chartered train and travel south through rolling farmland and coastal inlets via Timaru to arrive in Oamaru for a two night stay. This evening join an optional tour to visit the Blue Penguin Colony of Oamaru.

Wednesday 15 September


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After breakfast join our local guide for a fascinating walking tour of Oamaru with its Victorian Precinct built of Oamaru stone. Steampunk has grown rapidly over the past 10 years to make Oamaru the “capital of Steampunk” in the world. Free time to enjoy lunch. Continue onto Duntroon to visit the Vanished World Centre and learn about the unique fossil history of this area. 


Thursday 16 September

Oamaru – Invercargill

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After breakfast, board our train and travel through Dunedin, Gore and Balclutha before arriving in Invercargill, to enjoy one of the southernmost cities in the world.


Friday 17 September


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This morning we will have an excursion to Bluff before a free afternoon to explore the city.  Why not discover the world class vintage truck collection at Bill Richardson Transport World, or learn about the legend of speed - Burt Munro at E Hayes Motorworks. Or simply take a stroll through the botanical gardens.


Saturday 18 September

Invercargill - Dunedin

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Rejoin our train and travel to Balclutha where we will join our coach and have short visit into the Caitlin’s to Nugget Point lighthouse before continuing onto Dunedin for a two night stay.


Sunday 19 September


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This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of the ‘Edinburgh of the South’ including Signal Hill, the world’s steepest street, Botanical Gardens, University and the Forsyth Barr sports stadium. The afternoon is free. An optional tour to the Dunedin Royal Albatross Centre is available this afternoon


Monday 20 September

Dunedin - Christchurch

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After breakfast we head north along the coastal rail route through Palmerston, Oamaru, Timaru and the plains via Ashburton to return to Christchurch and say farewell to our charter train. Enjoy a farewell Dinner tonight to end our wonderful southern rail experience.


Tuesday 21 September

Christchurch – Auckland

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Transfer to the airport for return flights to Auckland or other destinations (please ask)



• 12 nights hotel accommodation 

• Travel by Exclusive Charter Train  Christchurch to Invercargill

• Northern Explorer Train

• Coastal Pacific Train – Exclusive Charter  Train

• Trans Alpine Train - return

• Cooked breakfasts daily

• Seven lunches and 10 dinners

• All sightseeing and entrance fees as  specified

• Commentaries provided by your drivers  and guides

• Comfortable air-conditioned coaches  with panoramic windows

• One way airfare home from Christchurch to Auckland (other  destinations please ask)

• All gratuities are included

• Oamaru guided walking Tour

• Dunedin City Sights Tour


Cost Per Person *
Auckland - Auckland
Twin ShareSingle 
   $5,895  $6,537

*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


•Travel insurance – please ask us for a quote

•Items of a personal nature

Booking Conditions

•A non-refundable deposit of $500 per person will secure a place on the tour  

•FULL PAYMENT is due no later than 29 July 2021

•Bookings made after 29 July 2021 must be paid in full at time of booking


• Deposit – non refundable

• After 29 July 2021 – the tour is non refundable

• If this 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 amendment and cancellation 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 ask us for a quote.

Optional Tours

The options below proved popular with our previous groups. They attract a separate charge and can be included at time of final payment (see booking form)

14 September  Blue Penguin Colony visit (Oamaru) $32 per person

The birds return from their days fishing, make their way across the beach, up a stony ramp and cross to the colony. The colony began when a small number of blue penguins began nesting in a rock quarry area at the edge of Oamaru Harbour in the early 1990s. Today it is Oamaru’s largest tourist attraction.

Sunday 19 September Royal Albatross Centre ( Dunedin )               $52 per person

Albatrosses are the world’s largest seabirds. They normally breed on remote islands and spend at least 85 percent of their lives at sea, well away from land and human view. Dunedin’s Taiaroa Head is the only mainland Royal Albatross breeding colony in the world and is a great day out from Dunedin (group numbers are limited).Sunday 09 May Albatross Centre

Health and Fitness

Walking tours are an important part of the itinerary and a good standard of health is required with the ability to walk on uneven surfaces and negotiate stairs

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