• Limited Spaces Available
  • Escorted Tour

Top of the South

In the Spring

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 in the Autumn.

Three memorable train journeys are included – Nothern Explorer Auckland to Wellington. The Coastal Pacific from Blenheim to Christchurch. The Tranz Alpine Train from Christchurch to Greymouth. 

Highlights include

• A tranquil Marlborough Sound • Picturesque Kaikoura Coast • Scenic Southern Alps • Wild West Coast • Buller Gorge Hinterland • Punakaiki Rocks • Marlborough Vineyard Lunch •  the Abel Tasman Coastline

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 will ensure your nine-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 exclusive ‘Top of the South’ Rail Tour late Spring.

Your travel itinerary

Monday 22 November

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. 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.


Tuesday 23 November

Wellington - Picton

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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 transfer by coach to your  hotel. 


Wednesday 24 November

Marlborough Sound Cruise - Blenheim

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Today enjoy a boat cruise in the Marlborough Sounds with lunch at Furneaux Lodge. Before we return to Picton and an afternoon transfer Blenheim. 


Thursday 25 November

Blenheim – Christchurch

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After breakfast, travel by coach to the Omaka Aviation Museum for a guided tour of the museum with its aeroplanes and artefacts from WWI, mannequins and props made by Weta Workshop. Lunch is included at a local vineyard. We join the ‘Coastal Pacific’ train for a leisurely journey to Christchurch. 

This special section of picturesque coastline railway line has reopened 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. Dinner on board the train.


Friday 26 November


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After a leisurely breakfast we have an optional walking tour of Christchurch before the rest of the day is yours to explore the city. 


Saturday 27 November

Christchurch - Greymouth - Hokitika

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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 after a short stop in Springfield, climb the mountain range including a stop at Arthurs Pass - famous for its Weka population. Our descent takes us through Otira and the renowned rain forests and wetlands to Greymouth. A visit to Shantytown,  followed by a short drive through to Hokitika for a one night stay. 

Coastal Pacific and Tranz Alpine train journeys These two world-renowned train routes travel through some of the most spectacular scenery in New Zealand. Rocky coastlines, picturesque sea views, agricultural farmland, the rugged Southern Alps and historical towns all make the journey a wonderful experience.



Sunday 28 November

Hokitika - Nelson

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After breakfast depart by coach for a brief visit to the former Brunner Mine site, scene of New Zealand’s worst mining disaster in 1896.  Continue on the scenic drive up the West Coast, stopping off at the nationally-acclaimed Punakaiki Rocks, alongside the Buller River and up the Buller Gorge to Murchison for lunch (own expense). continue onto Nelson for late afternoon arrival for a twon night stay. 

Punakaiki This small West Coast community is a popular tourist attraction with its limestone pancakeshaped rocks and blowholes that produce spectacular water formations.

Buller Gorge The scenic drive through gorges and dense forest follows the Buller River towards its source – Lake Rotoiti in the Nelson Lakes, passing through the iconic towns of Murchison and Inungahua on the way to Nelson.


Monday 29 November

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.

Tuesday 30 November

Nelson – Auckland

Breakfast iconBreakfast

After breakfast transfer to the airport for your return flight home. 



• One way Air New Zealand flight Nelson - Auckland ( other main centres please ask )

• Northern Explorer, Coastal Pacific andTranz Alpine 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

•Six lunches and six 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 direct debit 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 01 October 2021

•Bookings made after 01 October 2021 will require full payment.



• Deposit – non refundable

• After 01 October 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