• Escorted Tour

South Island Summer Grand Rail Tour

Featuring Franz Josef, Milford Sound, The Catlins and Stewart Island

The Scenic South Island. Summer time provides a stunning panorama of magnificent southern mountain scenery, meandering rivers and coastal plains. Experience the scenic south in style travelling by train and luxury coach. We travel by rail from Auckland to Wellington then also from Picton, 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. The West Coast, Queenstown, Te Anau, Milford Sound, Stewart Island are all included before a special day in The Catlins. Our tour is planned at a leisurely pace with frequent two night stops and our tour escort ensures your 14-day tour is relaxing, fun and hassle free.

What our clients say about previous tours

"The whole tour was a highlight" - Brian and Robyn
"Exceeded all my expectations" - Marjory
"Seeing the South Island for the first time I was impressed with the beauty and freshness" - Lois
"I loved the Catlins"- Glenys

Your travel itinerary

Thursday 16 March

Auckland – Wellington

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Board your carriage on the Northern Explorer train for the daylight journey from Auckland to Wellington. Among today’s highlights is the circular climb up the famous engineering feat – the Raurimu Spiral and enjoy spectacular views of Mt Ruapehu. Continue alongside the Rangitikei River to Palmerston North, before the scenic Kapiti Coast and the run into the capital for an overnight stay. Welcome dinner tonight. 

Friday 17 March

Wellington – Picton

Breakfast iconBreakfast Dinner iconDinner

Enjoy a morning city tour, before arriving at the ferry for an early afternoon Cook Strait crossing to the picturesque Marlborough Sounds. Arrive in Picton for our over night stay

Saturday 18 March

Picton – Blenheim - Christchurch

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A leisurely morning before a visit to the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre in Blenheim followed by a vineyard lunch. We then continue our journey onboard the Coastal Pacific Train travelling along the picturesque Kaikoura Coast to Christchurch. We pass through Kaikoura famous for its whale watching and head inland through the rolling hill country of
North Canterbury. 

Sunday 19 March

Christchurch

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Depart by coach for a morning on Banks Peninsula. The drive through natural beauty has spectacular views overlooking bays and beaches before arriving in Akaroa. Time to enjoy the history, shops, the Giants Garden, harbour and French character. Lunch at own expense before returning to Christchurch.

Monday 20 March

Christchurch – Franz Josef

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This morning board the Tranz Alpine train to journey across the spectacular Southern Alps to the rugged West Coast. We climb the mountain range with scenic stops along the way
including Arthurs Pass. We continue through the renowned rain forests and wetlands to arrive in Greymouth. Transfer to our coaches and enjoy a scenic drive to Franz Josef for our two night stay

Tuesday 21 March

Franz Josef

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A sightseeing day to this unique part of New Zealand. The opportunity to explore both Franz Josef Glacier and Fox or simply a day to relax. If you prefer an
optional helicopter ride to Franz Josef Glacier is available. Return to Franz Josef for dinner and a relaxing evening. 

Wednesday 22 March

Franz Josef - Queenstown

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Today our journey continues south past Fox Glacier winding through lush forests and eventually back to the coast line to the last village before catapulting you into the mountains and over one of the most spectacular mountain passes, the Haast Pass. The road then continues alongside the two mountain fed lakes of Wanaka and Hawea before entering the wine country at Cromwell and on into the Kawarau Gorge arriving into
Queenstown late afternoon for a two night stay. 

Thursday 23 March

Queenstown

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Today is at leisure to enjoy ‘The Jewel of the South’. Maybe take the gondola to admire the panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu or for the more adventurous a helicopter ride above Lake Wakatipu. The choices are extensive. This evening we enjoy a cruise aboard the TSS Earnslaw before a special goumet BBQ dinner at Walter Peak Station.

Friday 24 March

Queenstown – Te Anau

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After breakfast we follow the Lake Wakatipu shoreline through farmland to the beautiful Lake Te Anau for a two night stay. An afternoon optional tour is available to the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves.

Saturday 25 March

Milford Sound Cruise

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Drive through mountain beech forests framed by spectacular snow-capped mountains and the Homer Tunnel before emerging at Milford Sound for your lunch time cruise. 

Sunday 26 March

Te Anau – Invercargill

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After breakfast we drive along the scenic southern route and rich Southland countryside to Invercargill. After lunch the afternoon is free. 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.

Monday 27 March

Invercargill – Stewart Island - Invercargill

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This morning we travel to Bluff and cross Foveaux Strait by large modern catamaran to Stewart Island. Once on the island you can enjoy an optional
leisurely cruise of beautiful Paterson Inlet and Ulva Island or explore the small township of Oban by foot. Return mid-afternoon to our Invercargill hotel. Dinner is included tonight.


Stewart Island’s densely forested hills, tiny population and untouched coastline of rocky outcrops and creamy golden sand beaches make it a natural refuge
for marine and bird life and a wonderful destination for people who value nature and wild places.

Tuesday 28 March

Invercargill – Catlins - Dunedin

Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch Dinner iconDinner

After breakfast we drive through the Catlins. Highlights include podocarp forests, rugged coastlines, hidden lakes and stunning waterfalls. The natural landscapes are enthralling. We continue north to Dunedin to our inner city hotel and our farewell dinner. 

Wednesday 29 March

Dunedin - Home

Breakfast iconBreakfast

After a leisurely morning we depart for Dunedin airport to fly home. 

Inclusions

• 13 nights hotel accommodation
• Cooked breakfasts daily
• Five lunches and 13 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 from Dunedin to Auckland (other destinations please ask)
• All gratuities are included
• Northern Explorer Train
• Coastal Pacific Train
• Trans Alpine Train
• Lunchtime scenic cruise of Milford Sound
• Stewart Island day tour experience
• TSS Earnslaw Cruise and gourmet BBQ dinner

Cost

Cost Per Person *
Auckland - Auckland
Twin ShareSingle 
   $5,597  $ 7,149

*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

Exclusions

  • Domestic 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 01 January 2023
• Bookings made after 01 January 2023 must be paid in full at time of book

Cancellations

• Deposit – non refundable
• After 01 January 2023 – the tour is non refundable

Travel Insurance

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

 

Optional Tours

The optional tours have always proved popular

Tuesday 21  Franz Josef and Fox Glacier Helicopter Flight, $395 per person
Imagine flying the entire length of the Fox Glacier and there is time for a glacier snow landing before descending the Glacier Valley, with the mountains behind.


Thursday 23  Queenstown Helicopter Flight $385 per person
Look down on spectacular scenery as you cross Lake Wakatipu with a special landing during the flight. Continue over Ben Lomond and the famous historic Skippers Canyon. See the renowned steep canyon walls of the
Shotover River and fly past Coronet Peak and the Wakatipu Basin.


Friday 24 Te Anau Glow Worm Caves $105 per person
Described by the Sydney Morning Herald as “one of the most unusual limestone cave experiences on the planet’, the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves is a must-do for anyone visiting Fiordland.

Monday 27 Ulva Island Explorer $115 per person

With lunch included this cruise will showcase some of Paterson Inlet’s stunning scenery with its hidden coves and un-spoilt beaches. While on board, keep a look out for fur seals and penguins. Paterson inlet is home to renowned wildlife sanctuary Ulva Island and we’ll stop there for a 45 minute guided walk. (Group numbers are limited).

Monday 27 Stewart Island Village and Bays Tour $59 per person
Gain an entertaining insight into New Zealand’s southernmost community, and learn about the history and environment of Stewart Island. You will have plenty of time to get off the bus for photo stops and short walks. Highlights include a visit to the gateway of Rakiura National Park, beautiful Horseshoe Bay and Observation Rock. 

These optional tours attract a separate charge and can be included at time of final payment (see booking form)

Health and Fitness

  • To ensure the tour is enjoyable for the whole group, a good standard of fitness is required with the ability to walk 400 metres unaided
  • Mobility frames are not practical or permitted

 

Advantages of joining our South Island Summer Tour

Hassle Free

Our experienced tour escort allows you to sit back and relax. No tipping is expected and our family friendly manner makes this a tour to remember..

Our Accommodation 

Accommodation has been carefully selected on location, a high standard of comfort and friendly, helpful service. Rooms have single, twin or double beds, en-suite bathroom, television, radio, telephone and generally have tea and coffee making facilities.

Travelling alone

We will do our utmost to match suitable participants in share accommodation to avoid the single room supplement.  For those who prefer, we have rooms for sole use.

Extend my holiday please

Yes, it is possible to extend your holiday at the end of the tour.

Covid-19

• If this tour is cancelled/postponed due to Covid-19 Government travel restrictions Pukekohe Travel reserves the right, in addition to any supplier-imposedamendment and cancellation fees, to  charge a service and administrative fee of $100 per person.
• If self-isolation requirements are imposed by the Ministry of Health whilst on tour, Pukekohe Travel accepts no liability for any additional costs incurred.
• Pukekohe Travel will assist in every way possible to ensure any additional travel arrangements required are made with the minimal amount of disruption and in the most cost-effective manner.
• You cannot begin or continue to travel if you have received a positive Covid-19 test in the last 7 days.

Terms and Conditions

• For full terms and conditions please visit our website www.pukekohetravel.co.nz/termsandconditions or ask our tour
consultant for a copy


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

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