• Escorted Tour

South Island Spring Grand Rail Tour

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

The Scenic South Island. Springtime provides a stunning panorama of magnificent southern mountain scenery, tumbling waterfalls, 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.


Your travel itinerary

Thursday 07 November

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 08 November

Wellington – Picton

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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 09 November

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 10 November


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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 11 November

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 12 November

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 13 November

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 14 November


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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 15 November

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 16 November

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 17 November

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 18 November

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 19 November

Invercargill – Catlins - Dunedin

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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 20 November

Dunedin - Home

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



• 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 

• Tour escort subject to 20 passengers travelling.


Cost Per Person *
Auckland - Auckland
Twin ShareSingle 
   $6,795  $8,697

*This is a cash price. Credit cards will incur a 1.5% fee
*Itinerary and costs subject to change, airline and fuel charges and currency fluctuations prior to final payment


• 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 06 September 2024

• Bookings made after 06 September 2024 must be paid in full at time of booking


• Deposit – non refundable

• After 06 September 2024  – the tour is non refundable


Travel Insurance

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


Optional Tours

The optional tours have always proved popular

November 2024

Tuesday 12 Franz Josef and Fox Glacier Helicopter Flight $425 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 14 Queenstown Helicopter Flight $425 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 15 Te Anau Glow Worm Caves $129 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 18 Ulva Island Explorer $166 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 18 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 Mobility

• 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

Terms and Conditions

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

We except that you will arrive on tour fit, healthy and ready to travel. 

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