Grand Tour of Australia & New Zealand
Experience Australia's highlights and travel aboard the continent's famous trains, including The Ghan, before heading to New Zealand to discover the best of the country’s North & South Islands on this comprehensive tour
Book a qualifying 2020 rail vacation in the USA, Canada, Europe and Beyond by December 13, 2019, and save up to $300 per person.
- Save $75 per passenger on vacations priced $1,000 - $1,999 per person - Use code 1EBO20
- Save $100 per passenger on vacations priced $2,000 - $3,999 per person - Use code 2EBO20
- Save $200 per passenger on vacations of $4,000 - $5,999 per person - Use code 3EBO20
- Save $300 per passenger on vacations of $6,000 or more per person - Use code 4EBO20
This fantastic rail adventure takes in many of Australia's natural wonders, including the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru and the Blue Mountains. A wonderful train journey on the legendary Ghan from Alice Springs to Adelaide is a real highlight, and time in Melbourne and Sydney to explore is included in this tour of a lifetime. Then, journey to New Zealand and experience enthralling scenery and breathtaking views at every turn in the 'Youngest Country on Earth'. Discover steaming geysers, picturesque mountains, bottomless fjords and lush forests on this tour showcasing the beauty of Australia and New Zealand.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Rail travel onboard The Ghan in two-berth sleeper cabins (1 night on train)
- 6 scenic rail journeys: Kuranda Scenic Railroad, Katoomba Scenic Railroad, Glenbrook Vintage Railroad, Northern Explorer, the Coastal Paciﬁc and the TranzAlpine
- Hotel accommodations for 37 nights
- 28 meals, including 15 breakfasts, 6 lunch and 7 dinners
- All drinks including beers, wines and spirits during your time on The Ghan
- Excursion to the Great Barrier Reef
- The Great Ocean Road and the Blue Mountains
- Excursion to Uluru, including dinner under the stars
- 'Sunrise and Olga' tour
- Visit to the Royal Flying Doctor Service and School of the Air
- Explore the vineyards of the Barossa Valley
- Guided tours of Adelaide, Melbourne and Puffing Billy
- Visit Philip Island
- Cruises on Sydney Harbour & Milford Sound
- Visit the Waitangi Treaty House and Bay of Islands cruise
- Guided tour of Auckland
- Visits to Rotorua, Lady Knox Geyser and the Antarctic Center
- Visits to the Moeraki Boulders, a lake cruise and glow worm cave experience
- Guided tours of Queenstown and Wellington
- Intra-tour flight between Sydney and Auckland, and corresponding transfers
- Ferry transportation on Interislander
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional Tour Manager
Days 1 & 2 - Cairns
Meet your group and Tour Manager at the Pullman International Cairns Hotel. Day 2 is spent at leisure.
Day 3 - Kuranda Scenic Railway
Today we travel on the wonderful 125-year old Kuranda Scenic Railway. Our journey takes us into the rainforest and above the Barron River Gorge to Kuranda. On arrival, we take a trip on a World War II amphibious military transport unit, or 'Army Duck', through World Heritage Rainforest, with the Duck Captain pointing out the different flora, fauna, birds and reptiles which we pass on our journey.
After enjoying lunch, we experience Aboriginal 'corroboree' with songs and dance, following the path of the Dreamtime Walk through traditional legend.
Days 4 & 5 - Great Barrier Reef
A real highlight of our tour is today's Quicksilver Cruise to the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef system which is home to thousands of species and stretches over 1,800 miles. A large covered pontoon is our base for the day, where we enjoy lunch and explore the reef. Snorkeling is the best way to view the exquisite coral and vibrant fish close up, but our base also has a semi-submersible vessel to take non-swimmers for a cruise along the reef wall. The underwater observatory is a superb window into this extraordinary world! On Day 5 you are at leisure.
Day 6 - To Uluru
We leave Cairns today and fly to the desert to Uluru. Ayers Rock, the world's largest monolith, rises majestically more than 1,142 feet out of the flat desert floor. We begin at the Aboriginal Cultural Center with a guided tour around this sacred site, which holds great spiritual significance to local Anangu people.
Later, as the sun sets, we watch this giant rock change color and enjoy a magical dinner under the stars. The incredible 'Sounds of Silence' experience includes canapés and sparkling wine as the sun sets over Uluru, followed by a three-course dinner with a bush-inspired menu including kangaroo, crocodile, barramundi and quandong.
After dinner, a 'star talker' will decode the southern night sky and point out signs of the zodiac and the planets and galaxies visible due to the clarity of the atmosphere. We spend two nights at the Desert Gardens Hotel in the Ayers Rock Resort.
Day 7 - Sunrise and Olgas
This morning we enjoy a 'Sunrise & Olgas' tour. This circular group of 36 red rocky domes cover a large area and are as mystical as Uluru. Your afternoon is free to spend at leisure in Ayers Rock Resort, an ideal opportunity to relax by the pool.
Days 8 & 9 - Alice Springs & The Ghan
Today we enjoy a free morning before traveling by coach to Alice Springs, for a night at either the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel or Crowne Plaza Lasseters Hotel. On Day 9 we visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the School of the Air. We then join The Ghan for our epic rail journey traveling from Alice Springs to Adelaide.
The Ghan has long been a tradition for train travel between Alice Springs and Adelaide and is often referred to as the ultimate journey through the heart of this mighty continent, taking passengers on what is undoubtedly one of the world's greatest rail journeys. Named after the Afghan drivers of the camel 'trains', The Ghan is a mode of transport, a sightseeing trip and a hotel all in one.
We travel in Gold Service, with all of our meals included during the journey, which are served in the Restaurant Car. The meals are freshly prepared by the on-board chefs and menus feature a selection of Australian and international cuisine. Gold Service passengers also have access to the onboard Gold Lounge. All drinks for Gold Service passengers, including beers, wines and spirits, are included during your time on The Ghan.
Days 10-13 - Adelaide, Barossa Valley and The Overland
Once in Adelaide, we enjoy a city tour, seeing the Government House and Parliament Building. On Day 11, we explore the vineyards of the Barossa Valley on a full day tour, enjoying wine tastings on route. On Day 12 you are free to explore at leisure or take an optional excursion (payable locally) to Kangaroo Island. On Day 13 we leave Adelaide and journey to Melbourne, Australia's 'Garden State', on board The Overland. We check into Melbourne's Crown Promenade Hotel for a four-night stay.
Days 14-16 - Melbourne & Phillip Island
Our city tour today includes the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Parliament House. In the afternoon we join the Puffing Billy steam train for a journey through the rainforest and fern gullies of the Dandenong Ranges.
On Day 15 we travel along one of the world's most scenic roads, the Great Ocean Road, to the Twelve Apostles, Bells Beach and the Otway Rainforest.
On Day 16 you are free until mid-afternoon, when we head by coach to Phillip Island, named after Governor Arthur Phillip, which forms a natural breakwater for the shallow waters of Western Port Bay. Here we visit the Koala Conservation Center. At sunset, overlooking the beach from the viewing platforms, you will encounter a wonderful spectacle of the wild fairy penguins emerging from the sea and crossing the sand to their burrows in the dunes (numbers vary depending on the season).
Days 17-20 - To Sydney & The Blue Mountains
We make our way to Sydney today. On Day 18 we enjoy a cruise around Sydney Harbor, seeing some of the most famous sights of Sydney, such as the iconic Opera House and the beautiful Harbor Bridge, from our boat. The rest of the day is at leisure to continue exploring Sydney at your own pace.
On Day 19 we take the train into the Blue Mountains, enjoying a journey on the world's steepest incline railroad, the Katoomba Scenic Railroad. We also visit the iconic Three Sisters Rock Formation in Echo Point. Day 20 is free in Sydney.
Day 21 – To Auckland
A transfer has been arranged from your Sydney hotel to the airport to board your flight to Auckland. Upon arrival in New Zealand, you are transferred to the Grand Millennium Hotel where you meet your group and Tour Manager and enjoy the rest of the day to settle in at leisure. Tonight, we enjoy dinner together.
Day 22 - Waitangi Treaty House
Today we travel northwards through scenic farmland to Paihia, located in the truly magnificent Bay of Islands. Here we visit the Waitangi Treaty House, where in 1840 Maori and British people reached an historic agreement which effectively marked the birth of New Zealand.
Day 23 – Bay of Islands
After a leisurely morning, we enjoy a cruise around the bay, passing golden beaches. Later we continue up to the rugged Cape Brett and make a stop on Russell Island. Known in the 1800s ominously as the 'Hell Hole of the Pacific’, it was a bustling base for whalers and seamen.
Day 24 - Auckland, the ‘City of Sails’
This morning we drive south back to Auckland, the country's largest city, known as the 'City of Sails' for the number of yachts that take to the waters around it. The city dates to around 1350, when it was inhabited by the Maori people, but little recorded history survives before January 1832 when Joseph Brooks Weller bought the area that is now Auckland. Auckland is also the largest city in New Zealand, being home to around 30% of the population of the whole country. We explore Auckland on a sightseeing tour, taking in the Hauraki Gulf and the volcanic islands that are characteristic of this beautiful area. We then visit the iconic Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Day 25 – Rotorua
This morning we take a trip on the Glenbrook Vintage Railroad, which opened in 1922 and ran for 45 years before closing in 1967. Today, the line is operated by steam enthusiasts, and caters to around 30,000 tourists every season. We then travel across the Bombay Hills, through Waikato Valley to Rotorua, the Maoris spiritual home. We visit the Rotorua Museum, which gives an insight into the region's history and culture. We spend two nights in Rotorua at the Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua.
Day 26 - Wai-O-Tapu
We visit Wai-O-Tapu (Sacred Waters) to see the Lady Knox Geyser volcano. Here we marvel at the rainbow-colored pools and former mud volcano, where you can hear the unique sound of erupting, boiling mud.
Day 27-28 - Northern Explorer to Wellington
Transferring to Hamilton, we take the Northern Explorer train for a journey through King Country. We view the spectacular scenery from panoramic windows including the peaks of Tongariro National Park, Mount Ruapehu and stunning river gorges. On Day 28 we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Wellington. We drive along beautiful Oriental Bay to Mount Victoria for stunning views and see the Parliament Buildings.
Day 29 - To the South Island by ferry
Today we take the Interislander ferry across Cook Strait to Picton on the South Island. On arrival in Picton we board the TranzCoastal train for a scenic journey to Christchurch via Blenheim, the Marlborough wine region and down the Pacific Coast through Kaikoura.
Days 30-31 - Dunedin and the Taieri Gorge
We cross Canterbury Plains through Timaru and Oamaru, stopping at Moeraki to see the mysterious spherical boulders scattered on the beach. We check in at the Scenic Hotel for two nights. On Day 31 your morning is free to explore Dunedin. In the afternoon we follow the trail of 19th century gold miners to the gold fields of Central Otago on the Taieri Gorge Railroad in carriages dating back to the 1920s.
Day 32 – Te Anau
Today we travel to Te Anau, nestled by the serene waters of Lake Te Anau, the second longest lake in New Zealand. We cruise across the lake for a guided tour of the Te Anau Caves, with their subterranean limestone caverns and magical glow worm grotto.
Day 33 - Milford Sound
We travel into the Fiordland National Park for a cruise on stunning Milford Sound. Lush rainforests cling precariously to the fiord's cliffs and the cruise takes us past magnificent waterfalls and out to the Tasman Sea. We enjoy a buffet lunch on board the ship.
Day 34 – To Queenstown
This morning we travel to Queenstown, a popular destination loved by outdoor enthusiasts thanks to the magnificent surrounding scenery. Here we enjoy a ride on the Skyline Gondola, which offers a wonderful panorama.
Days 35-36 - Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu
Today we enjoy a sightseeing tour, driving across Shotover River to historic Arrowtown, the site of a major gold rush in the 1860s and a 'Lord of the Rings' film location. We continue to Gibbston Valley Winery for a tour of the cellars and wine tasting. Day 36 is at leisure, relaxing in Queenstown overlooked by Lake Wakatipu.
Day 37 - Franz Josef Glacier
Traveling past Lake Wanaka, we descend to the Haast River. Continuing through the native rainforest by coach, we pass Fox Glacier before reaching the Franz Josef Glacier. An overnight stay and dinner at the Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier or Quality Hotel Elms allows us to view the glacier or to take an optional helicopter flight to the snowfield (payable locally).
Day 38 - The TranzAlpine
We visit Hokitika, the center for New Zealand jade, before boarding the TranzAlpine train for Christchurch at the township of Arthur's Pass. On our last night we stay at the Sudima Hotel and enjoy a farewell dinner together.
Day 39 - The Journey Home
On our final day in New Zealand we visit the International Antarctic Center, before transferring to the airport where you are free to catch your flight home.
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Pullman Cairns International, Cairns
Found in the heart of Cairns City, the city of the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, the Pullman Cairns International Hotel is an excellent choice from which to explore more of Australia and this metropolitan city. The hotel features a superb range of amenities including a swimming pool, a Jacuzzi, a gymnasium and a sauna. There is also a bar and a restaurant. Each room has a hairdryer, a minibar and a television.
Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort
The 4-Star Desert Gardens Hotel enjoys a central location in Ayers Rock Resort, close to all the resort's facilities as well as the lookouts, where you can enjoy watching the sunset on Uluru and the surrounding desert. The hotel is set amidst gardens of ghost gums and native flowering shrubs and features a restaurant serving Australian cuisine, a bar and an outdoor pool. All rooms are air conditioned and equipped with a telephone, television, radio, mini-bar, refrigerator, tea and coffee making facilities and a hairdryer. All rooms have either a private veranda or courtyard.
Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort
Situated close to Uluru is our hotel during our time here, the 5-Star Sails in the Desert Hotel. The hotel is named as such thanks to its billowing white 'sails' that shade the luxurious guest rooms and facilities. The amenities on offer at this hotel include a swimming pool, a spa, offering a range of fantastic massage therapies (payable locally), a restaurant, and even an art gallery. The beautiful and air-conditioned hotel rooms are furnished in neutral tones, and come complete with indigenous artwork, a minibar, a television, an in-room safe, complimentary Wi-Fi and tea & coffee-making facilities.
Crowne Plaza Lasseters, Alice Springs
The 4-Star Crowne Plaza Lasseters is elegant, stylish and modern, offering comfortable accommodation in one of Australia's favorite cities. With a superb range of facilities at your disposal, your peace of mind and time in Alice Springs are of the highest priority at this excellent hotel. Amenities include a fitness suite, an outdoor pool, a spa, various hotel restaurants and bars, and complimentary WiFi. Rooms include a television, a hairdryer and a wall safe.
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Alice Springs
The 4-Star DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel is located in a suburban area approx. 2km from the center of Alice Springs. The hotel has two restaurants: one offers contemporary Australian cuisine, the other has a Thai and Indian-inspired menu. There is also a lobby bar that serves light meals during the day. The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel has a gift shop as well as a health and fitness center with a sauna, fully equipped gym and an outdoor swimming pool. Rooms feature individually controlled air conditioning, a television, telephone, mini-bar, tea and coffee making facilities, safe and a hairdryer.
Majestic Roof Garden Hotel, Adelaide
The 4-Star Majestic Roof Garden Hotel is located in the center of Adelaide, providing easy access to many of the city's main attractions. The hotel boasts a lobby restaurant and bar overlooking the streets of Adelaide, which is open daily for breakfast and dinner. Leisure facilities include a fitness center offering views over the whole city. All hotel rooms come equipped with mini bar, air conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, safe, television, iron and ironing board, and tea and coffee making facilities.
Peppers Waymouth Hotel, Adelaide
Sat in an impressive tower, overlooking the rest of attractive Adelaide, the 5-Star Peppers Waymouth Hotel provide luxury and charm in its tasteful rooms and elegant environs. Part of the Peppers hotel range, the Waymouth is perfectly placed for visitors to venture out into the lights of the city. Amenities include an indoor swimming pool with views offer the streets, a sauna and spa, a restaurant, internet lounge and a bar. Rooms include complimentary WiFi, a safe, a television and a hairdryer.
Crown Promenade, Melbourne
The 4-star Crown Promenade is situated in the heart of Melbourne's lively Southbank district. A range of restaurants, bars and cafés serve food and drinks in the attached Entertainment Complex, and the hotel also has its own restaurant and bar on site. 24-hour room service is available. Rooms at the Crown Promenade assure air conditioning with independent temperate control, a large flat-panel digital television, mini-bar, tea and coffee making facilities, hair dryer, safe and high-speed wireless internet access. Relaxing is easy at the hotel's Deck leisure center, which features a 25 meter indoor pool, a sauna, steam and massage rooms, a gym and an activities studio.
Amora Hotel Jamison, Sydney
The 5-Star Amora Hotel Jamison is located in the center of the city near just a short walk away from the Sydney Opera House, Harbor Bridge and many more of Sydney's great attractions. The hotel boasts two restaurants and two bars for you to choose from, offering a wide range of food for you to enjoy. Leisure facilities at the Amora Hotel Jamison include a heated swimming pool, fully equipped gym, sauna, steam room and the Amora spa (payable locally). The contemporary hotel rooms come equipped with air conditioning, mini bar, hairdryer, safe, toaster, telephone, iron and ironing board and television.
Grand Millennium Auckland
With an excellent location near the center of Auckland, minutes away from the harbor and Queen Street, there are few better places for exploring this fine city than the 4-Star Grand Millennium Auckland. This charming hotel offers two restaurants and a modern lounge-bar. The well-designed rooms provide complimentary WiFi, a television and tea & coffee making facilities.
Quality Hotel Elms
Our visit the excellent city of Christchurch sees us stay at the 4-Star Quality Hotel Elms. A stone's throw away from the charming attractions of Christchurch, this hotel is perfect for heading out to explore. Sit back and enjoy a superb range of amenities which include an international restaurant and complimentary WiFi. The rooms all boast a television, tea & coffee making facilities, ensuite bathrooms and a hair dryer.
Scenic Hotel Dunedin City
The 4-Star Scenic Hotel Dunedin City is centrally located, close to shops, parks and other attractions. The hotel's facilities include a restaurant and bar and gym. All rooms include television, minibar, tea and coffee making facilities and hairdryer.
Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge
The Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge in Paihia enjoys a wonderful location in the Bay of Islands, with stunning views over the ocean. The hotel benefits from a restaurant, cocktail bar, outdoor swimming pool, indoor hot tub, a fully equipped gym, games room and complimentary bicycles. All rooms are air conditioned and come with a telephone, satellite television, refrigerator and tea and coffee making facilities.
The 3-Star Heartland Hotel offers modern and stylish accommodation in a pretty Swiss style. Near the center of Queenstown, this hotel is well-equipped for you to make the most of your time in this thriving city. The facilities on offer here include a luxury spa with a swimming pool, a classic lobby bar and a superb brasserie with breakfast and dinner. Rooms here include complimentary WiFi, a television and a hairdryer.
Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua
Beautifully situated on the shores of Lake Rotorua, the Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua is within walking distance of the city center and attractions such as the Rotorua Museum and Government Garden. The hotel has a restaurant, bar and a gift shop. Leisure facilities include a geothermally heated open-air swimming pool, three spa pools plus a selection of massages and therapies area available (payable locally). The comfortable rooms feature a telephone, television, tea and coffee making facilities and a hairdryer.
The Novotel Wellington enjoys a superb location on The Terrace, within easy reach of Wellington's many attractions - including the Parliament and the city's waterfront. The hotel has a restaurant, a bar serving a selection of drinks and light snacks, and a fitness room. The spacious, comfortable rooms are air conditioned come with a telephone, satellite television, safe, minibar, hairdryer and tea and coffee making facilities.
Katoomba Scenic Railroad
Once a 19th century novelty that pre-dated rollercoasters, the Katoomba Scenic Railroad is the world's steepest incline track. The railroad gradually lowers through the ancient rainforest surroundings.
Kuranda Scenic Railroad
The Kuranda Scenic Railroad has journeyed through the World Heritage Rainforest of tropical North Queensland for 125 years. Weaving through a series of switchbacks and tunnels above the Barron River Gorge to Kuranda, the KSR provides magnificent views of this outstanding national park.
NSW Trainlink XPT
The frequent NSW TrainLink XPT service operates in and between several Australian cities, including Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Casino.
Similar in design to the UK's InterCity 125, the XPT follows the route of the Hume Highway through the state of Victoria, passing through Benalla and the cathedral city of Wangaratta before entering the state of New South Wales and the Riverina region. The broad, flat plains of the Riverina comprise some of the most agriculturally productive land in Australia due to the favourable climate and a plentiful water supply.
The XPT service continues through the cities of Albury and Wagga Wagga and then heads west to Cootamundra and the Southern Tablelands. Leaving Goulburn, the train enters the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, a mountainous wine-producing region that sits on the Great Dividing Range. Finally, after passing through the suburbs of Campbelltown and Strathfield in the Australian capital, the service pulls into Sydney's Central Railroad Station.
We reserve First Class carriages for daytime journeys on the NSW TrainLink XPT. First Class accommodation features extra legroom, a deluxe reclining seat, and a footrest. Most seats rotate to form a 'conversation group' of four. A buffet car selling a selection of hot and cold meals, snacks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are available on board the train.
Puffing Billy steam train
With its reputation as Australia's favourite steam train the century-old Puffing Billy is a treasure for rail enthusiasts. A low-cost narrow gauge line constructed in Victoria during the early 1900s, the classic steam engine opened up rural areas and has been championed by the Puffing Billy Preservation Society since the sixties. We journey on Billy from Belgrave through the Dandenong Ranges, crossing rustic timber bridges and passing scenic Emerald Lake Park and Wright State Forest on the way to the historic town of Gembrook.
Australia's Afghan Express, now affectionately referred to as The Ghan, offers Great Rail Journeys' guests an epic travel experience through this remarkable country.
Named in tribute to the Afghan camel drivers who helped to make Australia's arid and uncharted Red Center accessible at the end of the nineteenth century, The Ghan's maiden journey in August 1929 traveled the 1,559 kilometres from Adelaide, South Australia to Alice Springs.
Since that first journey it was always intended that The Ghan's journey would continue from Alice Springs to Darwin on the coast of Australia's Northern Territory, and this became a reality in 2004 following the opening of a 1,420-kilometre rail link between the two cities.
Today, the entire 2,979-kilometre trip from Adelaide to Darwin, or vice-versa, can be made in three days. Traveling in luxurious comfort aboard a train fully-equipped with modern amenities, our guests aboard The Ghan enjoy a journey that takes in some of Australia's most diverse and spectacular scenery.
The Overland Train
The recently refurbished Overland serves the route between Adelaide and Melbourne. During this daylight journey we travel in Red Premium Service, which offers passengers comfortable reclining seats and complimentary orange juice or water on boarding the train. Red Premium Service passengers have access to the licensed Red Service Café Carriage which serves a selection of snacks, meals and drinks. There is also an at-seat trolley service with snacks and drinks available for purchase, as well as a limited selection of a la carte dishes.
The Coastal Pacific (formerly TranzCoastal) train operates between Picton on the northeastern tip of New Zealand's South Island and the city of Christchurch, approximately 340km (211 miles) to the south.
The line follows the rugged Pacific Island coast against a backdrop of two mountain ranges; namely, the Seaward and Inland Kaikoura Ranges. Along the way, passengers can take advantage of the Coastal Pacific's open viewing carriage and single-class carriages with large windows.
South of Picton, the route passes through Marlborough, arguably New Zealand's best wine growing area, before stretching ahead between the mountains and the sea to Christchurch, known as the most 'English' of New Zealand's cities. The Coastal Pacific train is equipped with a buffet car for the convenience of passengers.
Glenbrook Vintage Railroad
A steam railroad built by mostly volunteer labor; the Glenbrook Vintage Railroad is an ongoing project staffed by members of the Railroad Enthusiasts Society. We take a return trip in wood-paneled carriages from Glenbrook Station, nearby Auckland.
Almost spanning New Zealand's North Island in its entirety from the city of Auckland in the north to Wellington in the south, the scenic Northern Explorer train service travels the 681- kilometre North Island Main Trunk Line which passes through five distinct geographical regions. En route, guests will be treated to spectacular landscapes ranging from rugged coastline to mist-shrouded volcanoes and from dense bush to open farmland.
In its current incarnation, the Northern Explorer has only been in operation since 2012 when it replaced the slower Overlander train. Fully refurbished for passenger comfort and making fewer intermediate stops than its predecessor, the Northern Explorer completes its inter-city journey from north to south in a time of between eleven and twelve hours.
Taieri Gorge Railroad
Dunedin's Taieri Gorge Railroad follows the trail of 19th century gold miners to the gold fields of Central Otago. We spend a fully commentated journey crossing wrought iron viaducts and passing through hand-carved tunnels in carriages dating back to the 1920s. Refreshments are provided on the train and there are opportunities for photographic stops.
Running once a day, the TranzAlpine is arguably the most scenic railroad journey in New Zealand. The route crosses the width of the South Island from Arthur's Pass on the west coast to Christchurch on the east. The journey takes us across the rich grazing farmland of the Canterbury Plain, through the Waimakiriri River Gorge, and over the spectacular mountains of the Southern Alps.
On-board, passengers can take advantage of a buffet car, an open viewing carriage, and single-class carriages with large windows.
Passport & Visa Requirements
It is your responsibility to check and fulfill the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. Please visit CIBTvisas for additional information.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
: Departs 29th January 2020 ($15,095), 28th October 2020 ($13,925)
Register for Free Notification of 2021 Dates & Prices
Enter your details below if you would like to be notified when 2021 dates and prices are available for Grand Tour of Australia & New Zealand.
A New Zealand airport departure tax of $25 is mandatory and payable locally.