Private tailor-made journeys of a lifetime 1 888 263 2574 Contact Us
USA
  • AUS
  • DEU
USA
  • AUS
  • DEU

Slow down and experience the spellbinding charm of New Zealand aboard buses and trains on this fun 18-day tour. Auckland offers the perfect blend of history, art, culture and untamed nature in the form of volcanic peaks and ancient rainforests. Learn all about Maori culture and explore some of the region’s historic sites.

A hike along Tongariro National Park, the country’s oldest national park, is the best way to soak in the scenery of the place, right from pristine lakes to dense forests. Discover the region’s rich and varied marine life, as you set sail on the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Kaikoura in search of dolphins, whales and fur seals. From the beautiful botanic gardens of Christchurch to the distinct limestone rocks near Greymouth and the spectacular Fox Glacier, this immersive tour lets you experience New Zealand like never before.

Like the idea of traveling at your own pace? Reach out to us and we’ll create a tailor-made itinerary that will let give you fresh insights into this gorgeous country.

Share

Itinerary Summary

DayPlaceHighlightsHotel Options
1 - 3AucklandVolcanic Peaks & Black Sand Beaches, Maori Culture, Food & WineRydges Auckland, Stamford Plaza
3 - 5Tongariro National ParkActive Volcanoes, Maori Spiritual Sites, Hiking & SkiingSkotel Alpine Resort, Tongariro Suites @ The Rocks
5 - 7WellingtonArt & Culture, Te Papa Tongarewa Museum, Mount VictoriaBolton Hotel, Ohtel Wellington
7 - 8BlenheimMarlborough Wine Region, Artisanal Produce, Omaka Aviation Heritage CenterHotel d’Urville, Scenic Hotel Marlborough
8 - 10KaikouraMarine Life & Birds, Kaikōura Peninsula Walkway, Crayfish & SeafoodLobster Inn Motor Lodge, Lemon Tree Lodge
10 - 12ChristchurchEnglish Heritage, Maori Art & Culture, Southern AlpsChateau On The Park A Doubletree By Hilton, Crowne Plaza
12 - 13GreymouthDiverse Landscapes, Paparua National Park, ShantytownThe Ashley Hotel, Breakers Boutique Accommodation
13 - 15Fox GlacierGlacier Trekking, Lake Matheson, Gillespies BeachHeartland Hotel, Distinction Hotel Fox Glacier
15 - 18QueenstownDramatic Landscapes, Adventure Sports, Milford Sound FjordCopthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront

Ideal For

  • Adventure
  • Heritage
  • Landscape
Travel Consultant Enchanting Travels team member

Talk to us anytime1 888 263 2574

Itinerary Details

Day 1 - 3

International Arrival

Private transfer from Auckland Airport to Hotel

Auckland

2 Nights

From volcanic peaks, lush native canopies and black sand beaches, to hip entertainment districts, contemporary art scenes and gourmet experiences, there’s something for everyone in this populous waterfront city, the largest in New Zealand!

Included Activities

Personalized Auckland Maori Luxury Tour
Discover the fascinating Maori culture on a tour around Auckland’s historic sites. Start your journey by visiting several ancient volcanoes including the mystical Rangitoto Island in the Hauraki Gulf. Your local guide will lead the way, engaging you with commentary on the unique history and legends behind each Maori site. Tour the Auckland Domain, the city’s second largest volcano and home to the Auckland Museum and Wintergarden. The Tamaki Drive offers panoramic views of Waitemata Harbor, Mission Bay and Bastion Point. Ride across the scenic Auckland Harbor Bridge and through the affluent Titirangi (Maori for Fringe of Heaven) suburb on the Manukau Harbour, towards Auckland’s West Coast. Here, visit the Arataki (Pathways to Learning) Visitor Centre that is nestled amid the towering cliffs and volcanic black sand beaches of the Waitakere Ranges. End the tour by strolling through an ancient rainforest and observing the diverse flora and fauna, including the native Kauri Trees and the New Zealand Christmas Trees (Pohutukawa). (Duration: full day; Private activity & transfers; Private guide; Entrance fees, lunch, snacks, and water bottle included; Fitness level: easy to moderate; Please remember to wear walking shoes and bring a sun hat, sunscreen, swimming gear (summer) and a camera)

Explore Auckland on Your Own
Set off at a convenient time to explore Auckland on your own. This bustling North Island city is a treasure trove of natural attractions, cosmopolitan delights and ancient indigenous culture. Arrive at Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park where you can check out striking remains of an extinct volcano and then savor the formal elegance of the Wintergardens. Make your way to the iconic Sky Tower and climb to the very top for breathtaking views of the Greater Auckland Region. Unwind with a cool mocha or savor a lunch of grilled seafood at any of the fashionable restaurants and bars that line the Viaduct Harbor. You might also want to stroll along the promenade to spot superyachts dotting the blue horizon and generally soak in the holiday vibes of this vibrant city. (Half Day; No guide; No transfers; Entrance fees and meals are not included).

Hotel Options
Rydges Auckland – Opt 1
RoomSuperior Room (Double room)
MealsRoom Only
StyleInternational
Stamford Plaza – Opt 2
RoomSuperior Room (Double room)
MealsRoom Only
StyleInternational
Day 3 - 5

You will be transferred from your hotel to Auckland train station in a private vehicle

Board your train from Auckland to Tongariro National Park (Duration: 5 hrs).

Make your own way to the Hotel

Tongariro National Park

2 Nights

Discover Tongariro National Park – a World Heritage site located on North Island and the oldest national park in New Zealand. It is home to three active volcanoes – Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu – as well as several Maori spiritual sites.

Included Activities

Personalized Tongariro Walking Tour
Take your pick of various walking trails to explore the scenic beauty of Tongariro National Park in this guided activity. Choose from trails of varying difficulty based on your fitness levels and the scenic landmarks you want to see. From traversing the serene Mangatepopo Valley at the foot of the majestic Mount Tongariro to exploring the native forest along the slopes of Mount Pihanga right up to picturesque Lake Rotopounamu, there are plenty of options available. Several of the trails also go past the stunning Taranaki Falls, the gushing Silica Rapids, the crystal clear Ohinepango Springs, vantage viewpoints offering vistas of Lake Taupo, and the summit of Mount Urchin. Get picked up from a convenient point for the hike to your choice of stunning attractions in this sprawling park. (Half Day; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness Level: Moderate. Please note that this activity is highly dependent on weather conditions).

Hotel Options
RoomStandard Room (Double room)
MealsRoom Only
StyleInternational
RoomRuapehu Suite (Double room)
MealsRoom Only
StyleGuest house
Day 5 - 7

Make your own way to the Train Station

Board your train from Tongariro National Park to Wellington (Duration: 6 hrs).

You will be transferred from the Wellington train station to your hotel in a private vehicle

Wellington

2 Nights

Discover Wellington, a cosmopolitan harbor city brimming with art, culture, entertainment, and natural wonders. Wellington is also home to the protected Matiu/Somes Island reserve, and the Zealandia Ecosanctuary that conserves rare native flora and fauna.

Included Activities

Personalized Maori Heritage Tour at Te Papa Museum
Explore the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa that overlooks the Wellington waterfront. Through this delightful experience, get an in-depth understanding of New Zealand, its history of human settlements, stunning geographical features, and fascinating native lifestyles. Begin with the interactive backlit floor map of New Zealand, where you can step on to view regional highlights of Māori landscape and see exhibits of the island’s extinct species. Learn about Māori culture from an indigenous perspective and their influence in modern society. Browse through Māori arts, crafts, ships, dresses, and treasures, while listening to traditional tribe stories and legends. Marvel at the intricate carvings on an old wharenui, of a Māori meeting hall called the marae, and admire a large pounamu greenstone immersed in a pond. End with a hongi greeting, before dispersing. (Duration 1 hr; Time: Daily on demand; Private Activity; Fitness level: Easy)

Group Tour of Kapiti Island
Explore Kapiti Island, a birding enthusiasts’ paradise, located about three miles off the western coast of North Island, New Zealand. This predator-free sanctuary and nature reserve lies across the Rauoterangi channel and Kapiti Marine Reserve. Starting from the Kapiti Boating Club on Paraparaumu Beach, hop onto the ferry to reach Kapiti Island. After a 30-min introductory talk, follow your Maori guides for a bushwalk to spot exotic and endangered native birds such as weka, kokako and hihi among others. Little-spotted kiwis are only found on this island, thanks to extensive conservation efforts. Keep an eye out for tracks of little blue penguins on the beaches, and nests of black-backed gulls on rocks, as well as Maori artifacts scattered here. Kapiti Island has a complex history involving Te Rauparaha’s NZ Empire, European explorers, traders and commercial whalers. After lunch at Kapiti Island Nature Lodge, summit the peak of Rangatira Point or hike the loop trails, before returning. (Duration: Full day; Time: 0715 – 1630/1700 hrs; Shared activity & transfers; Pick-up drop-off from Wellington accommodations; Meals and refreshments included; Island landing permit fees included; Fitness level: easy-moderate; Available all year round; Please note that ferry departure times are 0900 hrs and 1500 hrs from Paraparaumu Beach and Kapiti Island respectively; Tours are subject to weather conditions and daily visitors’ limit)

Hotel Options
Bolton Hotel – Opt 1
RoomClassic Suite (Double room)
MealsRoom Only
StyleInternational
Ohtel Wellington – Opt 2
RoomDeluxe Room (Double room)
MealsRoom Only
StyleBoutique
Day 7 - 8

You will be transferred from your hotel to Wellington pier in a private vehicle

Interislander PLUS Ferry from Wellington to Picton

You will be transferred from Picton pier to your hotel in a private vehicle

Blenheim

1 Night

Enjoy the quaint agricultural town of Blenheim, the gateway to the boutique wineries of the world-famous, wine-growing Marlborough region.

Included Activities

Personalized Fine Wine Tour in Marlborough by Luxury Sedan
Cruise through the wineries, breweries and distilleries of Marlborough by luxury sedan! Start off this personalized tour created around your favorite wineries with wine tastings from a range of wines and some delicious food. Enjoy the arts and crafts of the area, as well as the local attractions and spectacular highlights of the region that have put New Zealand on the international wine map. (Duration: 4-6 hrs; Time of Day: 1000 hrs; Private Activity; Please note that while lunch and beverages are not included, the luxury sedan vehicle, driver, winery visits and wine tastings are all included.)

Hotel Options
RoomGuest Room (Double room)
MealsRoom Only
StyleHeritage
RoomSuperior Room (Double room)
MealsRoom Only
StyleBoutique
Day 8 - 10

You will be transferred from your hotel to Blenheim train station in a private vehicle

Board the Coastal Pacific Train departing from Blenheim at 14:36 hrs and arriving in Kaikoura at 17:10 hrs.

You will be transferred from the Kaikoura train station to your hotel in a private vehicle

Kaikoura

2 Nights

Sitting on a dramatic peninsula, Kaikōura boasts a superb location between the snow capped Kaikōura mountain range and the Pacific Ocean. Get up close to whales, fur seals, and dolphins in the coastal waters, or enjoy birdwatching tours and sheep shearing shows.

Included Activities

Group Tour: Dolphins Spotting in Kaikoura
Set sail into the waters of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Kaikoura to watch dolphins in their natural habitat. These friendly mammals can be found in the coastal waters of Kaikoura all year round. Settle down in a comfortable spot on the boat that has been designed to ensure optimum viewing conditions. Watch the friendly dolphins indulge in acrobatics antics as they jump out of the water. Keep your camera ready to capture some stunning images of these beautiful marine animals in all their glory from vantage points on the boat. Listen to your tour guide explain how it is possible to interact with the amiable water creatures through a unique language that is a combination of singing and dolphin-like noises. (Time of Day: 0530/0830/1230 hrs (Nov 1-Jan 31), 0530/0900/1230 hrs (Mar 1–Apr 30), 0800/1230 hrs (May 1-Oct 31); Duration: 3.5 hrs; Shared Activity; Fitness Level: Easy. Please note that tours are dependent on weather conditions and times vary with season.)

Hotel Options
RoomDeluxe Studio (Double room)
MealsRoom Only
StyleGuest house
Lemon Tree Lodge – Opt 2
RoomGarden View Suite (Double room)
MealsRoom Only
StyleHomestay
Day 10 - 12

You will be transferred from your hotel to Kaikoura train station in a private vehicle

Board the Coastal Pacific Train departing from Kaikoura at 17:20 hrs and arriving in Christchurch at 20:30 hrs.

You will be transferred from the Christchurch train station to your hotel in a private vehicle

Christchurch

2 Nights

Christchurch is a vibrant city with a rich English heritage nestled on the eastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island, bordered by the Waimakariri River and the Pegasus Bay.

Included Activities

Group Tour of Christchurch City and Wine Trails
Begin your day exploring Christchurch, and witness the creative urban rebuilding where modern architecture and street art compliment its traditional English heritage. Learn about the historical settlements, and innovative developments such as Quake city and interactive installations that have spring up in the aftermath of its recent earthquakes. Visiting the world famous Christchurch Botanic Gardens, admire it’s exotic flora and fauna, while watching Edwardian punts gently glide on the meandering Avon river. Next, drive across the Kiwi countryside to the picturesque Waipara Valley, a gem of Northern Canterbury region, carpeted with acres of sundrenched vineyards. Hop between four of the dozens of boutique wineries here, set against a backdrop of Teviotdale Hills. Stepping into cellar doors, sample a fine selection of prized varietals paired with olives and homemade cheeses. Follow that with a platter winery lunch featuring local produce, and fresh seafood from the Kaikoura’s waters. Soak up the delightful surrounds over more wines before returning. (Time of Day: 1000 hrs; Duration: 6.5 hrs; Shared Activity; Fitness level: Easy)

Hotel Options
RoomGuest Room - RO (Double room)
MealsRoom Only
StyleInternational
Crowne Plaza – Opt 2
RoomDeluxe Room (Double room)
MealsRoom Only
StyleInternational
Day 12 - 13

Board the Tranz Alpine Train departing from Christchurch at 08:15 hrs and arriving in Greymouth at 13:05 hrs.

Make your own way to the Hotel

Greymouth

1 Night

The stretch of land comprising Greymouth, Punakaiki, and Westport, situated along the West Coast of South Island, is a treasure trove of natural resources.

Included Activities

Group Tour to Pancake Rocks
Discover the curious limestone rock formations near Greymouth! Travel up to Punakaiki with your guide, who will accompany you on a walk through 30 million year old rock stacks and limestone formations. Go on to hike through a lush rainforest, all the way to a secluded beach. Learn about the intricacies of the country’s ecology, flora and fauna, and spend some time searching for jade and other gemstones on the beach. You could take some time off to enjoy your scenic and serene surroundings before making your way back. (Time of Day: 1410 hrs, Duration: 4 hrs; Shared Activity).

Hotel Options
The Ashley Hotel – Opt 1
RoomSuperior Room (Double room)
MealsRoom Only
StyleBoutique
RoomBreakwater Suite (Double room)
MealsRoom Only
StyleBoutique
Day 13 - 15

Make your own way to the bus station

Board your bus from Greymouth to Fox Glacier (Duration: 3 hrs)

Fox Glacier

2 Nights

Set at the heart of glacier country, Fox Glacier is a charming town that nestles within the rainforests at the foothills of the spectacular Southern Alps.

Included Activities

Group Flight Over South Island
Discover the eccentricities and glacial icefalls of two iconic glaciers! Take off from Fox Glacier and witness the neve or firn – granular snow found on high mountains, and other interesting ice formations at Fox Glacier and Frank Josef Glacier. Make the most of the trip by keeping your cameras ready – landing on the snowfields is sure to evoke several moments of joy and great memories. (Shared Activity; Duration: 30 mins; Please note that the flight departs from Glacier Helicopters Office, Main Rd, Fox Glacier. Infants under 4 years who are under 15 kg can fly free of charge and are required to sit on an adult’s knee.)

Hotel Options
Heartland Hotel – Opt 1
RoomStandard Room (Double room)
MealsRoom Only
StyleGuest house
RoomRun of House (Double room)
MealsRoom Only
StyleGuest house
Day 15 - 18

Make your own way to the bus station

Board your bus from Fox Glacier to Queenstown (Duration: 4.5 hrs)

Queenstown

3 Nights

Queenstown is where adventure seekers head out to for a shot of adrenalin! The region’s dramatic landscape is wrapped around the scenic lakes, velvety mountains and valleys of the Southern Alps.

Included Activities

Personalized Milford Sound Discovery Tour
Discover the world-heritage Milford Sound, a fjord on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Carved by glaciers during the ice ages, Milford Sound was described by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘eighth wonder of the world.’ Travel from the southern end of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau, accompanied by a local guide. Enter the Fiordland National Park and continue on Milford Road through the Eglinton Valley. Stop to admire the Mirror lakes boardwalk, the Knobs Flat and Monkey Creek along the way. The last leg of the journey is the Homer Tunnel, where you can see The Chasm, a 22m deep ravine carved by the Cleddau River. Embark on a scenic cruise once you reach Milford Sound, and marvel at the sheer cliffs rising from inky black waters, the cascading waterfalls and the mist-covered mountains. Afterward, enjoy a picnic lunch on board before you make your way back to Queenstown. (Duration: full day; Private activity & transfers included; Private guide, entrance fees, picnic lunch & refreshments included; Fitness level: easy; Please note that cruise options may vary between a nature cruise or scenic cruise. Private Discovery Tours will be using Cruise Milford wherever possible with a maximum capacity of 85 pax and reserved seating available for them on the upper enclosed deck.)

Group Sky Gondola Ride with Dinner & Stargazing
Enjoy a magical evening with a sky gondola ride and an authentic taste of New Zealand at the Skyline Gondola Complex atop Bob’s Peak, followed by a stargazing tour. To reach the complex, take an exciting sky gondola ride from the Skyline Gondola Terminal and soar over the dramatic natural landscape and beautiful cityscape of Queenstown. Sit back and enjoy the panoramic sights of the picturesque Lake Wakatipu, the Coronet Peak and the velvety cliffs of The Remarkables mountain range unfold before you. After your fun-filled ride, drop in at the Skyline Restaurant that affords a bird’s eye view of Queenstown below. After a delicious dinner of hearty New Zealand food and wine, enjoy an interpretation of the starry southern skies above you. Learn to identify popular constellations and nebulous galaxies with powerful telescopes. End your day on a sweet note, with a perfect cup of hot chocolate at the Skyline Bar overlooking Queenstown. (Time of day: Evening; Shared Activity; Fitness level: Easy; Please note dinner sittings available from 4.30pm–8:45 pm; allow for 15-min gondola ride before booking time; carry warm clothes & comfortable walking shoes).

Hotel Options
RoomSuperior Lake View Room - RO (Double room)
MealsRoom Only
StyleInternational

You will be transferred from your hotel to Queenstown airport in a private vehicle

International Departure

 Price & Inclusions

  • Option 1 From $ 8,090 /person
  • Option 2 From $ 8,790 /person

Prices are in USD and exclude international flights. This trip price is based on low season rates for accommodation and other applicable services, and may change depending on availability, currency fluctuations and number of people traveling together. For high season prices, please contact us with your exact travel dates and preferences.

Price Includes

  • Accommodation and meals, as specified in the itinerary
  • Activities and excursions, as specified in the itinerary
  • Transportation services, as specified in the itinerary
  • Your Trip Coordinator: a 24/7 point of contact supporting you during your trip
  • Carbon emissions offsetting for your trip

Not Included

  • Entrance fees and meals, unless mentioned in the itinerary description
  • Tips and personal expenses
  • Visa and tourism fees
  • Travel, health, and cancellation insurance
  • International airfare
Inquire Now
Explore New Zealand by Bus & Train

18 days $ 8,090 / person