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6 Day Trains Fiords and Glaciers - Independent Coach

Days
6

Pricing From
$1942

South Island
Book Now

Overview

6 Day Trains Fiords and Glaciers New Zealand Independent Coach Tour MapThe name says it all, an absolutely magical experience including the very best Rail Tours New Zealand South Island including the Taieri Gorge Railway and the TranzAlpine Train Journey. You travel independently using scheduled coach and rail services.

Flexible Itineraries

Our New Zealand Independent coach tours can be adapted or extended according to your requirements. So if you want to stay longer at any place on the itinerary, let us know, ALL itineraries can be amended.

If you do not find a Tour that suits you, just ask us to provide you with a personalised coach touring holiday.

Accommodation

4 Star Hotels
We have a wide range of 4 star hotel properties. Most hotels in this category generally have swimming pools, fitness gyms, a choice of restaurants, and are usually a little closer to town centres or occupy premium locations. Room types may include standard, deluxe, superior, mountain view, lake view, suites, etc. Many also include 2 and 3 bedroom suites which can offer great value for larger groups.

3 Star Hotels
All our 3 star hotels have restaurant facilities. Meals can be included in your package, if required. Please note that smaller destinations such as Coromandel, Kaikoura, Akaroa, etc. hotels don't usually feature this as an accommodation option.

Motels
Motel accommodations are self-contained facilities. At minimum, a studio unit includes cooking utensils, a hot plate and/or a microwave, toaster, kettle, and crockery and cutlery. Others will include a full kitchen and can include saunas, spas, and swimming pools and sometimes a full breakfast service. Room types include stuido, 2-bedroom, or family units. Our motels are of a very high standard and are generally owned and operated by locals who would love to share their genuine interest in their region with you.

Evans Crossing near Timaru

Evans Crossing near Timaru

Yellow Eyed Penguin Dunedin

Yellow Eyed Penguin on the Otago Peninsula, Dunedin

Dunedin Railway Station

Historic Dunedin Railway Station

Taieri Gorge Railway Dunedin

Taieri Gorge Railway from Dunedin to Middlemarch

Red Boats Cruise on Milford Sound

Red Boats Cruise on Milford Sound

View of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu from the Skyline Gondola

View of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu from the Skyline Gondola

Funyak Safari at Queenstown

Funyak Safari at Queenstown

Dart River Jetboat Safari Queenstown

Dart River Jetboat Safari, Queenstown

White Water Rafting Queenstown

White Water Rafting, Queenstown

TSS Earnslaw Cruise Queenstown

TSS Earnslaw Cruise on Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown

Lake Wakatipu Queenstown

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown at dusk

Hari Hari on the West Coast of New Zealand

Hari Hari on the West Coast of New Zealand

Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier

Tranz Alpine Express from Greymouth to Christchurch

Tranz Alpine Express from Greymouth to Christchurch

Hagley Park Christchurch

Spring in Hagley Park, Christchurch

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Christchurch - Dunedin

You will need to stay at least for a night in Christchurch before this tour.

Crossing the vast Canterbury Plains as you head South, State Highway 1 crosses many braided rivers that start their life as glacial melt water high in the Southern Alps. New Zealand's longest bridge at Rakaia crosses such an example. Pass through the towns of Timaru followed by Oamaru, most famous for its buildings constructed with the unique locally quarried white stone. Continue along te coast and into the city of Dunedin,

Dunedin coach stop to accommodation transfer
On arrival into Dunedin you will be met from your coach and transferred to your accommodation.

Stay 1 night Dunedin

Day 2Dunedin - Taieri Gorge Railway - Queenstown

You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to the train station in time for your departure.

Taieri Gorge Train and Private Transfer to Queenstown
This morning transfer to the railway station to board the historic Taieri Gorge train. Steeped in early settler history this journey features spectacular changing scenery with magnificent pioneer stone work and engineering along the railway. A combination of modern carriages with panoramic views and immaculately restored traditional versions make this a truly memorable train ride. Depending on the day the train will either finish at Pukerangi or Middlemarch.

From there you’ll transfer to your private transfer vehicle and continue to Queenstown through the rugged rock landscape of Central Otago. During Winter months the Taieri Gorge Train Departs at a later time and travels through to Pukerangi, instead of Middlemarch.
Stay 3 nights Queenstown

Day 3Queenstown - Milford Sound - Queenstown

Take an unforgettable journey into the heart of Milford Sound, New Zealand's most famous tourist destination. You'll experience the world-famous fiord in all its natural glory – surrounded by dense rainforest, glacier-carved valleys and beautiful waterfalls.

Leaving Queenstown, travel in comfort through rugged mountain terrain past Te Anau, a quiet town on the shores of the largest lake in the South Island. Your glass-roof coach will provide amazing views of the skyline. Journey through the Southern Alps and along the picturesque Eglinton Valley, a place of ancient alpine forest and gushing waterfalls and one of only a few road-accessible glacier valleys in New Zealand. Take advantage of the photo opportunities on offer along the Milford Road, like the stunning Mirror Lakes, where on a calm day the surrounding mountain ranges are perfectly reflected in the still waters, and Knobs Flat, where glaciers have carved their mark on the terrain. Travel through the Homer Tunnel, a 1.2km passageway drilled into solid rock, then experience The Chasm, a short but impressive walk over footbridges spanning a series of powerful, swirling waterfalls and rapids.

At Milford Sound, board your 1 3/4 hour Southern Discoveries Scenic Cruise and set off to explore the region that Rudyard Kipling called the Eighth Wonder of the World. Travel the length of the fiord and out to the Tasman Sea, gliding past glacier-scarred rock walls and waterfalls that tumble through valleys and crash into the sea far below. Lush native forest clings to steep cliffs, while seals, penguins and dolphins are regular visitors to the icy waters. At the pinnacle of the sound, Mitre Peak rises dramatically from the depths to a height of 1,692 metres above sea level. Along the way your captain will provide lively and informative commentary. Your cruise will take place on a modern, purpose-built catamaran with large viewing windows, outdoor decks, panoramic views and warm indoor seating. 

After your cruise, return to Queenstown by coach.

Day 4At Queenstown

Today is free for you to enjoy this fabulous alpine resort - we have included the Skyline Gondola in your tour.

Day 5Queenstown - Fox Glacier

The West Coast encapsulates five National Parks, covering an array of scenic highlights including New Zealand's highest mountain, longest caves and famously it's lowest and most accessible glaciers. Step aboard your tour coach and begin your journey with breathtaking scenery of high mountain peaks and the stunning blue lakes of Dunstan, Wanaka and Hawea. You continue through to Haast Pass - the southernmost pass between the East and West coasts of the South Island. Arriving on the West Coast you enter an awe-inspiring landscape of vast rainforests, crystal clear waterfalls and rugged mountain tops. Winding your way through the spectacular rugged West Coast your journey concludes on arrival into the small village of Fox Glacier.

Fox Glacier Valley Shuttle
Your shuttle vehicle will transfer you south from Fox Glacier Township to the Fox Glacier carpark. The drive along the access road takes you through regenerating forest and over a small ford before entering the valley proper. From the carpark follow the trail that leads over the glacial moraines to the glacier valley barrier. From here you’ll enjoy fantastic views of the Fox Glacier terminus with the Fox River flowing from under the ice wall of the glacier face. The Fox Glacier is the largest and longest of the West Coast glaciers and as unusual in that it ends a mere 250 metres above sea level and just 12km from the coastline.

Stay 1 night Fox Glacier

Day 6Fox Glacier - TranzAlpine Train - Christchurch

Fox Glacier to Greymouth Train Station
This morning travel northwards through the small townships of Whataroa and Harihari.A stop at the Bushman’s Centre for a 20-minute refreshment stop where you can purchase morning tea here if required. We pass through the township of Ross, which in the late 1800s was the centre of one of New Zealand's richest alluvial goldfields. In 1903 the largest gold nugget ever found in New Zealand was discovered at Jones Creek, not far from the town centre. It weighed 2807 grams. The New Zealand Government later purchased the nugget and presented it as a coronation gift to King George V. On arrival at Hokitika at there is a further 35-minute break in your journey. This allows time to purchase lunch, walk around the town centre, to view the greenstone factories, visit the woodworking studio, or relax and have a refreshment stop. Hokitika is the administrative and commercial centre for this part of Westland. The major primary industry is timber milling. Dairy and sheep farming, commercial fishing, white baiting and eel processing being the other major industries. At approximately 1:15pm you arrive into Greymouth. The coach will take you to the Railway Station where you need to report for your train journey on the world famous Tranz Alpine Express.

Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch
Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the Tranz Alpine scenic train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You'll travel across the South Island through the Arthur's Pass National Park from the west coast to the east.

From the comfort of your carriage see lush beech forest, deep river valleys and the spectacular peaks of the Southern Alps. Descend to the windswept Canterbury Plains before arriving in the city of Christchurch.

You will need to stay at least for a night in Christchurch after this tour.

Cost per person (Twin Share)

  • Motel (Self Catering): from NZ$1,942 
  • 3-Star Accommodation: from NZ$2,054

Prices quoted are per person and are room only. Prices do not include meals.  

Twin share price is based on 2 people traveling together and sharing one room. Single room and triple share prices are available on request.

* Please Note*

Prices are estimates only, and are subject to availability and exchange rates when booking, seasonal or holiday price surcharges (such as Christmas/New Year and Easter); as well as special events that may be on. Please forward a request and we will be happy to forward a quote.

Payment

  • Deposit: 20% of the package cost or $250 per person (whichever is the greater) at time of booking
  • Full Payment: 60 Days before travel
  • Airfares (if applicable): Paid in full no more than 6 days after booking

Cancellation Charges

  • Cancellation Fees up to 100% can apply after booking. Extra deposits or full payment may be requested to cover these charges prior to booking

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Christchurch - Dunedin

You will need to stay at least for a night in Christchurch before this tour.

Crossing the vast Canterbury Plains as you head South, State Highway 1 crosses many braided rivers that start their life as glacial melt water high in the Southern Alps. New Zealand's longest bridge at Rakaia crosses such an example. Pass through the towns of Timaru followed by Oamaru, most famous for its buildings constructed with the unique locally quarried white stone. Continue along te coast and into the city of Dunedin,

Dunedin coach stop to accommodation transfer
On arrival into Dunedin you will be met from your coach and transferred to your accommodation.

Stay 1 night Dunedin

Day 2Dunedin - Taieri Gorge Railway - Queenstown

You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to the train station in time for your departure.

Taieri Gorge Train and Private Transfer to Queenstown
This morning transfer to the railway station to board the historic Taieri Gorge train. Steeped in early settler history this journey features spectacular changing scenery with magnificent pioneer stone work and engineering along the railway. A combination of modern carriages with panoramic views and immaculately restored traditional versions make this a truly memorable train ride. Depending on the day the train will either finish at Pukerangi or Middlemarch.

From there you’ll transfer to your private transfer vehicle and continue to Queenstown through the rugged rock landscape of Central Otago. During Winter months the Taieri Gorge Train Departs at a later time and travels through to Pukerangi, instead of Middlemarch.
Stay 3 nights Queenstown

Day 3Queenstown - Milford Sound - Queenstown

Take an unforgettable journey into the heart of Milford Sound, New Zealand's most famous tourist destination. You'll experience the world-famous fiord in all its natural glory – surrounded by dense rainforest, glacier-carved valleys and beautiful waterfalls.

Leaving Queenstown, travel in comfort through rugged mountain terrain past Te Anau, a quiet town on the shores of the largest lake in the South Island. Your glass-roof coach will provide amazing views of the skyline. Journey through the Southern Alps and along the picturesque Eglinton Valley, a place of ancient alpine forest and gushing waterfalls and one of only a few road-accessible glacier valleys in New Zealand. Take advantage of the photo opportunities on offer along the Milford Road, like the stunning Mirror Lakes, where on a calm day the surrounding mountain ranges are perfectly reflected in the still waters, and Knobs Flat, where glaciers have carved their mark on the terrain. Travel through the Homer Tunnel, a 1.2km passageway drilled into solid rock, then experience The Chasm, a short but impressive walk over footbridges spanning a series of powerful, swirling waterfalls and rapids.

At Milford Sound, board your 1 3/4 hour Southern Discoveries Scenic Cruise and set off to explore the region that Rudyard Kipling called the Eighth Wonder of the World. Travel the length of the fiord and out to the Tasman Sea, gliding past glacier-scarred rock walls and waterfalls that tumble through valleys and crash into the sea far below. Lush native forest clings to steep cliffs, while seals, penguins and dolphins are regular visitors to the icy waters. At the pinnacle of the sound, Mitre Peak rises dramatically from the depths to a height of 1,692 metres above sea level. Along the way your captain will provide lively and informative commentary. Your cruise will take place on a modern, purpose-built catamaran with large viewing windows, outdoor decks, panoramic views and warm indoor seating. 

After your cruise, return to Queenstown by coach.

Day 4At Queenstown

Today is free for you to enjoy this fabulous alpine resort - we have included the Skyline Gondola in your tour.

Day 5Queenstown - Fox Glacier

The West Coast encapsulates five National Parks, covering an array of scenic highlights including New Zealand's highest mountain, longest caves and famously it's lowest and most accessible glaciers. Step aboard your tour coach and begin your journey with breathtaking scenery of high mountain peaks and the stunning blue lakes of Dunstan, Wanaka and Hawea. You continue through to Haast Pass - the southernmost pass between the East and West coasts of the South Island. Arriving on the West Coast you enter an awe-inspiring landscape of vast rainforests, crystal clear waterfalls and rugged mountain tops. Winding your way through the spectacular rugged West Coast your journey concludes on arrival into the small village of Fox Glacier.

Fox Glacier Valley Shuttle
Your shuttle vehicle will transfer you south from Fox Glacier Township to the Fox Glacier carpark. The drive along the access road takes you through regenerating forest and over a small ford before entering the valley proper. From the carpark follow the trail that leads over the glacial moraines to the glacier valley barrier. From here you’ll enjoy fantastic views of the Fox Glacier terminus with the Fox River flowing from under the ice wall of the glacier face. The Fox Glacier is the largest and longest of the West Coast glaciers and as unusual in that it ends a mere 250 metres above sea level and just 12km from the coastline.

Stay 1 night Fox Glacier

Day 6Fox Glacier - TranzAlpine Train - Christchurch

Fox Glacier to Greymouth Train Station
This morning travel northwards through the small townships of Whataroa and Harihari.A stop at the Bushman’s Centre for a 20-minute refreshment stop where you can purchase morning tea here if required. We pass through the township of Ross, which in the late 1800s was the centre of one of New Zealand's richest alluvial goldfields. In 1903 the largest gold nugget ever found in New Zealand was discovered at Jones Creek, not far from the town centre. It weighed 2807 grams. The New Zealand Government later purchased the nugget and presented it as a coronation gift to King George V. On arrival at Hokitika at there is a further 35-minute break in your journey. This allows time to purchase lunch, walk around the town centre, to view the greenstone factories, visit the woodworking studio, or relax and have a refreshment stop. Hokitika is the administrative and commercial centre for this part of Westland. The major primary industry is timber milling. Dairy and sheep farming, commercial fishing, white baiting and eel processing being the other major industries. At approximately 1:15pm you arrive into Greymouth. The coach will take you to the Railway Station where you need to report for your train journey on the world famous Tranz Alpine Express.

Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch
Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the Tranz Alpine scenic train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You'll travel across the South Island through the Arthur's Pass National Park from the west coast to the east.

From the comfort of your carriage see lush beech forest, deep river valleys and the spectacular peaks of the Southern Alps. Descend to the windswept Canterbury Plains before arriving in the city of Christchurch.

You will need to stay at least for a night in Christchurch after this tour.

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