New Zealand Railway Adventure

From $6,100 per person

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Monday 28 March – Friday 08 April 2022 (12 Days)

New Zealand offers many superb train journeys, several of which we will include on this rail adventure. Traverse through the central North Island onboard the Northern Explorer; journey on the world-renowned TranzAlpine from Christchurch through the majestic Southern Alps to Arthurs Pass. We also make stops at small private railways, perfect for all train enthusiasts.

 

Day 1          Monday 28 March 2022
JOURNEY TO WELLINGTON          (D)
Our railway adventure commences today as we depart Hamilton (or Auckland at extra cost) on the Northern Explorer train for a full day scenic rail journey through the heart of the North Island to Wellington.  Enroute we pass through picturesque farming country and forests.  A highlight will be the climb up the famous Raurimu Spiral, which was a masterpiece of 19th century railway engineering.  See rural towns and villages, the volcanoes of Tongariro National Park and the sea views as we travel down the Kapiti Coast into Wellington.  On arrival in Wellington, we’ll be met by our touring coach and driver and will be transferred to our accommodation. Tonight, we’ll enjoy a group dinner at the hotel.
Accommodation:  James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel, Wellington – 2 nights

Day 2          Tuesday 29 March 2022      
WELLINGTON          (BD)
Today we journey by rail on the local Wairarapa line to the town of Featherston – passing through the 8.8-km long Rimutaka Tunnel. Here we’ll pay a visit to the fascinating Fell Locomotive Museum and discover an abundance of rail history and technology including the H199, the only locomotive of its type in the world. Following this, we travel by coach a short way to Upper Hutt, where we’ll visit the eclectic collection of the Silver Stream Railway and enjoy a ride on a diesel electric hauled goods train and an ex Public Works Department steam train (Barclay 1749) before travelling back to Wellington by coach, arriving in the late afternoon.  Dine this evening at our hotel.

Day 3          Wednesday 30 March 2022
WELLINGTON — BLENHEIM          (BD)
This morning board the Interislander for a journey described as, “one of the most spectacular ferry rides in the world”. Journey across the Cook Strait to Picton, then on arrival we reboard our coach for a short drive to Blenheim. After stopping for lunch in Blenheim (own cost) we board the little narrow-gauge Riverside Railway from Brayshaw to Omaka. The railway traverses along the picturesque Taylor River and meanders its way through the middle of Blenheim, providing an insight to the changing landscapes. On arrival at Omaka we visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre home to a collection of military aircraft from both World Wars, displayed in brilliantly realistic dioramas created by the magic of Weta Workshop and WingNut Films, including Sir Peter Jackson’s own WW1 aircraft and artefact collection. Dinner tonight is included at our hotel.
Accommodation:  Scenic Hotel Marlborough, Blenheim

Day 4           Thursday 31 March 2022    
BLENHEIM CHRISTCHURCH          (BD)
After breakfast this morning we depart Blenheim and travel down State Highway 1 through to Christchurch.  Our first stop of the day will be in Kaikoura. Take some time in the town to purchase lunch and explore before we continue the journey south.  Next we stop at Waikari to embark on an exclusive private charter of a vintage railcar on the historic Weka Pass Railway.  Travel on the 12.8-kilometre scenic line through stunning limestone formations, down the escarpment to the Canterbury Plain. This round trip is an hour in total, and it showcases the exceptional beauty of the Waikari and Waipara areas. Following this we continue onto Christchurch. Dinner tonight is at the hotel’s restaurant.
Accommodation: Quality Hotel Elms, Christchurch – 2 nights

Day 5              Friday 01 April 2022
CHRISTCHURCH          (B)
Hit by devastating earthquakes in 2011 and 2012, Christchurch lost many of its heritage buildings and churches. However, it is being rebuilt and the city is as vibrant as ever, with its open-air markets and the innovative Cardboard Cathedral.  Start the day with a half-day city tour with our first stop being the Ferrymead Heritage Park, an early 1900s (Edwardian) township complete with its own school, church, jail, railway station and more.  Next, visit the Air Force Museum of New Zealand, the national museum for the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) and New Zealand military aviation.  Set on the site of a former air base at Wigram, this is home to a collection of aircraft telling the story of military aviation in New Zealand.  More than just planes, it also tells the story of the people who crewed and serviced them. From pre-World War I, through the formation of the RNZAF in the 1930s, and then World War II to the present day, the mostly original aircraft are supported by displays and other artefacts that bring the airman's experience to life.  While here we enjoy a fully-guided ‘Behind the Scenes’ tour delving into the Collections area. Dinner tonight is at your leisure.

Day 6          Saturday 02 April 2022 
CHRISTCHURCH FOX GLACIER          (BD)
Today we have a full day of railway highlights and changing landscapes. An early start this morning as we board the TranzAlpine train to Arthurs Pass, a scenic rail journey across the fertile Canterbury Plains and into the heart of the mighty Southern Alps.  Travel across towering viaducts, through spectacular gorges and river valleys and into the lush forest of Arthurs Pass National Park. Our coach will meet us in Arthurs Pass then we descend to the West Coast and make our way to the popular heritage park, Shantytown.  Here, there will be time to enjoy lunch and explore the living museum. Take a ride on the vintage train and experience gold panning in the alluvial streams that flow through the area.  Travel by coach along the scenic West Coast to arrive in Fox Glacier in the early evening. Dinner tonight will be at our hotel.
Accommodation: Heartland Hotel, Fox Glacier

Day 7          Sunday 03 April 2022
FOX GLACIER QUEENSTOWN          (BD)
Our journey today is full of ever-changing spectacular coastal, rainforest, and alpine scenery.  The road along the West Coast features native rainforest, wetlands, bush-fringed lakes, sand dunes and surf-pounded shingle beaches.  At Haast head inland over the Haast Pass, the lowest of the South Island mountain passes crossing the Southern Alps.  Once over the Pass the scenery changes dramatically as the road descends past the waters of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea and into Central Otago.  Continue past stone fruit orchards and through the rock hewn Kawarau Gorge to Queenstown stopping enroute at the historic gold-mining town of Arrowtown.  Dinner is included at our hotel restaurant this evening.
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Lakefront, Queenstown – 2 nights

Day 8          Monday 04 April 2022
QUEENSTOWN          (BD)
Today is at leisure.  Queenstown has a plethora of optional sightseeing activities available from jet-boating on the thrilling Shotover Jet; a jet-boat excursion along the scenic and remote Dart River; winery tours to the premier Central Otago wineries; 4WD tours into unforgettable Skippers Canyon; scenic flights or if you dare – bungy jumping or tandem sky-diving!  Extra cost for optional sightseeing excursions.
We group this evening for an unforgettable steamship cruise. Steeped in Queenstown’s pioneering history, our experience commences with a cruise across Lake Wakatipu in the 1912 vintage steamship, the TSS Earnslaw.  Disembark at Walter Peak High Country Farm, one of the first farms set up in the region and still a working farm.  In the ambience of the Colonel’s Homestead, enjoy a delicious gourmet BBQ dinner which the chef will prepare in front of you.  After dinner enjoy an entertaining brief farm experience including a sheep shearing demonstration.  On the magical night-time cruise home, enjoy the camaraderie of a sing-a-long with the ship’s pianist or breathe in the fresh night air on the moonlit decks as you watch the lights of Queenstown draw nearer.

Day 9          Tuesday 05 April 2022
QUEENSTOWN DUNEDIN          (BD)
We farewell Queenstown and travel to Dunedin, stopping on the way at Hayes Engineering Works and Homestead, the legacy of English immigrants Ernest and Hannah Hayes, who settled in Central Otago after their arrival in 1882. Explore the historic homestead and workshop and enjoy lunch (own cost) at leisure in the little café. We then continue on our journey via coach to Dunedin. Founded in 1848 by Scottish settlers Dunedin was envisaged as the "Edinburgh of the South".  The influence of its Scottish heritage is still strongly evident. It is a city of gracious dignity and charm, characterised by the permanence of many handsome stone buildings and historical monuments. Dinner tonight will be at our hotel.
Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Dunedin – 2 nights

Day 10          Wednesday 06 April 2022 
DUNEDIN          (B)
Depart the hotel for a tour of the city with highlights including the views of the harbour from the hill suburbs and the University of Otago with its historic blue stone buildings on the banks of the Leith River.  Travel through the CBD along George and Princes Streets and through the Octagon which features the historic Town Hall and St Pauls Anglican Cathedral and a statue of the Scottish poet Robbie Burns. Also included is a visit to the fascinating Toitū Otago Settlers Museum, which highlights the culture, history, character, technology and art of the Otago province. The museum is also home to the steam locomotive Josephine. Josephine began her career on the Dunedin-Port Chalmers Railway – one of two Double Fairlie locomotives brought from England to operate the railway in 1872. She went on to work at various other locations throughout the country, before being sent to the scrap yard 45-years later. She avoided the scrap heap however and, since the latter half of the 1920s, has been on display at the Museum. One of only a handful of surviving Double Fairlies left in the world, Josephine is a much-loved icon of the Museum. Wander the exhibits and enjoy lunch (own cost) in the museum’s café in your own time.  The remainder of the afternoon and evening are free for you to enjoy. Perhaps stroll around to Speight’s Brewery (producing ale since 1876) for a brewery tour (extra cost).

Day 11          Thursday 07 April 2022
DUNEDIN CHRISTCHURCH          (BD)
On the last day of our adventure we journey back to Christchurch by coach. On the way stop at Oamaru, a gorgeous harbour town famous for some of New Zealand’s best 19th century architecture.  Here, enjoy lunch in your own time (own cost) perhaps in the Victorian precinct of Oamaru.  The next stop is the Pleasant Point Railway, to enjoy an exclusively chartered ride on their impressive little steam train.  From here we travel to Christchurch. Dinner tonight will be at the hotel.
Accommodation: Quality Hotel Elms, Christchurch

Day 12          Friday 08 April 2022
DEPART CHRISTCHURCH          (B)
Today we transfer from our hotel to Christchurch to Christchurch Airport to connect with our flight to Auckland.

James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington

The James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel is located in the heart of Wellington's commercial and retail districts. With hotel facilities including a spa style boutique, in-house gym, two restaurants and bars and more. All 268 well-appointed guest rooms and suites offer guests luxury accommodation in the middle of the city centre and close to all the attractions the area has to offer.

Scenic Hotel Marlborough

Scenic Hotel Marlborough is a contemporary and stylish property located in the heart of sunny Marlborough. The result of a multi-million dollar upgrade of the former Heartland Hotel Marlborough, Scenic Hotel Marlborough offers guests the ultimate in modern comfort and service. Located in the heart of Marlborough, the hotel is just minutes' walk from the centre of Blenheim. Guests will enjoy the plush modern and well presented spacious accommodation rooms along with quality room amenities. The Hotel facilities include a swimming pool, sauna, spa, ample parking, wireless Internet and quality, relaxed dining and socialising in the licensed Seymours Restaurant and Bar.

Quality Hotel Elms

The Quality Hotel Elms is situated in a quiet suburban area yet accessible to many of the attractions and activities the area has to offer, surrounded by award-winning gardens and is ideally situated midway between the airport and central city. All 97 guest rooms are well appointed and equipped with all the amenities a guest could need, offering luxurious accommodation in an ideal location for those wanting to explore the area.

Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier

Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier sits in the heart of the old gold rush township of Fox Glacier village, close to many of the attractions and activities this adventurer's paradise has to offer. All 51 guest rooms offer a comfortable and relaxing stay after a long day exploring the area with all the in-room amenities a guest could need.

Copthorne Hotel & Resort Lakefront

The Hotel blends superior facilities and comfort with friendly personal service. The property offers a relaxing atmosphere combined with stunning panoramic lake and mountain views, situated within a tranquil garden setting. With 240 guest rooms, including six suites and over 80 rooms that have views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkable mountain range. The hotel is within walking distance of Queenstown central shopping and entertainment area.

Distinction Dunedin

Distinction Dunedin Hotel is located in the heart of the city, formerly Chief Post Office built in 1937 this hotel combines the historic charm with modern amenities and finishings to create a unique stay for guests whilst being close to many of the attractions and activities the area has to offer. All 121 elegant guest suites and studios are spacious and modern with all of the facilities and furnishings a guest could need.

Tour Inclusions

  • Door to door home collection & drop off service available from select areas - refer to flyer for further information
  • 11 nights accommodation with private en suite
  • Christchurch to Auckland flight with Air New Zealand - other ports on application/price on application
  • Touring in modern air conditioned tour coach
  • 11 breakfasts and 9 dinners included
  • Northern Explorer train from Auckland or Hamilton to Wellington
  • Admission to Fell Locomotive Museum
  • Admission to Silver Stream Railway
  • Local train rides in Wellington
  • Interislander sailing from Wellington to Picton
  • Admission to Omaka Aviaition Heritage Centre
  • Private charter on the Weka Pass Railway
  • Admission to Ferrymead Heritage Park
  • Guided tour of Airforce Museum of New Zealand
  • Tranz Alpine Train from Christchurch to Arthurs Pass
  • Admission to Shantytown Heritage Park
  • Lake cruise on TSS Earnslaw including BBQ at Walter Peak Station
  • Admission to Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
  • Private charter on the Pleasant Point Railway

Tour Payments Per Person ($NZD)

Club Member Guaranteed Share Twin Cost:$6,040.00
Non Member Share Twin Cost:$6,100.00
Single Supplement:$1,150.00
Non-refundable deposit due at time of booking$200.00

Full balance of tour payment due by Monday 28 February 2022

Book and pay in full by Monday 29 November 2021 and receive a $150 discount per person!

 

Are door to door collections included on this tour? YES

Yes. Leisure Time Tours offers a free home collection and drop off service from selected Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua and most Auckland City areas. Our complimentary collections are based on your individual post code, other home collection locations available at an additional cost. Alternatively you may wish to meet us at our Hamilton depot in which case you can park your car in our secure yard free of charge for the duration of your holiday. For all tours that have a flight component, we can also offer door to door collections from Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin city areas.

Please refer to our Home Collection flyer for further information about this service.

Is the Guaranteed twin Share Price available on this tour? YES

Yes. Our Guaranteed Twin Share price is available for those passengers willing to share with another single traveller of the same gender. If there isn’t another passenger of the same gender to share with we GUARANTEE our twin share price. Leisure Times Tours accepts no responsibility for the compatibility of passengers travelling under this arrangement. If someone is not compatible with the person they have been matched up with, all additional costs incurred to assist with changing their shared room type to two single rooms will be at the expense of both travellers and will be subject to availability. Acceptance of a guaranteed twin share room is subject to the individual’s medical condition being suitable for this type of arrangement.

Please note that the guaranteed twin share pricing is not available to pre & post tour accommodation arrangements.

What fitness level is required for this tour? EASY LEVEL

To ensure that you select the right tour for you, we’ve developed a very clear set of fitness recommendations for our tours. These physical ratings clearly explain how much physical exertion is required to participate on each tour.

Level 1 – Easy

  • Relaxed paced tour
  • Be able to participate in guided or unguided small walking tours at a relaxed pace.
  • Walk on mostly level ground
  • Tackle an occasional flight of stairs
  • Occasionally need to stand for up to 10 minutes
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided

Level 2 – Moderate

  • Be able to participate in walking tours with time to rest at least every 10 minutes
  • Stand for 15 minutes without needing to sit down
  • Tackle a flight of stairs or incline
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided
  • Walk confidently on bush tracks

 Level 3 – Active

  • Participate in walking tours without having to rest for up to 20 minutes
  • Walk up an incline equal to a flight of stairs without stopping
  • Stand for 30 minutes without needing to sit down
  • Walk over uneven ground and walk through soft sand
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided
Is this tour a guaranteed departure? NO

This tour will be guaranteed once there are 10 passengers booked on the tour.

Can you assist with pre & post tour accommodation? YES

Yes we can. Should you wish to arrive earlier or stay longer we can book in some pre and post tour accommodation for you. Please ask at the time of booking if you require this.

Will there be a daily seat rotation on this tour? YES

Passengers rotate seats in the coach daily so that all passengers have the opportunity to enjoy forward and window seating. All passengers are expected to participate as a booking condition.

Are roadside morning teas included on this tour? YES

Yes. A point of difference is that wherever possible we offer our passengers roadside refreshments served from the coach. This gives all passengers the chance to mix and mingle over a hot cuppa allowing us to share our experiences as we journey together.

Do I need travel insurance?

Leisure Time Tours strongly advises all passengers to purchase a travel insurance policy. A comprehensive travel insurance policy may prevent you from spending extra money in case of an emergency and will help you feel protected during your holiday. We are agents for Cover More Travel Insurance. Ask us for a no obligation insurance quote today.

How much luggage can I bring?

Luggage is restricted to one suitcase and one small item of hand luggage per person. Baggage handling of one suitcase per person, at each hotel, is included in the trip price. Carry-on/hand luggage handling is the responsibility of each guest and all personal items must be taken off the coach by you each day of the trip.

What clothing should I pack?

When on tour, dress is generally relaxed and casual with an informal dress standard on most occasions. Casual wear is recommended for travelling with something a little more formal for evening dining. If taking part in outdoor activities, make sure you have a waterproof coat, comfortable footwear and dress in layers to help you adjust to any sudden changes in climate. Be prepared for New Zealand’s powerful sun, even on cold windy days, bringing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

Terms & Conditions….
Valid from 1 October 2021

Acceptance of Terms and Conditions
If you book a Packaged Tour with us and pay your deposit, you are deemed to have accepted these terms.  If you booked your Packaged Tour with us through an agent, the agent is deemed to have accepted these terms on your behalf.  We may ask you to sign a copy of these terms when you join your Packaged Tour to provide a record of your acceptance of these terms and you agree to sign these terms on our request.

Itineraries
The itinerary for your Packaged Tour was correct at the time of printing, but it is subject to change without notice.  Your itinerary could change due to road or weather conditions, changes imposed by other tour operators or a range of other factors outside our control.  You agree that we have no liability to you for changes to your itinerary.

Price Amendments
Prices were correct at the time and date of printing, however Leisure Time Travel reserves the right to amend the price subject to any changes in price imposed by other tour operators and carriers included in the itinerary or major fluctuation in the exchange rates, or increases in government or other levies. The final tour cost will be guaranteed not to change once the full and final payment has been received. Tour Price excludes drinks, telephone calls, travel insurance and items of a personal nature. Leisure Time Travel also reserves the right to cancel the tour due to low numbers and in this instance a full refund will be provided.

*Guaranteed Twin Share Prices
Our Guaranteed Twin Share price is available for those passengers willing to share with another single traveller of the same gender. If there isn’t another passenger of the same gender to share with we GUARANTEE our twin share price. Leisure Times Tours accepts no responsibility for the compatibility of passengers travelling under this arrangement. If someone is not compatible with the person they have been matched up with, all additional costs incurred to assist with changing their shared room type to two single rooms will be at the expense of both travellers and will be subject to availability. Acceptance of a guaranteed twin share room is subject to the individual’s medical condition being suitable for this type of arrangement.

Health and Fitness
Passengers should be in good health and able to walk moderate distances to fully participate and experience the sightseeing opportunities within the enclosed itinerary.  All passengers are required to acknowledge that they are of reasonable health and are considered to be fit to travel and are not travelling contrary to any medical advice.  By acknowledging their health and fitness to participate passengers are indemnifying us from all actions, claims and demands arising out of any lack of health and fitness.  We reserve the right to remove a passenger from a tour if their health or fitness interferes with any other passenger’s experiences or the day to day running of the tour.  In this instance our normal cancellation terms and conditions will apply.  You agree that we have no liability to you for any loss, damage, costs or other effects of health problems you may encounter on your Packaged Tour.

Health and Safety Information Including COVID-19
For the health and safety of all passengers on tour any illness (such as fever, coughing or difficulty breathing) will not be accepted onboard the coach unless they can provide us with a negative Covid19 test result received within the past 72 hours.  Should any passenger start to feel unwell on arrival or while on tour, they must immediately advise their tour manager and contact Healthline then visit a medical practitioner/medical centre/hospital.  To return to the tour the passenger must be deemed fit and well to participate fully on a coach tour, obtaining and providing us with a written medical clearance – not just a negative Covid19 test.  Any costs incurred will be at the passenger’s own expense.

Payments, Cancellations and Refunds
A non-refundable deposit per person is required at time of booking to confirm your seat. All balance payments must be received by Leisure Time Travel prior to the date specified as per itinerary or your booking confirmation. Payments are available to be made by Cash, Cheque, Direct Credit or EFTPOS only –  Credit Card payments are not available without an additional surcharge.  Leisure Time Travel reserves the right to amend or reschedule the tour due the result of circumstances outside the company’s control. Leisure Time Travel also reserves the right to cancel the tour due to insufficient numbers and in this  instance a substitute date will be offered or a full refund will be made available. Tour Price excludes drinks, telephone calls, travel insurance and items of a personal nature.

Travel Insurance
Leisure Time Travel strongly advises all passengers to purchase a travel insurance policy when booking a tour. A comprehensive travel insurance policy gives peace of mind for unexpected issues or emergencies that may arise prior to or during a tour. We are agents for Cover More Travel Insurance. Cover More now provide insurance cover for a number of COVID-19 related medical, cancellation and amendments costs, giving you confidence to book your trip.  Ask us for a no obligation insurance quote today or further information about travel insurance for your upcoming tour.

New Zealand Cancellation Policy
If you cancel your booking:

  • 42+ days prior to tour commencement, loss of non-refundable deposit
  • 30-41 days prior to tour commencement your cancellation charge will be 50% of the holiday price (50% refund) plus any applicable supplier cancellation fees
  • 30 days prior to tour commencement your cancellation charge will be 100% of the holiday price (no refund)

No refunds on any unused portions of any itinerary.  The exception is if a sightseeing service is cancelled by operator due to weather conditions/safety concerns etc and the operator authorises a refund.  Any such refunds will be processed through agent.
Please note that any applicable airline content does not apply to the above refunds – see your airline for their specific cancellation/refund policies.

 

COVID-19 Cancellation and Refund Policy
COVID-19 has created uncertainty for us all, therefore for cancellations directly related to COVID-19, we have negotiated special terms with our suppliers which would override ‘normal cancellation’ terms as outlined above;

If the New Zealand Government imposes travel restrictions that would impact our ability to deliver your travel package prior to commencing travel, passengers will receive a full credit, less any applicable airline cancellation fees.  If travel restrictions are imposed while on tour, we will seek credits on any unused portions of the itinerary from all suppliers.  Any applicable credits will first be applied to any additional costs that our company may have incurred on the passenger’s behalf e.g. if alternative accommodation or transportation to repatriate the passenger to their home city or nearest airport etc is required.  Any remaining refunds will be credited to the booking agent to enable them to pass onto their passenger.

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