New Zealand Railway Adventure

From $5,870.00 per person

Monday 12 October – Friday 23 October 2020 (12 Days)

Join us for an amazing railway tour around New Zealand, perfect for all train enthusiasts. 

Visit small private railways, heritage parks and museums, embark on vintage railcar journeys, and enjoy the spectacular Tranz Alpine scenic train ride through the Southern Alps. Other highlights including the TS Earnslaw, and a scenic helicopter flight with glacial landing!

Day 1          Monday 12 October 2020
Departing Hamilton this morning we commence our trip travelling south passing through the village of Tirau and the Wairakei Geothermal Steam Bores. We will have a morning tea stop in Taupo before continuing along State Highway One through the Desert Road to Waiouru for our lunch stop (own cost). After lunch, we continue driving down through the central North Island and down through the Manawatu townships of Woodville, Mangatainoka (home of the Tui Brewery), Paihiatua and Eketahuna before arriving at our destination of Masterton, where we will stay overnight. Tonight we’ll enjoy a group dinner at the hotel.
Accommodation:  Copthorne Resort Solway Park, Masterton

Day 2          Tuesday 13 October 2020                        
Departing Masterton this morning we travel to the town of Featherston. 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. From Featherston, we board the train on the local Wairarapa line which passes the 8.8km long Rimutaka Tunnel to Upper Hutt. There will be time available on arrival in Upper Hutt to purchase lunch before visiting 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). We then board the train at Silverstream which will take us along the Hutt Valley Line into Wellington Railway Station, arriving in the late afternoon. Tonight we’ll enjoy a group dinner at the hotel.
Accommodation:  James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel, Wellington

Day 3          Wednesday 14 October 2020
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 reboard the 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. Here 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 15 October 2020                      
Today depart for a scenic drive to Christchurch. On the way, we at the town of Reefton to visit a railway heritage group and view their stationary R-class Fairlie locomotive. Take some time in the town to have lunch and explore, before we continue the journey south.  Next, 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, continue onto Christchurch. Dinner tonight is at the hotel’s restaurant.
Accommodation: Quality Elms Hotel, Christchurch – 2 nights 

Day 5          Friday 16 October 2020   
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's also about 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 areas. Dinner tonight is at your leisure.

Day 6          Saturday 17 October 2020                      
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, and we 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 steam train and experience gold panning in the alluvial streams that flow through the area.  Departing, 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: Distinction Hotel Fox Glacier

Day 7          Sunday 18 October 2020  
Today we enjoy a day of ever-changing spectacular coastal, rainforest, and alpine scenery. We are in for a treat with a scenic helicopter flight to start the day. The perfect opportunity to get up close to the glaciers and touch snow. Be captivated as we lift off and fly up and over the dramatic expanse of either the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier and experience the solitude of a landing in this wonderful natural alpine environment.  We then continue our journey by coach along the West Coast features native rainforest, wetlands, bush-fringed lakes, sand dunes and surf-pounded shingle beaches.  At Haast head in-land 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 in the hotel restaurant.
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Lakefront, Queenstown – 2 nights

Day 8          Monday 19 October 2020
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; fly-fishing or if you dare – bungy jumping or tandem sky-diving!  Extra cost for optional sightseeing excursions.  We re-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 20 October 2020
After breakfast, farewell Queenstown and travel by coach 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. Dinner tonight will be at our hotel.
Accommodation: Distinction Hotel, Dunedin – 2 nights

Day 10          Wednesday 21 October 2020
DUNEDIN      (B)
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. This morning enjoy a tour of the city, highlights include 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 22 October 2020                       
On the last day of our adventure 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 we will have time for you to purchase lunch (own cost). Departing Oamaru, the next stop is the Pleasant Point Railway, to enjoy an exclusively chartered ride on their impressive little steam train.  Arriving in Christchurch this afternoon we take a ride on the restored heritage Christchurch Tram enjoying a journey in style through the changing face of Christchurch’s city centre.  After our tram ride, we will be transferred to the hotel to freshen up before dinner. Tonight we dine at the Curators House situated in a heritage building in the lovely Botanic Gardens.  With its own kitchen garden, fresh regional produce is served, with a Spanish influence.
Accommodation: Quality Elms Hotel, Christchurch

Day 12          Friday 23 October 2020     
Farewell from New Zealand, today you will be transferred from the hotel to Christchurch Airport for our flight back to Auckland.

Copthorne Solway Park

Nestled in the lush Wairarapa valley framed by the towering Tararua Ranges. Copthorne Hotel & Resort Solway Park is set on 24 acres of landscaped grounds and gardens on the outskirts of Masterton. 

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, and puts some of New Zealand's finest food and wine virtually on your doorstep. 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.

Distinction Hotel Fox Glacier

Distinction Hotel Fox Glacier is situated in one of the world's most ruggedly beautiful environments - nestled beneath the towering Southern Alps on the stunning West Coast of New Zealand. The hotel's location provides a real sense of privacy and peaceful seclusion, whilst being only a short stroll to the charming Fox Glacier village. 

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
  • 11 nights accommodation with private en suite
  • Christchurch to Auckland flight with Air New Zealand - other ports on application
  • Touring in modern air conditioned tour coach
  • 11 breakfasts and 9 dinners included
  • Admission to Fell Locomotive Museum
  • Admission to Silver Stream Railway
  • Local train rides in Wellington
  • Interislander sailing from Wellington to Picton
  • Ride on the Riverside Railway to Omaka
  • 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
  • Scenic Helicopter flight over Fox and Franz Josef Glacier including snow landing
  • Lake cruise on TSS Earnslaw including BBQ at Walter Peak Station
  • Admission to Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
  • Private charter on the Pleasant Point Railway
  • Ride on the Christchurch Tram

Tour Payments Per Person ($NZD)

Club Member Guaranteed Share Twin Cost:$5,870.00
Non Member Share Twin Cost:$5,920.00
Single Supplement:$1210.00
Non-refundable deposit due at time of booking$200.00

Full balance of tour payment due by Monday 31 August 2020


Booking Terms & Conditions

Terms & Conditions….
(Applicable for New Zealand Tours from 01 May 2020 - 30 September 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.

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 Tours 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 Tours 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 Tours 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 Tours reserves the right to amend or reschedule the tour due the result of circumstances outside the company’s control. Leisure Time Tours 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 Tours strongly advises all passengers to purchase a travel insurance policy. An important part of planning the holiday is to purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy as it may prevent passengers from spending extra money in case of an emergency and will help passengers feel protected during the holiday. We are agents for Cover More Travel Insurance. Ask us for a no obligation insurance quote today.

Land Component Cancellation Policy
By making a booking with us and paying your deposit you agree to pay us the full price for your booking.  If you cancel your booking:

  • 31+ days prior to tour commencement, loss of non-refundable deposit
  • 15-30 days prior to tour commencement your cancellation charge will be 60% of the holiday price (40% refund) plus any applicable supplier cancellation fees
  • 8-14 days prior to tour commencement your cancellation charge will be 80% of the holiday price (20% refund) plus any applicable supplier cancellation fees
  • 0-7 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.

If a passenger has been tested positive for COVID-19 directly prior to travel or while on holiday with us, then with supporting documentation provided to us (a positive COVID-19 test), 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.