For 28 years the Readers’ Rail Tours have been taking our loyal readers on unforgettable journeys exploring the rich history and culture of New Zealand. The tours were created as a way for like-minded travelers to come together and enjoy this unique experience of rail, cruise and coach travel - all while forming lifelong friendships and memories.
Years later, we’re just as passionate about bringing you an experience of a lifetime by discovering the beauty of your own backyard. From the deep South to the far North, we’ll leave no stone unturned. Operating in October and March each year, our 14-day tours alternate between the North and South Islands, presented by The Dominion Post, The Press and The Sunday Star-Times newspapers. Each tour offers a variety of day-to-day excursions ranging from garden tours, scenic walks, cultural museums, luncheon cruises and much more.
Unlike any other travel package, we offer our readers the unique opportunity to get to know our editorial team behind the news you love to read as they join us on tour. You’ll also find comfort in our experienced tour leaders whose duties extend far beyond simply offering commentary - our friendly and trusting crew will ensure that your luxury and comfort is our priority.
The tours offer a full service of all transport, porterage, day excursions and activities, good quality hotels and most meals (specified in itineraries). To find out more about what exciting adventure we’re planning next, click below on the tour that interests you.
2019 South Island Spring Tour
Thursday 10 October - Thursday 24th October
Our all NEW South Island spectacular takes place in October.
This not-to-be-missed 14-day tour combines train, coach and ferry, and offers a magnificent combination of sights and experiences.
Passengers will travel across Cook Strait and through the picturesque Marlborough Sounds.
Later we venture aboard the TranzAlpine and take in the breathtaking alpine views onboard the Midland rail line from the Christchurch to Greymouth, including the beauty of the Waimakariri River gorge and the Canterbury plains.
Explore the picturesque Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, surrounded by the breathtaking environment of glaciers, terminal moraine, turbulent rivers and New Zealand’s tallest peak, the mighty Aoraki Mt Cook.
Our comprehensive itinerary also includes a walk through the rainforest at the West Coast treetop walkway, a day in Akaroa with a scenic cruise and leisurely afternoons spent in beautiful Dunedin and Arrowtown, as well as a full day in Aoraki Mt Cook.
Seats on this tour will sell quickly. Our advice is to lodge your deposit and booking as soon as you’ve made your decision to join us.
2020 Autumn Tour
2020 dates to be announced!
Our dates and itinerary for the 2020 Tour are yet to be announced, however take a peak at what we recently did on our 2019 Autumn Tour below. The 14-day tour combined train, coach and ferry, and offered a magnificent combination of sights and experiences.
The tour began in Wellington where passengers learned more about the multi-award winning design studio at Weta Workshop.
Following a train journey north, we spent three nights at the timelessly elegant Chateau Tongariro in the heart of the Tongariro National Park.
We experienced the unique and isolated landscape of New Zealand railway history with the Forgotten World five tunnels rail adventure.
Spent three nights in the five star Skycity Hotel in Auckland.
Explored the scenic Waiheke Island, enjoying a local lunch and sampled world-class wines.
Indulged in a high tea experience at the iconic Zealong Tea Estate.
Our comprehensive itinerary also included visiting Te Papa, Hobbiton, Te Puia Geothermal Valley, Stratosphere Restaurant in Rotorua and an Art Deco tour in Napier.
“In the last 20 years I have been on 42 tours and I would put this Rail tour in the top two because of the attention to detail and management of a very large group."
- Tour Attendee October 2019
“A wonderful trip due to the excellent planning and efforts of tour leaders. Your patience and understanding has been remarkable, the coach drivers have been responsible and entertaining. A great team all round.”
- Tour Attendee October 2019