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 May 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 Autumn Tour
29 March - 11 April 2019, 14 days
Our all new North Island spectacular takes place in late March. This not-to-be-missed 14-day tour combines train, coach and ferry, and offers a magnificent combination of sights and experiences.
The tour begins in Wellington where passengers can learn more about the multi-award winning design studio at Weta Workshop.
Following a train journey north, spend three nights at the timelessly elegant Chateau Tongariro in the heart of the Tongariro National Park.
Experience the unique and isolated landscape of New Zealand railway history with the Forgotten World five tunnels rail adventure.
Spend three nights in the five star Skycity Hotel in Auckland.
Explore the scenic Waiheke Island, enjoy a local lunch and sample world-class wines.
Indulge in a high tea experience at the iconic Zealong Tea Estate.
Our comprehensive itinerary also includes visiting Te Papa, Hobbiton, Te Puia Geothermal Valley, Stratosphere Restaurant in Rotorua and an Art Deco tour in Napier.
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.
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.
“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
"I have made some great friends as well as seeing new places and having some wonderful memorable experiences. Thanks to you and your team for your superb organisation of the Rail Tours - they've been highlights of my 2017!"
- Tour Attendee October 2017