This not-to-be-missed 14-day South Island spectacular presented by The Press combines rail, coach and cruise, and offers a perfect combination of sights and experiences. Explore the history of Olveston Historic House, enjoy a cruise on the Lake Steamer Earnslaw, venture through the historic gold-mining village of Arrowtown and much much more.

Passengers will travel through the magnificent Taieri Gorge to the Central Otago plateau from the comfort of the plush refurbished Silver Fern railcar. Later we venture aboard the TranzAlpine and take in the beauty of the river gorge and breathtaking alpine views on the Midland rail line to the West Coast.

Our jam-packed itinerary also includes daytrips to the Milford Sound, a morning sailing to Stewart Island and leisurely days spent in beautiful Wanaka, Queenstown and Dunedin. And if you’ve ever wanted to experience the majestic scenery of New Zealand’s glacier country, then a trip to Fox Glacier will definitely be one to tick off your bucket list.


Day 1 - Thursday, April 19: DUNEDIN

We begin our journey in Dunedin, - the Edinburgh of the South. Tour coaches will transfer travelers to the city for a hotel check-in after 2 pm. Afternoon at your leisure. 

Lunch own arrangements in Dunedin City

Overnight Scenic Southern Cross Hotel.

Welcome Dinner

Day 2 - Friday, April 20: DUNEDIN to WANAKA (train and coach)

After breakfast, we transfer by coach to Dunedin Railway Station and board the Taieri Gorge train. We travel through the spectacular Taieri Gorge to the Central Otago plateau and Middlemarch. On arrival, lunch is served at the Strath Taieri Hotel and after a visit to the local museum, we board our coaches for the very scenic drive to Wanaka.

Overnight Edgewater Resort, Wanaka.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 - Saturday, April 21:  QUEENSTOWN

We travel from Wanaka to Queenstown stopping at a local fruit shop specializing in fresh and dried produce, before boarding our late morning cruise on the lake steamer ‘TSS Earnslaw’. We travel across Lake Wakatipu for a gourmet barbecue lunch at Walter Peak station.  On return, travelers have an afternoon of leisure in the celebrated alpine town on the shores of Lake Wakatipu.

Overnight Millennium Hotel.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 - Sunday, April 22: QUEENSTOWN to TE ANAU (coach)

After a leisurely departure, we visit the historic gold-mining village of Arrowtown before setting out for an afternoon drive to our overnight stay at Te Anau.

Lunch own arrangements in Arrowtown.

Overnight Village Inn and Parkland Motel, Te Anau.

Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5 - Monday, April 23: FIORDLAND SOUND CRUISES

We drive the very scenic road alongside Lake Te Anau to Milford Sound via the Homer Tunnel for an exciting luncheon nature-cruise. On our return, we will visit the Te Anau bird sanctuary and the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre.

Overnight Village Inn and Parkland Motel, Te Anau.

Breakfast, lunch, Dinner

Day 6 - Tuesday, April 24: TE ANAU to INVERCARGILL (coach)

After breakfast, we leave Fiordland and head for Invercargill touring through historic and very scenic Southland farming country. Morning tea is in Tuatapere, with a talk on local history.

We will continue to Riverton and visit the local Museum, (voted NZ’s best museum) and enjoy the many lunch options in the town.

Lunch own arrangements in Riverton.

Overnight at Ascot Park Hotel.

Breakfast, morning tea, Dinner

Day 7 - Wednesday, April 25: STEWART ISLAND (ferry)

We have space reserved on two morning sailings to Stewart Island, with an island history and nature tour on arrival. This trip will be weather-dependent.  

The days excursion will also include a short coach trip to Bluff Hill Lookout and to Stirling Point (the site of the iconic yellow ‘AA’ sign post). Transfers to and from the Bluff ferry terminal will be by coach.

Lunch own arrangements at Oban on Stewart Island.

Overnight at Ascot Park Hotel.

Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8 - Thursday, April 26: INVERCARGILL to DUNEDIN (train)

We will travel from our hotel by coach to visit Transport World, and then onto the Invercargill Railway Station for a midday departure on the Dunedin Railways Silver Fern railcar.

Overnight at Scenic Southern Cross Hotel.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 - Friday, April 27: At DUNEDIN

The historic university city of Dunedin has a very rich European and Maori history. Walking and bus tours of historic Olveston House and of the city’s environs will leave the hotel mid-morning.

On return to the Octogen, there will be a chance for further exploration before an afternoon coach tour of the Otago Peninsula, with a visit to Larnach Castle and the grounds and gardens to complete the day.

Lunch own arrangements in Dunedin city.

Overnight at Scenic Southern Cross Hotel.

Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10 - Saturday, April 28: DUNEDIN to CHRISTCHRUCH (train)

We transfer by coach to Dunedin Railway Station to board our Silver Fern railcar for the trip north to Canterbury. A stop in the historic Victorian precinct in Oamaru will allow you to explore the history and architecture of this ‘Oamaru stone’ city before rejoining our railcar for the run through to Christchurch.

Lunch own arrangements in Oamaru.

Overnight at Commodore Hotel, Christchurch

Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11 - Sunday, April 29: CHRISTCHURCH to GREYMOUTH (rail)

After an early breakfast we board the TranzAlpine on the Midland rail line to the West Coast. This world-renowned trip high-lights pastoral farming across the Canterbury Plains, spectacular river gorge, alpine views and rugged West Coast bush.  

Following a ‘look around’ Greymouth we transfer by coach to our accommodation, and after a refresh, continue on to Shantytown for a steam train ride, tour of the living-history park  followed by a themed dinner.

Lunch own arrangements own board the train or on arrival in Greymouth.

Overnight Ashley Hotel and Recreation Hotel.

Breakfast, Dinner


We travel by coach to Westport via the rugged coast road, with a stop at the blow holes at Punakaiki. On arrival in Westport, we will visit the magnificent ‘Coal Town Museum’ that tells the history and stories of the major industry that helped to develop and sustain the West Coast and its many small towns and settlements.

The return coach trip will be via Reefton and the Grey River road.

Lunch own arrangements at Westport.

Overnight Ashley Hotel and Recreation Hotel.

Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13 - Tuesday, May 1: GREYMOUTH to FRANZ JOSEF (Coach)

We travel from Greymouth for Hokitika and visit the Mahinapua Tree Top walk. Lunch is served before we drive onto Franz Josef and then to Fox Glacier via the wild and rugged west coast. A coach trip and walk in the Fox Glacier valley will complete the day.

Overnight at the Fox Glacier Scenic Hotel.

Breakfast, Lunch, Farewell Dinner

Day 14 - Wednesday, May 2: FRANZ JOSEF TO CHRISTCHURCH

We depart early morning for a spectacular drive across the South Islands ‘main divide’ and through Arthurs Pass National Park. Lunch will be served in Arthurs Pass village before we depart for central Christchurch and the tour end.

Those from outside Christchurch may choose to stay at the Commodore Hotel before transferring to Christchurch Airport for your return flights home (your cost)

Breakfast, Lunch

*Please note the itinerary is subject to change


Twin share - $5599 incl GST
Single Supplement - $5999 incl GST

Please note : These prices do not include airfares or travel costs between your location and the start and finish points. If required House of Travel can organise a travel package, or you may choose to organise this yourself, if required. Do this early as travel and accommodation options may be limited closer to the tour departure.

Payment Details

Direct Deposit:

This includes payment by internet transfer or payment at any BNZ branch.

Payee: Stuff LTD  
Account number: 02-0500-0700089-12
Reference number: Your last name plus 159

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Addressed to :

Readers' Rail Tour
Attention: Daniel Towers
PO Box 90741
Victoria Street West
Auckland 1010

Credit Card:

You can also pay any outstanding balances by credit card. Simply call us on 0800 0800 99 during business hours, and we’ll process the payment over the phone. 3.5% fee applies.


"I certainly intend to do another Rail Tour in 2018 - probably the South Island one as I missed that one this year. I loved the two that I did and 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!"

— J.A.

"I want to let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed the Rail tour. Many thanks to all tour guides, drivers and rail staff – everyone helped make the tour run smoothly, and comfortably for us."

— L.K.