Rail-based tour operator Great Journeys of New Zealand has launched short-break packages and multi-day, fully guided tours for North American visitors. The new packages and tours allow visitors to step off the beaten track and explore what each region in New Zealand has to offer, with activities and excursions, culinary experiences and pre-booked accommodation. Expanded tour offerings are available to book for travel starting on January 13, 2023.
Great Journeys New Zealand is the tourism division of KiwiRail, linking its three scenic train services, including the TranzAlpine (Christchurch/Greymouth), Northern Explorer (Auckland/Wellington) and Coastal Pacific (Picton/Christchurch), covering the coastline and mountains.
The new guided tours and short break packages are designed to connect visitors with New Zealand’s regions. Each train journey provides a unique experience, including views of the volcanic peaks of "Middle-Earth" in Ruapehu; sighting the Blue Lake in the northern reaches of New Zealand’s Southern Alps; and one-, two- or three-night stays in different regions.
The new, fully guided multi-day tours offer a range of experiences including the rail cart experience in Taumarunui; a night in the “independent republic” of Whangamōmona; sipping wine among the vines in the Marlborough wine region; whale, dolphin and albatross encounters in Kaikōura; and a trip to the Punakaiki Rocks and Hokitika Gorge on New Zealand’s west coast.
Passengers can choose between the Classic Style Tour, ranging from six to 15 days and the Signature Style Tour, ranging from six to 17 days. The Classic Style Tour takes travelers on a journey to New Zealand’s larger cities and heartland destinations. Passengers can also personalize the experience with optional add-on activities. The Signature Style Tour takes passengers on an enhanced experience including higher standard accommodation and more inclusions, featuring handpicked activities and unique regional and cultural discoveries culminating with a Signature Farewell Dinner at Walter Peak.
Both types of tours will feature a guide or “Tour Director” who will share unique stories and support the group throughout their journey. Departure dates for the fully guided tours will be set each year.