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XperieNZXperieNZ The Grand Passage 10 day tour

The Grand Passage program takes you on a scenic rail journey on the Northern Explorer from the city of sails, Auckland, to the quirky culinary capital of Wellington. From here you will ferry across to the Cook Strait to the pretty seaside town of Picton, then onwards to the charming English influenced city of Christchurch journeying on the Coastal Pacific. Finally, you'll conclude this great journey on the world's most scenic train, the TranzAlpine.
This tour features three undeniably beautiful rail journeys and allows you to stay at some wonderful locations.

 New Zealand small group tour
 Starts in Auckland, finishes in Christchurch
 10 days/ 9 nights
 Hotel 4 star
  Pre and post tour options? YES Enquire Enquire
 Viewed 8 times in the last 7 days

Included in this tour package

Tour map
Kawau Island Beach House dining
TranzAlpine train heading toward the mountains

At a glance - XperieNZ The Grand Passage 10 day tour

Day 1: Arrive in Auckland and meet your travel companions. Accommodation: Hotel Grand Windsor M Gallery by Sofitel

Day 2: Take a seaplane to Kawau Island. Accommodation: Hotel Grand Windsor M Gallery by Sofitel

Day 3: Travel South on the Northern Explorer Train. Accommodation: QT Wellington

Day 4: Day trip to South Wairarapa Coast. Accommodation: QT Wellington

Day 5: Venture to the South Island on the Interislander. Accommodation: Picton Yacht Club Hotel

Day 6: Check out the Aviation Museum in Blenheim. Accommodation: Picton Yacht Club Hotel

Day 7: Board the Coastal Pacific to Christchurch. Accommodation: The George Hotel or The Muse

Day 8: A trip to Akaroa offers the oppurtunity to swim with dolphins. Accommodation: The George Hotel or The Muse

Day 9: Travel out to Arthur's Pass before returning on the TranzAlpine Train. Accommodation: The George Hotel or The Muse

Day 10: Catch a ride to your departing flight or next adventure.

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XperieNZ The Grand Passage 10 day tour - Detailed Itinerary  

Day 1: Arrive in Auckland and meet your travel companions

XperieNZ The Grand Passage 10 day tour - Day 1

XperieNZ - The Grand Passage

This 10-day great journey of New Zealand will take you on the three iconic trains Northern Explorer, Coastal Pacific and the TranzAlpine and the Interislander ferry that allows you to sit back and relax and connect with the spectacular scenery through the perfect panoramic windows. To complement your journey, you will go on a private quintessential farm tour in the Wairarapa, a tour of vineyards in Marlborough which is the largest wine-growing region and most famous in New Zealand, you may even get to swim in the wild with some of the smallest dolphins in the world.

Arrival into Auckland

On arrival in Auckland, your concierge/driver-guide will take you to your accommodation and help check you in as required. Relax and take it easy.

Your Accommodation: Hotel Grand Windsor M Gallery by Sofitel

Located right on Queen Street the Grand Windsor Hotel Auckland is boutique and stylish property with an ideal location to enjoy and explore the vibrant heart of the 'City of Sails'.

Hotel Grand Windsor M Gallery by Sofitel

Day 2: Take a seaplane to Kawau Island

XperieNZ The Grand Passage 10 day tour - Day 2

Kawau Island excursion

Late morning you will travel in style to Kawau Island by a seaplane. Kawau Island is one of the largest islands that make up the magical Hauraki Gulf in the northern part of New Zealand. Enjoy a delicious 3-course a la carte welcome meal with a glass of wine at the stunning laidback Kawau Beach House. The beach house boasts of splendid views over the peaceful waters of Vivian Bay. You will get to know your fellow travellers, over a drink and a briefing lunch. During lunch, our program director (or your concierge/driver guide) will go over your program for the next 9 days.

Your Accommodation: Hotel Grand Windsor M Gallery by Sofitel

Located right on Queen Street the Grand Windsor Hotel Auckland is boutique and stylish property with an ideal location to enjoy and explore the vibrant heart of the 'City of Sails'.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel Grand Windsor M Gallery by Sofitel

Day 3: Travel South on the Northern Explorer Train

XperieNZ The Grand Passage 10 day tour - Day 3

Auckland to Wellington on the Northern Explorer

Early this morning, you will be making your journey from Auckland to Wellington on the Northern Explorer, New Zealand's longest running passenger scenic train. Traverse across the ever changing landscape, from the fertile farmlands of Waikato, through spectacular volcanic peaks of the Tongariro National Park and on to the rugged Kapiti Coast. On your arrival into Wellington, your concierge driver/guide will be waiting to pick you up and drop you off at your accommodation.

Your Accommodation: QT Wellington

The QT Wellington is superbly situated opposite Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand and Wellington's waterfront. The luxury rooms are just a few minutes walk from the cafes restaurants, theatres, galleries and shopping of the vibrant Courtenay Quarter.

Meals included: Breakfast

QT Wellington

Day 4: Day trip to South Wairarapa Coast

XperieNZ The Grand Passage 10 day tour - Day 4

Discover the wild South Wairarapa Coast

Start your day with a drive to the rugged Cape Palliser to visit the North Island's largest seal colony, if you choose you can also take a walk up 253 steps to see the Cape Palliser Lighthouse up close. This lighthouse has stood strong on the cliffs since 1897. After the cape visit, you will go on a quintessential working farm experience at the Palliser Ridge Farm. This experience will start off with a brief introduction, followed by a sumptuous lunch. After lunch, you will drive to the ridge of the farm to take in the spectacular views and which also has a rural hole in one tee. For those of you who want to give it a go, you are welcome to. On your return to the sheep shed, you will witness a live sheep shearing and herding demonstration before you head back to Wellington for the night.

Your Accommodation: QT Wellington

The QT Wellington is superbly situated opposite Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand and Wellington's waterfront. The luxury rooms are just a few minutes walk from the cafes restaurants, theatres, galleries and shopping of the vibrant Courtenay Quarter.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

QT Wellington

Day 5: Venture to the South Island on the Interislander

XperieNZ The Grand Passage 10 day tour - Day 5

Travel the Interislander to Picton

Start the day slowly for those that are interested you can visit Wellington's famous Te Papa Museum or freely roam around the city until it's time for your ferry. This afternoon, take the Interislander ferry to Picton. Cross the Cook Strait into the Marlborough Sounds before arriving in Picton.
Picton is nestled at the head of the Queen Charlotte Sounds in the stunning Marlborough Sounds and is probably the prettiest seaside town in NZ.

Your Accommodation: Picton Yacht Club Hotel

Located in the heart of Picton, only a short walk to the marina, shopping & dining precinct and the ferry terminal. Being in the Marlborough region, it is the gateway to the top of the picturesque South Island and Queen Charlotte Sound.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Picton Yacht Club Hotel

Day 6: Check out the Aviation Museum in Blenheim

XperieNZ The Grand Passage 10 day tour - Day 6

A trip to Blenheim including a visit to Omaka Aviation Museum

Today you will go on a guided tour of the Omaka Aviation Museum in Blenheim. This museum takes you back in time to World War l and World War ll era. It's truly a magical experience. Following the tour of the museum enjoy a vineyard tour and lunch in the Marlborough region. This area is New Zealand's largest and most famous wine-growing region. World-renowned for producing wines with a pure intensity that can't be found anywhere else in the world. Explore the vineyards and take in the unforgettable landscapes.

Your Accommodation: Picton Yacht Club Hotel

Located in the heart of Picton, only a short walk to the marina, shopping & dining precinct and the ferry terminal. Being in the Marlborough region, it is the gateway to the top of the picturesque South Island and Queen Charlotte Sound.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Picton Yacht Club Hotel

Day 7: Board the Coastal Pacific to Christchurch

XperieNZ The Grand Passage 10 day tour - Day 7

Coastal Pacific to Christchurch

Enjoy Picton this morning before you board the Coastal Pacific scenic train. You'll travel alongside the Pacific Ocean from Picton to Christchurch. Taking you through bush-clad mountains to the stunning Kaikoura coastline. Before your journey comes to an end at the charming English influenced city Christchurch. At the station, you will be collected and taken to your accommodation.

Your Accommodation: The George Hotel or The Muse

The George is the essence of supreme comfort. The award winning 5 star hotel is opposite Hagley Park and just a few minutes stroll from the Botanic Gardens. 2 superb award winning on site restaurants also feature.

Meals included: Breakfast

The George Hotel or The Muse

Day 8: A trip to Akaroa offers the oppurtunity to swim with dolphins

XperieNZ The Grand Passage 10 day tour - Day 8

Day trip to Akaroa

Today head to the historical French settlement Akaroa. Enjoy a once in a lifetime experience swimming with the wild Māui, Hector's dolphin. These dolphins are among the smallest marine dolphins in the world and are endemic to New Zealand (they are not found anywhere else in the world). Akaroa is the only place you can swim with them. So take this opportunity and make the most of this truly incredible experience. Before heading back to your accommodation in Christchurch.

Your Accommodation: The George Hotel or The Muse

The George is the essence of supreme comfort. The award winning 5 star hotel is opposite Hagley Park and just a few minutes stroll from the Botanic Gardens. 2 superb award winning on site restaurants also feature.

Meals included: Breakfast

The George Hotel or The Muse

Day 9: Travel out to Arthur's Pass before returning on the TranzAlpine Train

XperieNZ The Grand Passage 10 day tour - Day 9

Day trip to Arthur's Pass

Late morning, you will experience some of South Island's hilly and rocky landscapes. Drive to Castle Hill or Kura Tawhiti, a unique limestone reserve before heading to Arthur's Pass. See a collection of amazing limestone rock formations. These rock formations are the water eroded remnants of limestone formed about 30-40 million years ago when much of New Zealand was covered by the sea. Pack your walking shoes because you will be going on a 20 minute (to an hour) walk amongst these giants. After your walk, we will drive to Arthur's Pass from where you will board the TranzAlpine Scenic Train back to Christchurch.

Your Accommodation: The George Hotel or The Muse

The George is the essence of supreme comfort. The award winning 5 star hotel is opposite Hagley Park and just a few minutes stroll from the Botanic Gardens. 2 superb award winning on site restaurants also feature.

Meals included: Breakfast

The George Hotel or The Muse

Day 10: Catch a ride to your departing flight or next adventure

Depart the tour

All good things must come to an end and so does this amazing vacation. Depending on your onward plans, you will either get dropped off at the airport or at a place of your choosing.

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