Ride the Rails

Ride the Rails is an 8 day rail adventure taking in New Zealand's finest scenery by rail. Since the tours began in 2020 they have proven to be very popular amongst domestic travellers with plenty of demand from overseas travellers as well. 

Seats do sell fast. Our groups have a maximum of 16 guests plus 2 hosts

Ride the Rails is a fully escorted 8 day tour from Christchurch to Auckland. NB some tours run in 2023 will run from Auckland to Christchurch

Package inclusions: 7 nights accommodation, 3 scenic rail journeys (Northern Explorer, Coastal Pacific and Tranz Alpine), airport transfers in Christchurch and Auckland, all transfers in Wellington, Picton and Christchurch, Interisland ferry crossing, half day food tour of Wellington with the 3 wise men of Food and Spice Odyssey, group dinner in Picton, meet and greet function including first drink and nibbles in Christchurch (or Auckland), Christchurch City Tour (including Punting on the Avon, Christchurch Tram Tour, wider city tour, lunch and Gondola ride), return road transport from Greymouth following the Tranz Alpine, scenic cruise in Marlborough Sounds with mussels and salmon to sample. 

Flights and some meals not included

Package price $ 4899.00 / couple

Package price $ 3599.00 / single

  • Suitable for All Ages
  • Region North & South Island
  • Duration 8 Days
  • Month of Departure January, February, March, October
  • Small group tours

Reserve your seat

From $4,899 per Couple

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What is Included

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Expert local guide
  • Picton group dinner included. Breakfast in Christchurch and Picton
  • Photos taken

Tour Highlights


  • Day 1, Christchurch

    Make your way to Christchurch. There will be a shuttle booked for those arriving at the airport.

    Accommodation for 3 nights at Golden Star Motel, Riccarton.

    We will have our meet and greet function. This is a great opportunity to meet fellow travellers and for the tour hosts to introduce themselves and answer any questions you may have about the week ahead.

  • Day 2, Christchurch - Greymouth - Christchurch

    Today we ride on the first of our 3 scenic rail journeys. We travel from Christchurch to Greymouth onboard the Tranz Alpine. Your first hot drink will be on us.
    On arrival in to Greymouth there will be time for you to wander around the centre of town.
    There will be a private van waiting for us to bring us back to Christchurch. It is different returning by road, there will be a running commentary along the way, and comfort stops on the way back as well.

  • Day 3, Christchurch Day

    Today is the day we explore Christchurch City on our Christchurch City Tour. Included in the package is Punting on the Avon, Christchurch Tram rides, wider city tour, lunch and Gondola ride.

    If you would like to visit any attractions away from the central city please let us know. Attractions may include International Antarctic Centre, Orana Wildlife Park, Wigram Airforce Museum or guided walking tour of the central city.

  • Day 4, Christchurch - Picton

    This morning we are up bright and early to board the Coastal Pacific from Christchurch to Picton. Once again we will cover your first hot drink of the journey.

    On arrival in Picton you will have the afternoon to explore and relax in this small Marlborough town. Shuttle transfer in Picton from railway station to hotel.

    Accommodation in Picton for 1 night at Picton Yacht Club

    For those who would like a drink you are welcome to join your hosts for a pre - dinner drink at Seamus' Irish Bar, directly opposite the hotel. We will enjoy a group dinner together at The Barn restaurant (meal included, drinks additional)

  • Day 5, Picton - Wellington

    This morning we will meet in the hotel lobby at 0930 before a short walk to the wharf where we will be hopping on our private charter boat for a scenic cruise in the Marlborough Sounds. This is a wonderful experience and always popular amongst our guests. There will be mussels provided, maybe a little bit of smoked salmon and a drink (available for purchase). The cruise takes us approximately 2.5 hours.

    You will have a bit of time between the end of the cruise and meeting us at the ferry terminal. Your hosts will go back to the hotel to collect your bags and transfer them to the ferry terminal for you.
    Interislander ferry crossing from Picton to Wellington takes around 3.5 hours.

    Accommodation in Wellington at Ramada Hotel and Apartments.

  • Day 6, Wellington Day

    Meet in the hotel lobby at 0920 to meet the 3 wise men from Food and Spice Odyssey. They are going to look after us for much of the day on a half day food tour of Wellington.
    The tour takes us around the central city sampling food and drink in what is described as "the world's coolest little capital". Tour will finish around 1430. All food and most beverages included on the tour.

    The rest of the day is yours to enjoy Wellington City

  • Day 7, Wellington - Auckland

    We will be up a raring to go this morning for the transfer from the hotel to Wellington Railway Station for the Northern Explorer service from Wellington to Auckland.
    We will, again, cover your first hot drink as we depart Wellington heading north.

    This is a journey of over 680km with dramatic scenery changes every 100km we pass. This is the best way to see the North Island.

    Drop offs can be arranged at Otorohonga, Hamilton, Papakura by prearrangement.
    We end the journey at The Strand Station in Parnell, Auckland. We will have shuttles waiting to transfer us to the hotel.

    Accommodation for 1 night at Nesuto Stadium Hotel, Auckland.
    It is here where your hosts will say goodbye and leave you to enjoy your evening and take in the week we have just had.

  • Day 8, Auckland

    Today is the end of the tour.
    You will be collected at the hotel and transferred to Auckland Airport. Please let us know in advance so we can assist you with travel arrangements.

    We can arrange to get you to a rental car depot if you are continuing on to explore the upper North Island.

Meet your Guide

Pete Salvesen

  • Suitable for All Ages
  • Region North & South Island
  • Duration 8 Days
  • Month of Departure January, February, March, October
  • Small group tours

Reserve your seat

From $4,899 per Couple

Book trip