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New Zealand scenic train operator unveils first of its kind multi-day package tours

Great Journeys New Zealand launches new brand expanding its tour offerings to suit a range of traveling styles and budgets.

NEW ZEALAND – Rail-based tourism operator, Great Journeys New Zealand debuts new 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, food and beverage options and pre-booked accommodation. Expanded tour offerings are currently available to book through the Travel Centre via Agent Booking Enquiry | Great Journeys NZ 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 famous coastline and spectacular mountains. Each train journey provides a unique experience from being amazed by the views of the volcanic peaks of Middle Earth in Ruapehu, to sighting the mystical Blue Lake in the northern reaches of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. 

The new guided tours and short break packages are designed to connect visitors with New Zealand’s regions. Passengers will step off the spectacular train journey and continue the next stage of the tour by spending one, two or three nights in a region. Additionally, guests will listen to local’s stories about the rich history, experiencing the local food and beverages and learn the fascinating culture. Travelers will get to enjoy an off the beaten track experience before taking another train journey to the next location.

“Our travelers can sit back, relax and explore the regions from a different perspective,” said KiwiRail’s General Manager of Great Journeys New Zealand and Commuter Rail Tracey Goodall. “The fully guided tours offer an experience like no other with the ease of knowing travelers are taken care of and will create unique memories”.

The new, fully guided multi-day tours bring a plethora of experiences including the rail cart experience in Taumarunui; a night in the ‘independent republic’ of Whangamōmona; sipping world-class 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 the West Coast.

The rail cart experience in Taumarunui takes guests on a journey through the Forgotten World immersed in the changing views of rolling hills, remote farmland, and native bush, while experiencing wildlife close to the tracks. Travel over bridges and through hand-built brick tunnels, including the lines longest tunnel at 1.5km, and journey through the Tangarakau Gorge.

Get to know the Albatross on the Albatross Encounters in Kaikōura experience. Explore the unique environment of Kaikōura, the ultimate outdoor playground where the mountains meet the ocean. During the Albatross Encounter meet nature’s most extraordinary seabird’s close-up on New Zealand’s wild Kaikoura coastline. 

Take a trip to the Punakaiki Rocks and Hokitika Gorge on New Zealand’s west coast. Guests are invited to experience the enigmatic Pancake Rocks where the Punakaiki Blow Holes billow water high into the air. One of the wonders of the world, this geological marvel was forged by raging seas, violent winds, and tectonic upheaval over millions of years. Visit the pristine blue waters of Hokitika Gorge and wander among native rimu and podocarp trees on a short walk across the Hoktika River on an idyllic suspension bridge through an ancient forest.

The Signature Style Tour takes passengers on a more 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 the Classic and Signature style tours have a knowledgeable guide or “Tour Director” who will share unique stories and support the group through their journey. Departure dates for the fully guided tours will be set each year.

“We pride ourselves on providing a unique experience to visitors that will return home to share the stories with family and friends about what hidden gems were discovered and experienced whilst travelling around New Zealand,” said Ms. Goodall.

Staying in smaller towns and dazzling cities, visiting world-famous activities, and charming local attractions, Great Journeys of New Zealand showcases the best of New Zealand, beyond the beaten track, including highlights only possible by train.

Bookings for the new tours can be booked via Agent Booking Enquiry | Great Journeys NZ. The Travel Centre, located in Christchurch, New Zealand will confirm the bookings. Introducing Valerie Bowden, Travel Centre Manager, who leads the Travel Centre team of experts. Valerie has more than 25 years’ experience in the travel and tourism industry having worked for retail and wholesale agents, a regional tourism office, and a national airline.

Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | + Articles

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.