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Welcome to Railtrail Tours

A family firm with an ethos of honesty and integrity. Our passion for delivering quality escorted holidays by rail at great value fares along with consistently excellent customer service has stood us in good stead for over 40 years.

Big on Quality, Small Enough to Care

01538 382323
Monday - Friday, 9am to 5pm

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New Zealand Steam Adventure (Ground Only)

Experience the trip of a lifetime on our unique escorted tour to New Zealand showcasing the best of both the North and South Islands. Immerse yourself in the charm of KiwiRail's scenic routes with breathtaking rides on all three journeying through magnificent mountain scenery and coastlines. Enjoy numerous charter trains, exclusive steam charters, a lake cruise, visits to railway museums, and much more plus time to explore and soak in the culture, beauty, and history of this amazing country.

View Dates & Book

22 days from £7995 (Ground Only)



Monday 10 February 2025



  • Experience all three of KiwiRail’s superbly scenic routes

  • "TranzAlpine Train" – one of the Top 10 Railway Journeys of the World

  • "Northern Explorer" – featuring the famous Raurimu Spiral

  • "Coastal Pacific" – the most picturesque journey on New Zealand’s Railways

  • Journey through the magnificent Taieri Gorge on a special charter

  • Experience rail travel with a difference at the mystically remote Taumaraunui to Stratford Railway

  • Visit fascinating railway museums housing unique locomotives

  • Ride 100km behind the historic WW1 memorial steam locomotive Ab 608 "Passchendaele"

  • Travel on the unique Rm4 Model T Railcar at Pleasant Point Railway

  • Enjoy numerous steam rides including exclusive charters plus two vintage railcar charters

  • Cruise on a vintage coal fired steamboat

  • Discover MOTAT, New Zealand’s largest transport and technology museum

  • An immersive festival experience at the Art Deco Festival in Napier

  • Winery and brewery visits with tours and tastings

  • Indulge in traditional Māori Hāngī cuisine

  • Enjoy time in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Queenstown


Also included in your Tour Fare:

  • 21 nights’ bed & breakfast plus 15 evening meals and 7 lunches

  • Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager with extensive "on the ground" knowledge



Monday 10th February
After making your own flight arrangements to New Zealand, you will meet the group at the Nesuto Stadium Hotel and, after check-in, we will spend the rest of the day at leisure to explore our new surroundings.


Tuesday 11th February
This morning, we enjoy a guided city tour of Auckland before our afternoon visit to MOTAT, New Zealand's largest transport and technology museum. Here we will enjoy a guided tour, take a look behind the scenes at the railway workshop, and experience a vintage tram ride.



Wednesday 12th February
Today we will ride a local train from Auckland to Pukekohe for a private visit to the Glenbrook Vintage Railway including a special steam charter over their 10km line plus a visit to the workshops. We will continue our day by coach via Matamata (famous for its association with the Hobbiton Movie Set) to the thermal resort at Rotorua where we will experience the best of New Zealand's Maori culture plus thermal geysers, mud pools, and natural spas. We will be staying in Rotorua overnight to enjoy a traditional Maori Hangi evening meal.

B, D


Thursday 13th February
Today we travel by road to Hamilton where we board KiwiRail's "Northern Explorer" panoramic train for a superbly scenic three-hour journey to National Park featuring the world famous Raurimu Spiral, an engineering marvel where the train follows the tight curves travelling beneath itself as it loops around. We then follow the line by road south where we may see a train crossing the magnificent Makatote Viaduct before visiting the "Last Spike" monument commemorating completion of the North Island Main Trunk Line. Continuing on our way, we hope to see views of Mt. Tarawera and the three active volcanos of Tongariro National Park as we reach the ski village of Ohakune where there is time to explore the restored railway station and signal box before our evening meal and overnight stay.

B, D


Friday 14th February
This afternoon we experience rail travel with a difference! We will ride in a convoy of modified golf carts over scenic sections of the mystically remote Taumaraunui to Stratford Railway travelling through tunnels and over bridges, all hand built. We will be stopping at Tangiwai Memorial to learn about an important piece of New Zealand history at the site of the worst railway accident and, further north, we can take a closer look at the Raurimu Spiral. We will enjoy a lineside picnic during the railcart ride before we continue by coach across the Central Volcanic Plateau and along Lake Taupo arriving in time for our evening meal at the Lakeland Resort in Taupo.

B, L, D


Saturday 15th February
After breakfast this morning, we continue our scenic coach journey by descending from the Central Plateau to the coastal vineyards of Hawkes Bay where we watch the first street parade of the Art Deco Festival in Napier before indulging in lunch and a wine tasting at one of the wineries. We will then tour the beautiful town of Napier, completely destroyed in February 1931 by a devastating earthquake, the town has been carefully rebuilt reflecting the architectural style of the times. We will stay for two nights at a motel in nearby Hastings and enjoy our evening meal in a local restaurant.

B, L, D


Sunday 16th February
Today we will experience a full day at the Art Deco Festival in Napier which celebrates the re-building of the town and showcases some of the finest examples of Art Deco Architecture, Music & Fashion in the world. We enjoy an immersive festival experience with hundreds of street events, stalls, and concerts to choose from throughout the day. There will also be vintage transport options such as tours by vintage road vehicles and possibly a visiting steam locomotive.



Monday 17th February
After breakfast this morning, we travel south in an exclusive chartered vintage railcar from Hastings station to Pahiatua Railcar Museum & Workshops travelling over Ormondville viaduct, around the famous Woodville Balloon Loop, and traversing the scenic Manawatu Gorge enjoying a picnic lunch en-route at Ormondville Station. We enjoy free time to discover the railcar collection and wander around the workshop before continuing by road to Masterton for our evening meal.

B, L, D


Tuesday 18th February
Today we cross the spectacular Rimutaka Mountain Range via the charming Greytown to Featherston for a visit to the unique Fell Locomotive Museum. The museum houses the H199, the only steam locomotive of its kind in the world, designed for use on the famous Rimutaka Incline climbing gradients as steep as 1 in 13. Here, we enjoy some light refreshments before continuing by rail to Wellington for our two-night stay and we enjoy our evening meal together.

B, LR, D

DAY 10

Wednesday 19th February
After our breakfast this morning, we enjoy a guided tour of Wellington travelling on the cable car and visiting the cable car museum and Te Papa - the National Museum of New Zealand. Our afternoon is spent taking a coastal train ride to visit two extraordinary steam depots - Mainline Steam at Plimmerton and Steam Inc. at Paekakariki - to see their mighty 4-8-4 KA and 4-8-2 JA class locomotives. There will also be time to call in at "Mack's Track", one of New Zealand's few dedicated model railway shops, conveniently located on Plimmerton's station platform.


DAY 11

Thursday 20th February
After our breakfast, we set sail on the early morning Interisland Ferry from Wellington to Picton in the South Island and, from here, we ride KiwiRail's "Coastal Pacific" train south to Christchurch. Hailed as one of the most picturesque journeys on New Zealand's railways, we journey for six hours along rugged coastlines, across remote beaches, and between mountains and sea on a train with panoramic windows and an open-air view carriage. On arrival in Christchurch, we enjoy our evening meal together.

B, D

DAY 12

Friday 21st February
We spend this morning at leisure exploring Christchurch with our included Tram Pass - by far the best way to discover the city centre. This afternoon we travel by road to Plains Railway at Tinwald which houses New Zealand's oldest operating steam locomotive, a Dubs A Class from 1873, and their famous Rogers K88. We will experience a private steam hauled ride behind one of their locomotives before continuing by road past Mt. Cook to lakeside Queenstown arriving in time for our evening meal together.

B, D

DAY 13

Saturday 22nd February
We will spend today at leisure and, with so much to do in Queenstown, there is something for everyone - you could enjoy a scenic flight/cruise to Milford Sound, take a movie location tour for films such as "Lord of the Rings", Wolverine", and "Mission Impossible 6", or experience a thrilling jet boat ride in the iconic Shotover Canyons to name a few. This evening, we will embark on a memorable evening cruise on the vintage coal fired steamboat TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak, a working farm, for a truly sumptuous BBQ Dinner.

B, D

DAY 14

Sunday 23rd February
Today we make our way by road to Arrowtown, a picturesque town with gold mining history, streets of restored heritage buildings, old miners' cottages, and an original Chinese settlement. We then head south to take a ride in 100-year-old wooden carriages behind a mighty Ab Pacific steam locomotive on New Zealand's most famous steam train - the "Kingston Flyer". We travel from Lake Wakatipu along the valley floor with the mountains towering high above us before continuing by road to the Waimea Plains Railway to see the 1878 Rogers steam locomotive that hauled the original Kingston Flyer train. After checking into our hotel in Dunedin, we will enjoy a tour and tasting at Speight's Brewery before our evening meal at Speight's Ale House.

B, D

DAY 15

Monday 24th February
Today we will experience the rail journey of a lifetime! Travelling on an iconic rail journey through the magnificent Taieri Gorge on a special charter, we experience the towering viaducts and deep gorges clinging tightly to steep cliffs and enjoying a real sense of the "frontier" isolation of the early settlers. We will be hauled by diesel-electric locomotives from the 1960's and will travel in wooden carriages with fully opening windows and open-end balconies so you can make the most of the breathtaking photographic opportunities plus we will enjoy our lunch on board. This afternoon we tour the "Scottish City" of Dunedin including the Settlers Museum with its excellent transport collection including "Josephine", the only 3'6" gauge Double Fairlie locomotive anywhere in the world, and the very last New Zealand mainline steam locomotive, JA 1274. Nearby is what is considered New Zealand's most photographed building - George Troup's masterpiece, the Dunedin Railway Station - and our tour guide will take us around the building revealing things that the casual observer usually misses!

B, L

DAY 16

Tuesday 25th February
After breakfast this morning, we enjoy another special scenic charter train travelling northbound this time along the east coast from Dunedin to Oamaru with lunch served on board. We will also experience an exclusive charter, our second of the day, on the quirky Harbour Railway taking us on a nostalgic journey past some of Oamaru's oldest buildings, the site of Oamaru's first railway station, and along clay cliffs beside the harbour.

B, L, D

DAY 17

Wednesday 26th February
Today we journey by road to Timaru to visit the Pleasant Point Railway where we will see and travel on one of the most interesting and unique rail vehicles, the replica Rm4 Model T Railcar. Specially built in 1925 on a one-ton Model T Ford truck chassis, these railcars were used on rural NZR branches throughout the 1920's. We continue our day travelling along the Canterbury Plain to the Ferrymead Heritage Park, a restored Colonial Town, where we find many heritage artefacts including a superb collection of beautifully restored Steam, Diesel, and Electric Locomotives plus Trams, Buses, Trolley-Buses, and Fire Engines.

B, L

DAY 18

Thursday 27th February
Today's rail journey is considered one of the Top 10 "Railway Journeys of the World" - KiwiRail's "TranzAlpine Train". To do this journey justice, we will be travelling in both directions from Christchurch to Greymouth and back in a day. The photographic opportunities on this journey are truly first class with outdoor viewing cars allowing you to make the very most of this spectacular journey. The train weaves through cliff-lined river gorges with astonishing views and engineering masterpieces, burrowing through no less than 16 tunnels until we reach the highest point of the line at Arthur's Pass surrounded by towering peaks. From here, we meander alongside the pristine blue waters of the Waimakariri River, flying over the dramatic Staircase Viaduct, plunging into the Otira Tunnel, and following a series of river valleys through idyllic scenery until we arrive at the original coal exporting port of Greymouth.

B, D

DAY 19

Friday 28th February
After breakfast this morning, we will travel up to Kaikoura, known for its stunning coastal landscapes and abundance of marine wildlife. We will journey along the coastal scenic highway road running parallel to the mainline and passing several seal colonies and, on arrival, we enjoy time at leisure to explore the natural wonders that Kaikoura offers. A whale-watching trip is highly recommended!

B, D

DAY 20

Saturday 1st March
We will enjoy a relaxed breakfast and leisurely morning before a very special charter this afternoon when we take a 100km ride behind one of the most important and famous steam locomotives in New Zealand - the historic WW1 memorial Ab 608 "Passchendaele". We journey along the coast from Kaikoura to Blenheim travelling across the historic Awatere River railroad bridge into the beautiful Awatere Valley, carving through the Dashwood Pass, and traversing the heart of the Marlborough Winelands. Travelling in heritage wooden carriages with open balconies ideal for photo opportunities and fresh mountain air, we will enjoy our lunch on board and return by road to Kaikoura for our evening meal.

B, L, D

DAY 21

Sunday 2nd March
After breakfast, we return to Christchurch via the Weka Pass Railway, probably the most scenic preserved branch line in New Zealand. The Weka Pass Railway uses both vintage steam and diesel-electric locomotives through the unique limestone beauty of the Weka Pass out of Waipara. The line begins nestled among the vines before gradually gaining height, winding past Frog Rock, up through the Weka Pass between impressive limestone crags, to the summit terminus of Waikari where we will be treated to an extraordinary, panoramic view of the Southern Alps. To round off our last day in New Zealand we will enjoy a wine tasting at Pegasus Bay Winery, a unique vineyard, before a very special Farewell Dinner together.

B, D

DAY 22

Monday 3rd March
After our fantastic Railtrail adventure, you will make your way independently to the airport for your chosen flight home.

*Important Note: Whilst the arrangements for all described steam train travel are in place, we do reserve the right to make substitutions should it be deemed necessary for whatever reason.


B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, LR=Light Refreshments, D=Dinner


Ground Only Fare:

Ex Auckland/Christchurch


Single Traveller Supplement



* If you would like to include return flights to/from New Zealand, please book on the  "Flight Inclusive"  version of the tour.


Please see below the details of the flights we intend to use on our Flight Inclusive tour:

SQ319 – 07FEB – LHR SIN – 2035 1730+1 (London Heathrow to Singapore)

SQ285 – 09FEB – SIN AKL – 2225 1320+1 (Singapore to Auckland)

SQ298 – 03MAR – CHC SIN – 1200 1740 (Christchurch to Singapore)

SQ308 – 04MAR – SIN LHR – 0900 1520 (Singapore to London Heathrow)


21 nights’ bed & breakfast plus 15 evening meals and 7 lunches

All train rides, transfers, excursions & admissions as detailed

Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager




Nesuto Stadium Hotel, Auckland – 10/02-12/02

Situated in a great downtown Auckland City location, the Nesuto Stadium Hotel offers a welcoming and refreshed look following its recent refurbishment along with a brand-new, alfresco style bar and restaurant, NOOK. The stylish and chic rooms offer modern sophisticated décor and include a Smart TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, a desk, USB charging ports, air-conditioning, and tea/coffee making facilities.


Novotel Lakeside, Rotorua – 12/02-13/02

Centrally located on the shores of Lake Rotorua, the Novotel Lakeside features an indoor pool, a fitness centre, and a spa with geothermal mineral pools plus the Atlas Restaurant serving local and international dishes. The Clarke’s Bar provides a cosy and relaxed atmosphere with a lake-view terrace, a perfect place to unwind. The air-conditioned rooms offer a private bathroom, hairdryer, ironing facilities, a flat screen TV, and tea/coffee making facilities.


Park Hotel, Ohakune – 13/02-14/02

The Park Hotel provides a friendly, relaxed environment with stunning views of the three volcanoes and the characterful Spiral Restaurant & Bar offers a seasonal menu and alfresco dining. The cosy rooms include an en-suite bathroom, complimentary toiletries, hairdryer, a flat screen TV, free Wi-Fi, and tea/coffee making facilities.


Lakeland Resort, Taupo – 14/02-15/02

Locally owned and operated, the Lakeland Resort is situated on the beautiful shores of Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake, and offers an outdoor swimming pool, a tennis court, guest laundry facilities plus The Lakeland Bar & Brasserie serving delicious, seasonal cuisine. All rooms provide an en-suite bathroom, hairdryer, iron and ironing board, a flat screen TV, and tea/coffee making facilities.


Apple Motor Inn, Hastings – 15/02-17/02

Within short walking distance of the cafés, restaurants, and beautiful architecture of central Hastings, Apple Motor Inn offers friendly and comfortable accommodation plus an outdoor pool and dining area. The rooms provide an en-suite bathroom, free Wi-Fi, and tea/coffee making facilities.


Copthorne Hotel, Masterton – 17/02-18/02

Copthorne Hotel and Resort Solway Park's recent refurbishment has seen it become one of Wairarapa’s most luxurious hotels. Its landscaped grounds nestled in the Wairarapa Valley include indoor and outdoor pools, spa facilities, and a gym plus The Grill restaurant serving local cuisine. The modern, air-conditioned rooms offer a private bathroom with complimentary toiletries, hairdryer, free Wi-Fi, and tea/coffee making facilities.


Rydges, Wellington – 18/02-20/02

The Rydges Wellington is ideally located on downtown Featherston Street with a unique combination of scenic harbour vistas and vibrant city outlooks. The hotel facilities include a spa, an indoor pool, and a sauna plus The Portlander Restaurant & Bar is a thriving hub of steak, whisky, wine, and ambience. The luxurious, air-conditioned rooms offer private bathroom facilities, flat screen TV, hairdryer, and free Wi-Fi.


Fable Hotel, Christchurch – 20/02-21/02 and 26/02-28/02 and 02/03-03/03

Located in the city centre, the Fable Christchurch offers chic accommodation with city views, a gym and sauna, and a restaurant serving fresh, locally sourced cuisine. The contemporary rooms provide an en-suite bathroom, air-conditioning, hairdryer, ironing facilities, flat screen TV, free Wi-Fi, and tea/coffee making facilities.


Holiday Inn Express, Queenstown – 21/02-23/02

The Holiday Inn Express is located in a prime position in Queenstown providing close proximity to the city centre shopping, entertainment, and outdoor activities. This hotel features a fitness room, sauna, restaurant, and cosy place to unwind and relax by the Ember Fire Pit or Great Room Fireplace. The modern and comfortable bedrooms offer a private bathroom with a power shower, hairdryer, black-out blinds, air-conditioning, a flat screen TV, free Wi-Fi, and tea/coffee making facilities.


Leisure Lodge, Dunedin – 23/02-25/02

A warm welcome awaits at Dunedin’s only garden hotel, the Leisure Lodge, nestled within 2 acres of beautifully kept gardens and neighbouring the stunning Dunedin Botanic Garden. McGavin’s Restaurant & Bar, located on the former site of McGavin Brewery, offers fresh, locally sourced cuisine and a range of local and international wines and beers. The comfortable rooms provide an en-suite bathroom with complimentary toiletries, a flat screen TV, free Wi-Fi, and tea/coffee making facilities.


Brydone Hotel, Oamaru – 25/02-26/02

This enchanting hotel is located in central Oamaru within easy walking distance of the Historic Precinct, the Little Blue Penguin Colony, and the beautiful displays at the Oamaru Public Gardens. The restaurant offers a diverse range of local and international cuisine, and the Totara Bar is the perfect place to relax with a drink or two under the striking stained-glass ceiling. The comfortable rooms offer a private bathroom, hairdryer, satellite TV, and free Wi-Fi.


Sudima Hotel, Kaikōura – 28/02-02/03

With its fantastic location on the shoreline, the new Sudima Hotel has stunning views of both the mountains and sea and offers state-of-the-art facilities including a heated outdoor infinity pool, fitness facility, a modern all-day restaurant including an outdoor patio with fabulous views, and a bar. The rooms are tastefully decorated and provide an en-suite bathroom, a hairdryer, a TV with content casting, an Amazon Echo, a safe, free Wi-Fi, and tea/coffee making facilities.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address
Tour Base Tour Base (Join & Leave at Hotel)

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Contact Us
Railtrail Tours Limited
21 The Smithfield Centre, Leek
Staffordshire Moorlands, ST13 5JW
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