The Great New Zealand Train Journey

The Great New Zealand Train Journey

13 - 27 October 2019

Train whistle blowin’, all aboard and we are on the road (or on the train tracks!) for the Greatest New Zealand Train Journey which combines all the bygone glory of train travel, with fun and laughter with our escorts John, Karl & Alex as well as incredible musical events in beautiful settings around New Zealand.

$6,600 NZD
per person
twin share
Single Room Supplement
- ADD $1,935 NZD
Initial Deposit On Booking
$900 NZD
Second Deposit Due 21 May 2019
$2,000 NZD
Final Balance Due 5 July 2019

The Great New Zealand Train Journey

  • Experience the Exceptional

    Train rides through beautiful farmlands, rugged coastlines, the volcanic plateau, snowy mountains and rain forests.

    Musical experiences along the way which include a gala event at Hamilton Gardens, with themed concert in themed gardens with themed food to top it all off. Other musical experiences include a dine and dance, a vineyard concert and a gala concert at the Tongariro Chateau.

    Entertainment from our escorts on board our carriage, led by Karl Perigo, as we travel through our country, the most beautiful country in the world.

    Numerous tours and experiences from Hobbiton to the Weta Museum to glimpse behind the scenes of The Lord of the Rings, to the International Antarctic Centre, wine tasting in Blenheim and so much more.

    Love, care and laughter from our incredible escorts led by John Cameron, Karl Perigo and Alex Milligan.

  • Auckland - Grand Mercure Hotel (1 night)

    Today we meet from around New Zealand in preparation for our train journey starting early tomorrow. We meet for a casual dinner tonight.

  • Auckland - Hamilton on the Northern Explorer

    Novotel Hamilton Tainui (3 nights) Novotel Tainui Hamilton is a four star hotel, centrally located on the banks of Waikato River, which offers an award-winning restaurant, a fitness centre, a sauna and massage facilities.

    HIGHLIGHTS include:

    • Train journey from Auckland to Hamilton leaving from the iconic Britomart Station.
    • Transfer to Hobbiton where we step into the lush pastures of the Shire, as seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, for a tour and lunch.
    • Welcome dinner at hotel this evening, accompanied by Showstoppers concert from our escorts.

     

  • HIGHLIGHTS include:

    • Transfer to Cambridge with time to wander and shop.
    • Lunch at the beautiful Sarnia Park with time to wander the grounds and enjoy the ambience of this lovely estate.
    • Dine and dance with Celebrate the 50’s to the 70’s at Woodlands this evening led by Karl. Sure to be a mad, fun evening.

  • HIGHLIGHTS include:

    • Free time this morning for shopping - we are situated right in town so shops are within very easy walking distance. 
    • One of our premium events this evening: Themed concerts at the magnificent Hamilton Gardens.
    • Each garden has its own theme and we will enhance your experience in the already beautiful gardens by presenting themed concerts in each garden, complemented by specially themed food.
    • Excerpts from The Mikado in the Japanese Garden with sushi and rice balls, Saxophone Americana music in the American Garden with mini hamburgers and hot dogs. Our string trio with Music be the Food of Love in the Renaissance Garden with Italian food and Grand Finale in the Indian Garden with dessert.

  • Hamilton - National Park on the Northern Explorer

    Chateau Tongariro (2 nights) The Chateau sits in the fourth oldest national park in the world (Tongariro, established 1894) at an elevation of more than 1100m. The five-storey, 134-room property can be seen for miles and is an iconic Kiwi hotel.

    HIGHLIGHTS include:

    • Train journey with wonderful scenery between Hamilton and the Tongariro National Park.
    • A visit to the National Army Museum in Waiouru.
    • Dinner (own cost) and then a chance to catch a movie in the private movie theatre at the Chateau. Murder on the Orient Express - let’s hope there is no such thing for us on the train in a couple of days!

  • HIGHLIGHTS include:

    • Tour of the local area: a scenic drive around Mt Tongariro and Mt Ruapehu.
    • Lunch and tour of Lavender Farm, Taumaranui.
    • A sumptuous feast of cuisine and a gala concert, Climb Every Mountain, featuring famous songs from music theatre in the private dining room at the Chateau.

  • Tongaririo Natioanl Park - Wellington on the Northern Explorer

    Novotel Wellington (3 nights) offers direct access to the Lambton Quay shopping area, just half a mile from Wellington Station. This hotel features rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic views.

    HIGHLIGHTS include:

    • Another incredible train journey through the lower half of the North Island.
    • A picnic lunch on board with lots of chance for a singalong today as we travel through farmlands and lovely scenery on our way to Wellington.
    • A casual dinner at our hotel this evening.

  • HIGHLIGHTS include:

    • A City Tour of Wellington including Wellington central area, a trip to the top of Mt Victoria, with its great views over Wellington, a visit to Te Papa and a tour of the Parliament Buildings.
    • Free time this afternoon for your own activities or a chance to catch up with friends.

  • HIGHLIGHTS include:

    • Experience a tour of the amazing Weta Workshop.
    • Tonight, dinner will be at The Bresolin, an award- winning fine dining restaurant, accompanied by music from our singers and laughter: Love and Laughter!

  • Today we are off to the South Island on the Interislander and enjoy the magnificent views of the Marlborough Sounds.

    Blenheim (2 nights)

    Scenic Hotel, Marlborough which has just undergone a multimillion dollar upgrade, is located in the heart of Marlborough Wine Country, internationally renowned for its Sauvignon Blanc.

    HIGHLIGHTS include:

    • Cruise through the Marlborough Sounds, spot dolphins and enjoy the glorious scenery as we travel through the Sounds.
    • Experience the outstanding Knights of the Sky exhibition, featuring Sir Peter Jackson’s own collection of WW1 aircraft and artifacts. The story of aviation in the Great War is theatrically brought to life by the internationally acclaimed talent of WingNut Films and Weta Workshop.
    • Free evening to relax and grab some dinner at leisure.

  • HIGHLIGHTS include:

    • Our first wine tasting of the day will be at Forrest Winery. Established in 1988, this vineyard specialises in award-winning Sauvignon Blanc.
    • Lunch at Wairau River Wines Cellar Door & Restaurant.
    • Twelve Trees Restaurant at the Allan Scott Family Winery for our dinner with entertainment themed Wine, Women and Song, provided by the escorts.

  • Blenheim - Kaikoura - Christchurch on the Coastal Pacific train

    We travel down one of the most beautiful coasts in New Zealand – with its crashing waves, rugged rocks and seal colonies – to Kaikoura and then onto Christchurch. Please note the train line is due to reopen in late 2018. We will of course sort an alternate route if necessary.

    Christchurch (3 nights) - Novotel Cathedral Square Hotel is superbly located in the heart of the Garden City.

    HIGHLIGHTS include:

    • An iconic and stunning train ride down the East Coast from Blenheim to Christchurch.
    • City tour of Christchurch on arrival.
    • A visit to the International Antarctic Centre to view their amazing displays and enjoy seeing the penguins.

  • Today we enjoy one of the most magnificent train journeys in the world, the TranzAlpine. We travel coast to coast from Christchurch to Greymouth and experience the striking beauty of the Southern Alps, the ice-fed Waimakariri River through to unique native beech forests.

  • HIGHLIGHTS include:

    • A tour of the Wigram Airforce Museum. 
    • Final night dinner at Hinton Vineyard with entertainment from our escorts. Train Whistle Blowin’, famous songs from the 50’s and 60’s and especially anything about trains, buses or ships!

  • We are transferred to the airport to make our way home taking with us some wonderful memories of our beautiful country.

This trip includes

  • 14 nights’ accommodation in 4-star hotels: Auckland (1 night), Hamilton (3 nights), Chateau Tongariro (2 nights), Wellington (3 nights), Blenheim (2 nights), Christchurch (3 nights).

  • Train journeys: Northern Explorer, Auckland - Hamilton - National Park - Wellington // Coastal Pacific, Blenheim - Christchurch // TranzAlpine, Christchurch - Greymouth (return). 

  • Other transport - Interislander Ferry one-way Wellington to Picton, plus all transfers, including luggage and people by coach included.

  • Musical experiences include gala themed event at Hamilton Gardens, Train Whistle Blowin’ at Hinton Vineyard, Climb Every Mountain at the Chateau, Love and Laughter at the Bresolin, Celebrate the 50’s to the 70’s at Woodlands, Wine, Women and Song at Twelve Trees Vineyard plus singalongs and fun on the train. 

  • Numerous experiences such as tours of Weta Workshop, Hobbiton, Knights of the Sky, International Antarctic Centre, Te Papa, National Army Museum and the Wigram Airforce Museum. 

  • Activity highlights include wine tasting in Blenheim, Cambridge and Sarnia House, special movie night at the Chateau to watch Murder on the Orient Express and tour of National Park. 

  • All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 10 dinners included. 

  • Escorted by John Cameron, Karl Perigo and Alex Milligan.

  • PLEASE NOTE: As our travellers are coming from all over NZ, airfares are not included.

  • EASY TOUR

    This tour will suit people with a stick, but not a walker. You will be required to walk to get from place to place and stand in museums, but it is designed to be an easy tour with lots of times to rest, travel on a coach and walk easy leisurely distances. You will need to be able to get on and off a train with ease and walk through the train stations.

  • IMPORTANT INFORMATION

    • All trips are subject to change but any changes will be of equal or greater value.

    • Deposits refundable until final payment date minus any costs incurred, or an administration fee of up to $150.

    • Travellers need to be independently mobile and fit to travel.

    • Travellers are required to obtain comprehensive travel insurance for all international trips.

    Please refer to terms & conditions on our booking form.

OUR TRAIN & BOAT JOURNEY

Our train journey takes us through many parts of New Zealand. The plan is we put our luggage on our coach so we don’t need to concern ourselves with luggage on the train. The coach drops us off and we enjoy time on the train while the coach drives our luggage to the next destination.
Then we enjoy concerts and singalongs in our own carriage and watch the world go by!

Northern Explorer - North Island We will see fantastic views of New Zealand farmland, rugged bush landscapes before ascending up the engineering masterpiece that is the Raurimu Spiral, to passing the majestic volcanoes of Mt Tongariro, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Ruapehu - the home of the North Island skifields. We then descend through stunning river gorges to the farming landscapes and rocky sea scapes of the lower North Island - all from large panoramic windows and the open-air viewing deck of the Northern Explorer train.

Interislander - Wellington - Picton The Interislander travels the Cook Strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand and is one of the most spectacular cruises in the world. The 92 km journey between Wellington and Picton is one of New Zealand’s most iconic tourist experiences.

Coastal Pacific Train Our journey takes us through the wine growing region of Blenheim to the rugged Kaikoura mountain ranges on one side of your train, the Pacific Ocean coastline on the other with views of marine wildlife such as seals and penguins to some of New Zealand’s finest horticultural and farmland areas of the Canterbury Plains.

TranzAlpine - Christchurch - Southern Alps - Greymouth (and return) Travelling west crossing the Canterbury Plains, the train slowly ascends through spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River towards the Southern Alps to the alpine village of Arthurs Pass for a short break before descending through the Otira Tunnel to the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, through lush alpine beech rain forests to Greymouth.

Travel Insurance

Every customer is required to take out insurance for all international travel when taking a trip with Operatunity Ltd. We have our own travel insurance broker and we invite you to ring direct for your insurance requirements.

Phone Harriet on 09 3629038 Or email [email protected]You are of course welcome to make your own insurance arrangements for travel, just be sure that your insurance policy covers you extensively especially when travelling to certain countries such as USA with its high health costs.

 

MOBILITY

Operatunity provides group senior travel and with this in mind we plan trips to suit our target market. But not every trip is created equal in terms of mobility. We want to give you the best possible experience but that will only be achieved if you are able to enjoy everything that our trips have to offer.
Most of our long haul trips require a better level of mobility. We will look after everyone as well as we possibly can, but we cannot look after one at the expense of the rest of the group. We also cannot have one person slowing the rest of group to the point where the group is not able to enjoy every experience we are able to provide.
With this in mind we have put a mobility clause into every trip. Under each explanation here I have popped a statement. Ask yourself if this is ‘you’, when booking on a trip.

None of the following mobility clauses preclude you from ordering a wheelchair at the airport if required.

1. GENTLE TOUR This tour will suit most people, even with a stick or a walker, but sorry not someone in a wheelchair. The activity level is gently paced, but you still need to be able to get on and off buses easily. There will be walking, but not a lot. “I love travelling, but at a gentle pace. I like to avoid stairs or too much activity, but I am able to get on and off buses easily.” 

2. EASY TOUR This tour will suit people with a stick, but not a walker. You will be required to walk to get from place to place and stand in museums, but it is designed to be an easy tour with lots of times to rest, travel on a coach and walk easy leisurely distances.  ”Walking is fine. I can get on and off a coach. I am happy to stand for an hour or two in museums and galleries and gently stroll through places of interest. I am happy to climb the odd set of stairs.” 

3. MODERATE WALKING TOUR This tour requires a better level of fitness with no wheelchairs or walkers. Generally, there may be times when we can’t get the coach close. In some of our Pacific Island tours we will need you to transfer onto a tender and walk on soft sand. We also will have much longer flights and long walks through airports. “I like walking at a moderate pace. I love to keep my days full and experience everything the tour has to  offer. Stairs, tender transfers and cobblestones don’t bother me.” 

4.  EXPLORING TOUR This is still a moderately paced tour, but you will be required to walk longer distances, walk on cobblestones and stand in museums. To really get the best out of this tour you need to be able to stand or walk for a couple  of hours comfortably, be it at a leisurely pace.  “I like to spend most of the day exploring. Whether walking historic neighbourhoods on cobblestones at a moderate pace or out and about on a coach, I want my days full. Stairs don’t bother me and I am keen to see and do as much as I can with the odd day off to recuperate.” 

  • Operatunity is a company specialising in music lovers tours to the senior market. Each trip has been especially planned to include music and arts experiences and has a level of friendliness and care which cannot be found anywhere else! Our trips are packed with features not found anywhere else

  • Yes we have lots of people who travel on their own. We endeavour to match you up with someone who lives close to you or is close in age to you. Often you will get a chance to meet with your matchup or ring them before you leave on your trip. You also may prefer to travel solo and pay the single supplement price. We travel as a happy band so there will be lots of chances to meet people. You will find fellow music lovers and those with other similar interests. In fact those like the nicer things of life so you will travel with like-minded people.
    It is also important to remember that our singers are our escorts so you will see at least a couple of familiar faces as you leave.

  • If you live outside of Auckland, we can arrange travel and accommodation on your way to meet up with our group. We have access and can book domestic airfares in conjunction with Air New Zealand international airfares. Plus we can book your pre and post tour accommodation if required.

  • It is compulsory for our international trips and highly recommended for our domestic tours. 

  • No as most airlines offer various special meals and any restaurants we visit are happy to accommodate special dietary requirements.

  • While we will endeavour to provide the best possible experience and care, all travellers must be fit to travel and be independent. All trips are catering for a senior market but some trips will suit better than others. Some trips also carry an advisory note as they require a higher level of fitness.

  • We ask that you can walk at least 100 metres unaided and be able to get on and off buses with little or no assistance. We cater for a senior market but it is important that you do not jeopardise the enjoyment of others by requiring more care and holding up the rest of the group. Talk to our office or staff at concerts and any advisory notes for individual trips to get a better idea of your suitability for each trip.

  • We stay at 4 and 5 star character hotels, avoiding package, tourist or big hotel chains. We choose  hotels with a more personal feel often with historic content or hotels of beauty and character, centrally located or in parks, by the water, or with beautiful gardens.

  • Breakfast is included daily, and many dinners and lunches are also included as per our itinerary.

  • There are no hidden costs. Included in the trip are tips, taxes, porterage, breakfast, meals where specified, inclusions listed in the itinerary, entry fees where listed in the itinerary, concert/show tickets where listed in the itinerary, tour escorts and local specialised guides. 

  • Some of our trips sell out very quickly and we recommend you make your booking as soon as you can to avoid disappointment. 

  • We will ask you to pay an initial deposit when making your booking. We will then follow up for a second deposit and then a final balance payment prior to travel.

  • All deposits up until final payment are refundable minus any costs the company may incur.

    After final deposit refunds are unlikely and the refund becomes an insurance claim. We do not charge a cancellation fee.

  • Our numbers vary from destination to destination, please contact our office for further information.  We have a minimum number required to operate a tour. Should minimum numbers not be met, a full refund will be made. 

  • For international trips, all guests must have a valid passport that does not expire earlier than at least 6 months beyond their intended stay. 

  • Music is a key element in making our experiences special. There are special experiences and events every day, such as themed dinners, impromptu concerts, music, art tours with art experts and garden tours with garden experts.

  • Most hotels now have internet connection and all hotels have telephones in the room or at reception. If using your mobile telephone check calling and text rates, and disable data roaming before leaving New Zealand. Consider purchasing a prepaid SIM card. And you can keep in touch using social media such as Facebook. We have a copy of your next of kin details in case of emergency and we are also happy to help out with texts, phone calls and emails if you can’t get in touch with your family and need to while away. We are also happy to help out with getting your phones, ipads and cameras to work if needed while away.

  • We spend less time travelling between regions, allowing more time to enjoy experiences when you arrive. We avoid one night stops and “conveyor belt” travel, so you really can capture the local colour and vitality of the region. Our trips are planned so that there is a balance of included activities and free time for you to relax or do some exploring on your own.

  • Contact Operatunity Travel 

    Phone toll free: 0508 886 489
    Mail your booking form to PO BOX 132 150, Sylvia Park, Auckland 1644
    Email: [email protected]

  • Phone toll free: 0508 886 489
    Email: [email protected]

Media/Newsflash

A Special Christmas Message from Bonnie & Karl, and Holiday Shutdown Information.
A Special Christmas Message from Bonnie & Karl, and Holiday Shutdown Information.
Our Prince & Princess, Alex & Alex!
Our Prince & Princess, Alex & Alex!
WIN a trip for two to the East Cape & Bay of Plenty!
WIN a trip for two to the East Cape & Bay of Plenty!
Our Three Tenors Return for Divas & Divos!
Our Three Tenors Return for Divas & Divos!

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