East Coast Rail Excursion

  • Duration:7 days
  • Distance:1500km+
  • Operates:3/10/18
from $2149 per person

On 03 Oct 2018




Join us on 3 October 2018 for a 7 day, 6 night rail tour up the East Coast of the South Island.  Using a number of different rail options and coaches, we will transport you in style from Dunedin to Blenheim and Picton  via Ashburton, Christchurch and Kaikoura with an overnight interlude at romantic Hanmer Springs. Rail highlights of the trip will include travelling in luxury on the Silverfern Railcar from Dunedin to Waipara and Christchurch to Dunedin, the historic rural railway at Weka Pass, the narrow gauge Riverside Railway in Blenheim and the iconic Marlborough Flyer Steam Train between Picton and Blenheim.  We will visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre and enjoy a Queen Charlotte Sounds Cruise.  There will be time for relaxing and exploring your surroundings at our overnight stops and a number of optional activities available.



Day 1:

Depart Dunedin on the Silverfern Railcar. Our destination for today is Ashburton. Bring your own packed lunch with you, or pre-order a lunch box. We will have a short stop in Timaru in the afternoon. Our accommodation this evening will be the Hotel Ahsburton and you will be transferred there by coach from the Railway Station. Enjoy a buffet dinner at the hotel with your fellow travellers.   Dinner Included.


Day 2:

After a buffet breakfast and a coach transfer to the Silverfern we will depart Ashburton this morning for Waipara and the historic Weka Pass Railway. This historic rural steam railway runs through the Weka Pass from Waipara to Waikari. We’ll take the train through the pass and be met in Waikari by the coaches. From here we will make our way to Hanmer Springs where we will spend the night at the Heritage Hotel. An optional activity this afternoon/evening is the world famous hot pools.  Enjoy your evening at leisure perhaps enjoying dinner at a local restaurant. 

Buffet breakfast included.

Day 3:

After breakfast this morning depart Hanmer Springs by coach heading for the beautiful Kaikoura. There will be free time in Kaikoura today. Choose from one of the many restaurants available for lunch and take time to explore the town on your own. After lunch we’ll depart Kaikoura by coach for Blenheim. Your accommodation will be at the Scenic Hotel Marlborough for the next three nights. Enjoy dinner this evening at the hotel.

Buffet Breakfast and dinner at your hotel included.

Day 4:

After breakfast take the short walk to the Riverside Railway Terminus to board the narrow gauge vintage railway to the Omaka Aircraft museum.  After our time at the museum we’ll travel back by the open air light railway. The afternoon is free to enjoy Blenheim at your leisure.

Buffet breakfast included.

Day 5:

After breakfast we’ll board the coaches and travel up to Picton to embark on the three hour Ship Cove Cruise up through the Queen Charlotte Sound to the historical Ship Cove returning via Endeavour Inlet. Enjoy a full commentary from the Skipper and a 30 minute stopover at Ship Cove, named by Captain James Cook.  Complimentary tea and coffee will be available on board. Spend some time exploring Picton and having lunch before we take the Marlborough Flyer Steam Train back to Blenheim at 3pm.

Buffet breakfast included.

Day 6:

After buffet breakfast this morning say goodbye to lovely Blenheim as by coach we travel south again. Our destination today is Christchurch. We will stop for lunch at The Store at Kekerengu along the way.  If you didn’t notice it on the way up, marvel at the enormous amount of reconstruction work that has taken place around Kaikoura following the devastating earthquake. Enjoy our last dinner together this evening at the Quality Hotel Elms, where we will be staying.

Buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the hotel included.


Day 7:

Our last day together begins with buffet breakfast at the hotel. We’ll transfer back to the Silverfern by coach and travel down to Dunedin stopping in Timaru around lunch time. We will arrive back into Dunedin Station at about 6pm.

Buffet breakfast included.



Hanmer Springs Hot Pool

Price per adult $16



Luxury rail travel aboard the Silverfern Railcar between Dunedin and Waipara, and Christchurch and Dunedin.
Rail Journeys on the Weka Pass Railway, the Blenheim Riverside Railway, and the Marlborough Flyer.
All activities listed in the itinerary.
Accommodation in Twin or Double rooms. Single rooms available at extra cost.
Transfers and coach tours as described in the Itinerary.
Six breakfasts, one lunch, and three dinners.
Full commentary on all sections of the journey.
Knowledgeable and friendly crew throughout.
Free pouring tea and coffee aboard the Silver Fern.

Light refreshments will be available for purchase from the food and drink trolley during the rail section of the tour.


$2149pp for all services as described in the Itinerary.

$499 for single supplement




To ensure your place on this excursion a non-refundable deposit of $500per person is required at the time of booking, with the balance due by Friday 7th September 2018. Bookings made after 7th September require full payment at the time of booking. The deposit and full payment are non-refundable unless we are able to on sell your ticket. All cancellation charges are on a per person basis.

For bookings and more information contact the Ticket Office at Dunedin Railways  03 4774449 or email [email protected]


DUNEDIN RAILWAYS and OPERATING STAFF expressly reserve the right to amend, vary or cancel any part of the rail Tour Itinerary what so ever and shall not be liable in respect to any delay, loss, damage, sickness, additional expense or injury however caused or damage to or loss of property or baggage and will not be responsible for alteration or late running of the services as detailed in the itinerary by suppliers of those services. A non-refundable deposit of $500 per person is required at the time of booking to secure your place. Dunedin Railways reserves the right the cancel the Rail Tour should we not reach minimum numbers. In this instance all deposits would be refunded. We strongly recommend you take out travel insurance.

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