Wine, Eco and Art Tours of Marlborough and Nelson, New Zealand
NZ 0800 326 868 | Int. +64 3 545 8485 | info@wineartandwilderness.co.nz

Tranz Nelson Circuit Tour

  • Price: $POA
  • Duration: 4 days
  • Depart Chch: Opt 1, 8.15 am; Opt 2, 7.00 am
  • Food: Lunch included
Please note: all scheduled tours can be converted into an exclusive tour.

Highlights:

  • Tranz Alpine scenic rail journey.
  • Luxury transport and gourmet food options throughout.
  • Explore "one of the top coastal highways in the world." (Lonely Planet)
  • Visit giant native forests and Hobbit film sets.
  • Days 2 and 3 - chose from our range of day trips including winery visits.

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Tour overview:


This short break, 3-5 day tour, showcases the very best of the upper South Island including the award-winning vineyards of Marlborough, the majestic West Coast and the stunning scenery of Nelson - the sunniest region in the country. Tranz Nelson Circuit is available in two flexible options - clockwise (Christchurch to Nelson via West Coast, returning to Christchurch via Picton), or anti-clockwise (Christchurch to Nelson via Blenheim, returning to Christchurch via the West Coast). It is also possible to either start or finish in Nelson or Picton. Full details are supplied below.

Option one - Clockwise

Day One

CHRISTCHURCH TO NELSON via WEST COAST

Depart the city of Christchurch for your first unique experience on the Tranz Alpine scenic train, which travels from one coast of New Zealand to the other. You’ll have great views of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. The train climbs into the Southern Alps before descending through lush beech rain forest to the West Coast town of Greymouth. This rail ride is 224 kilometres long and takes just four and a half hours. There are 19 tunnels and 4 viaducts, the highest being ‘The Staircase’ at 73 metres.

At Greymouth you are collected by luxury Mercedes van (maximum guests 9 pax) and driven north to a stunning viewpoint to enjoy a gourmet lunch.
The drive continues on what Lonely Planet describes as one of the top coastal highways in the world - through luxuriant coastal forest, limestone cliffs and canyons, and an absolutely spectacular coastline, all packed into one tiny national park – Paparoa, which is most famous for the Pancake Rocks and blowholes of Dolomite Point, beside the little settlement of Punakaiki.

We visit the hidden gem of Charleston, a place rich in gold mining history that features rugged coastline, impressive sea cliffs and numerous small inlets, all shaped by the relentless sea. We pass through the spectacular Buller Gorge, Kawatiri Junction and alongside the Kahurangi National Park on the way to your accommodation in Nelson.

Inclusions: Tranz Alpine train, lunch, water and refreshments, guided interpretation, transport to Nelson and accommodation in Nelson. Exclusion: evening meal.

Days Two and Three

SELECT FROM THE FOLLOWING OPTIONS:

a. Wine in the Wilderness
b. Wine Exposed Nelson
c. Abel Tasman Water and Walk
d. Golden Bay in a Day
e. Trust the Guide

Other Day 2 and 3 tour options may be available - please refer to the Wine, Art & Wilderness Trade Manual or website for full details of these and all our tours.

Day Four

NELSON TO CHRISTCHURCH via PICTON/Blenheim

Depart Nelson for a scenic drive to Picton stopping on route at Pelorous to explore one of the film sites of the Hobbit movie. This is followed by a short walk through a virgin podocarp forest amongst many of New Zealand’s giant timber trees. The journey continues alongside the beautiful Marlborough Sounds before arriving in Picton to board the Coastal Pacific train for the stunning scenic journey back to Christchurch.

Option two - Anti-clockwise

Day One

CHRISTCHURCH TO NELSON via BLENHEIM

Depart Christchurch on the Coastal Pacific train to Blenheim. This journey is a scenic feast of New Zealand, with the Kaikoura mountain ranges on one side of your train and the rugged Pacific Ocean coastline on the other. Passing though the village of Kaikoura and some of New Zealand’s finest horticultural and farmland areas, you may see wildlife such as dolphins, seals and penguins from the comfort of your train carriage. One of the world's most scenic train journeys, your Coastal Pacific train features an open air viewing carriage where all your senses are awakened with the clean, fresh, sea air. This service also includes a fully licensed café car and professional Train Managers who provide informative commentary to ensure a totally unique experience.

Disembark the train at Blenheim at 11.45am to be met by Wine, Art and Wilderness in their luxury Mercedes van and driven through the famous Marlborough wine country for your first taste of the world renowned Sauvignon Blanc, followed by a visit to Makana Chocolate factory for free tasting.

This fully catered day includes lunch at one of many winery cafes, a guided tour of the state of the art Nautilus winery with the wine maker which may include tank and barrel samples if available. The finished product is then matched with the region’s finest food prepared by your guide.

The scenic drive to Nelson follows with a stop at Pelorous to see the film site of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and to take a walk through the majestic podocarp forest giants.  Accommodation has been arranged in Nelson.

Days Two and Three

SELECT FROM THE FOLLOWING OPTIONS:

a. Wine in the Wilderness
b. Wine Exposed Nelson
c. Abel Tasman Water and Walk
d. Golden Bay in a Day

Other Day 2 and 3 tour options may be available - please refer to the Wine, Art & Wilderness Trade Manual or website for full details of these and all our tours.

Day Four

NELSON TO CHRISTCHURCH via GREYMOUTH and PUNAKAIKI

Leaving the city limits this journey touches on the scientific history through the discoveries of Sir Ernest Lord Rutherford – Father of the Atom, then the pioneering endeavours of the early road and railway developers at Kawatiri Junction. With a train to catch in Greymouth at 1.45pm we continue on what Lonely Planet describes as one of the top coastal highways in the world through luxuriant coastal forest, limestone cliffs and canyons, caves and underground streams, and an absolutely spectacular coastline, all packed into one tiny national park – Paparoa. It is perhaps most famous for the Pancake Rocks and blowholes of Dolomite Point, beside the little settlement of Punakaiki.

Limestone underlies most of the park and it is responsible for the area’s amazing landforms – high coastal cliffs, sculptured mountain ridges, impressive river canyons, delicate cave formations and the bizarre plate-like coastal formations that the area is so well known for. On the coast, pounding waves have cut through the limestone in places creating sculptured rock and blowholes. Weather permitting a picnic lunch will be enjoyed at one of the many roadside viewpoints before moving on to Greymouth to board the Tranz Alpine Express, which travels coast to coast between Greymouth and Christchurch.

Your train then climbs into the Southern Alps before descending through lush beech rain forest and through the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River followed by the farmland of  the Canterbury Plains. This rail trip is 223.8 kilometres long and takes just four and a half hours. There are 19 tunnels, and 4 viaducts, the highest being the Staircase standing at 73 metres. Arrive Christchurch 6.05pm. 

"We had a fabulous two days. Thank you for everything... The touring, the lunch, your knowledge was amazing!"
Coleen, Garth, Catherine, Victoria & Madeline Jay.
China


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