Exceptional flight-seeing and pre-paid ground attractions
Two ‘yesteryear’ grass runway landings & take offs
Pelorus Sound Wine & Mussel Cruise
Milford Sound Nature Cruise
Earnslaw Vintage Steamship Cruise
Lake Te Anau cruise or jet-boat ride
TranzAlpine rail journey
Three premier Aviation Museum visits
Wine and beer tasting
Cultural, Eco and Art & Craft visits
Two 2-night stopovers (Queenstown and Te Anau lakefront)
Quality 4 & 5 star hotels
Meals every day: Full breakfast (12), Dinner (12), Lunch (4)
Luxury tour coach sightseeing and transfers
Transfers to Ardmore (Auckland) and in Christchurch
Fully hosted tour (Tour Director/ Host)
12 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 12 Dinners
4 to 5 Star Hotels
Rebuilt & refurbished Douglas DC-3 Airliner
Air Safaris Cessna Grand Caravan or Nomad
Itinerary Visits and Activities
Aviation Museum Visits
Milford Sound Nature Cruise
Earnslaw Vintage Steamship Cruise
Pelorus Sound Wine & Mussel Cruise
Wine and beer tasting
Cultural, Eco and Art & Craft visits
Air Safaris alpine scenic flight
TranzAlpine rail journey
and much more...
Click on a day to expand
DC3 Flight - AUCKLAND to ROTORUA (Tue)
The adventure begins! Step aboard your classic DC-3 airliner for an exclusive adventure! Take off and climb gently to fly at low level above pretty Waikato farmland with views towards the Western Bay of Plenty.
Land at Rotorua Airport and drive through Rotorua, renowned for its significant Maori culture and geothermal activity. Visit Skyline Gondola for a spectacular ride to the top of Mt Ngongotaha with panoramic views of Lake Rotorua. Try a thrilling luge ride if you wish! Ride the Gondola down the hill again afterwards and visit nearby Rainbow Springs. See New Zealand’s iconic nocturnal, flightless kiwi bird then drive along the Rotorua Lakefront to your hotel. Check-in and relax with a few hours of leisure time.
Visit nearby ‘Te Puia’ later for an evening of Maori cultural activities and much more! There will be a traditional welcome, an exclusive cultural performance and a customary feast to enjoy. Take a magical night journey through Te Puia's geothermal valley after dinner and see the mighty Pohutu Geyser under lights while your tour guide entertains you with stories of traditional Māori mythology.
DC3 Flights (2) - ROTORUA to NAPIER then MASTERTON (Wed)
Start today with an ecological treat! Redwoods Treewalk is Rotorua’s newest attraction, offering a gentle walk along a series of suspension bridges among majestic 100 year old redwoods. Return to nearby Rotorua Airport afterwards and meet your DC-3.
Take off from Rotorua and fly south over Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. A colossal volcanic eruption here in 186 AD was the largest volcanic event on earth in the last 5,000 years. Track south-east to fly over scenic forests, farmland and vineyards to land at Napier Airport.
Transfer into Napier City for a feature lunch at a notable local winery. Rejoin your DC-3 later for your second DC-3 flight of the day from Napier through to Masterton in the Wairarapa region. We may try for a craft beer tasting opportunity this afternoon before arriving at tonight’s hotel delightfully situated in 24 acres of landscaped parklands and gardens.
The Wairarapa region is renowned for wine, food, arts and boutique shopping. Spend some time this morning exploring the local area then return to Masterton Airport late morning to meet your DC-3.
Take off and fly across the Rimutaka Ranges to land in New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington. Enjoy a relaxing tour of this compact city on arrival including Mt Victoria lookout, Oriental Bay, the Parliamentary precinct, the significant and well regarded Te Papa Museum / (with time for a visit), CBD and other highlights.
Your elegant hotel this evening is very centrally located in the CBD near the popular Wellington waterfront.
Take off from Wellington Airport aboard your DC-3 this morning and fly over Cook Strait to the South Island for panoramic views of the pretty Marlborough Sounds.
Land on the grass at Omaka Airfield (Blenheim) beside the splendid Omaka Aviation Heritage Museum. Visit and explore the museum’s two main exhibitions. ‘Knights of the Sky’ displays Sir Peter Jackson’s collection of WW1 aircraft in theatrical sets. ‘Dangerous Skies’ features original and replica WW2 warbirds.
A short coach drive away is the pretty town of Havelock. Join a motor launch there for a pleasant afternoon exploring picturesque Pelorus Sound. Visit a mussel farm and enjoy a chance to try mussels with Marlborough wine! Return to Blenheim by coach this afternoon.
Take off from Blenheim today aboard your DC-3, turn south and fly at low level above the extensive vineyards of Marlborough to pass the White Bluffs and Lake Grassmere. As you near Kaikoura there may be a chance to look for whales and observe the significant coastal uplift caused by the momentous earthquake of mid-November 2016. Fly ever further south across Pegasus Bay and the Canterbury region.
Land at Christchurch and visit the nearby International Antarctic Centre for a range of fascinating encounters giving insights into the astounding southernmost continent. Enjoy a ride on the unique Hagglund all-terrain vehicle during your visit! Your next visit is the National Air Force Museum of NZ. Explore the historic training, transport and fighter service aircraft in the museum’s collection, from a Bleriot to a C47.
Drive to central Christchurch to see the rebuild progress since the magnitude 6.3 earthquake of February 2011 and continue to your CBD hotel.
DC3 Flights (2) - CHRISTCHURCH to ASHBURTON then DUNEDIN (Sun)
Take off from Christchurch for a short flight south. Land on the grass runway at Ashburton Airport and walk over to the impressive Ashburton Aviation Museum. Over 20 rare or significant aircraft are housed here, including a ‘sister’ DC-3 and a Harrier Jump Jet. Museum members will show you the exhibits and relate the intriguing stories. Stay on for a hosted lunch in the hangar!
Take off from Ashburton Airport later and follow the coast ever further south. North of Oamaru town you will cross ‘latitude 45 degrees south’, halfway between the Equator and the South Pole.
Land at Dunedin Airport and drive to Dunedin City. Founded in 1848 by Scottish settlers, Dunedin’s history has some notable ‘firsts’. Gold was discovered nearby in 1861, the nation’s first University was set up here in 1869 and New Zealand’s first frozen meat shipment left Dunedin’s port in 1882. And it was gold wealth that built Dunedin into New Zealand’s largest city and most influential financial centre for much of the late 19th century.
Visit the innovative Toitu Otago Settlers Museum this afternoon en route to your premier Dunedin hotel. The excellent Dunedin Chinese Garden nearby is also worth a visit if you wish!
DC3 Flight - DUNEDIN to TE ANAU (2-night stay) (Mon)
Tour more of Dunedin’s highlights this morning and view the significant Victorian and Edwardian architecture. See the churches, the university and the often-photographed Dunedin Railway Station built in the Edwardian Baroque style. Walk up Baldwin Street if you dare – said to be the world’s steepest residential street!
Drive to the Otago Peninsula later to visit New Zealand’s only castle. Built in 1871, Larnach Castle is beautifully located high on the Otago Peninsula. Your guide will tell stories of scandal and tragedy and introduce dramatic tower views and grand gardens. Stay for lunch, wander the gardens then drive to Dunedin Airport.
Take off aboard your DC-3 and fly low over South Otago’s old gold trails then lush, green Southland farmland to reach the border of the spectacular Fiordland region. Land at Te Anau Airport (Manapouri), meet your coach and transfer to tonight’s hotel beside beautiful Lake Te Anau.
Coach & Cruise - TE ANAU to MILFORD SOUND and return (Tue)
Step aboard your tour coach for a drive along New Zealand’s most scenic mountain highway today. Travel through rolling farmland initially then the surreal Eglington Valley will appear with golden tussock sweeping across the valley floor to the soaring mountains either side – a magical place where a glacier once stood.
As conditions permit, your coach will stop for photo opportunities and scenic viewpoints along the way. Climb ever higher to the Homer Tunnel (945 metres altitude). Descend through the spectacular Cleddau Valley and arrive at majestic Milford Sound, described by author Rudyard Kipling as the ‘8th Wonder of the World’. Meet your ‘Encounter Nature’ Milford Sound cruise to explore the grandeur of Milford Sound and Mitre Peak. Erroneously called a ‘sound’, Milford is actually a fiord – carved out and created by an immense glacier during the last ice age.
Your cruise will certainly reveal the spectacle of mighty Milford Sound however there is much more here than dramatic scenery. There is always a possibility you may encounter swimming penguins, seals sunning themselves on the rocks, dolphins riding the bow wave or even an occasional whale!
Return to Milford Wharf after your cruise and drive directly to Te Anau for your second night beside the lake!
DC3 Flight - TE ANAU to QUEENSTOWN (2-night stay) (Wed)
Choose from two fun possibilities this morning, both departing from the wharf near your hotel! Sail on scenic Lake Te Anau aboard a heritage 20 metre (65 foot) teak, oak and mahogany motor sailboat built in 1935. This is an elegant, relaxing 3 hour cruise exploring Fiordland National Park, tasting local cuisine and wines plus a chance for a short guided walk to one of the Hidden Lakes.
Or take a thrilling 2 hour jet-boat ride and cruise at speed with Fiordland Jet along the pretty trout filled Waiau River (the Anduin River in the opening scene of the movie “Lord of the Rings”). Stop and enjoy the magical silence of Fiordland then ride the river to serene and beautiful Lake Manapouri. Enjoy an opportunity to disembark and walk in ancient beech forests too!
Whichever experience you choose, you’ll return to Te Anau around noon. Enjoy a lunch opportunity then transfer to the local airport.
Meet your DC-3 and fly low across Southland farmland to Kingston to see glacier-formed Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand’s third largest and longest lake. Land at Queenstown Airport and drive to the old gold town of Arrowtown before arriving into your well located Queenstown hotel for a luxury two-night stay.
QUEENSTOWN AT LEISURE. Evening dinner cruise (Thu)
Today is free to explore and relax as you wish! Breakfast is included this morning and there will be a dinner cruise to enjoy this evening. If this is your first visit to Queenstown you may like to try some of the iconic, optional visitor activities. Ride the gondola for stunning lake and mountain views, take a thrilling jet boat ride, go rafting or even bungy jump if you dare! Or explore Queenstown Gardens and the galleries, bars and cafés. It’s your choice today!
Depart from Queenstown Wharf this evening to cruise across the lake to Walter Peak Station (farm). Take a moment to inspect your charming cruise ship, built in 1912. The Edwardian era ‘TSS Earnslaw’ is a twin screw, coal fired steamship; the last in the Southern Hemisphere.
Arrive at Walter Peak Station Wharf and make your way to the stately homestead nearby. Relax in the genteel ambience and enjoy a gourmet dinner with a New Zealand focussed menu. An entertaining farm demonstration follows, highlighting the lifestyle of a high country farm. During the magical return cruise, enjoy the fresh night air on the deck or join in a sing-a-long with the ship’s pianist as Queenstown’s lights draw nearer. Return to Queenstown Wharf and transfer to your hotel.
Coach & Scenic Flight - QUEENSTOWN to WANAKA, then FRANZ JOSEF (Fri)
Depart from your hotel by luxury coach this morning and drive along the lakeside to Frankton then past the vineyards of the Gibbston Valley. Follow the spectacular Kawarau River Gorge to reach Cromwell town and the pretty orchards en route. Continue to the alpine resort town of Wanaka and stay on for lunch. Continue to Wanaka Airport later and visit ‘Warbirds & Wheels’ to inspect the classic cars and warbirds.
The next sector may well be an unforgettable tour highlight. Board a specially chartered Air Safaris aircraft at Wanaka Airport this afternoon for a magnificent one-hour alpine scenic flight ‘Grand Traverse’ scenic flight. Explore breath-taking Mount Cook National Park and Westland National Park from above to see New Zealand’s most impressive alpine scenery by far! View the nation’s highest mountains and largest glaciers including mighty Aoraki Mount Cook (3,724 metres), the Tasman Glacier, Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers plus beautiful turquoise glacial lakes, golden tussock lands, braided river systems and so much more.
Land at Franz Josef Airport and transfer to Franz Josef village for a free afternoon and a chance to enjoy optional activities at your leisure. Visit a café, check out the Wildlife Centre, take a walk, or relax for an hour or two in the nearby Glacier Hot Pools. You choose!
FRANZ JOSEF to GREYMOUTH (Coach), then to CHRISTCHURCH (TranzAlpine) (Sat)
Drive north by luxury coach this morning and view the scenic West Coast rainforest, tiny settlements and rugged Tasman Sea coastline along the way. Stop a while at Hokitika then continue to Greymouth to meet the TranzAlpine Express train departing early this afternoon.
Ride the rails in style from coast to coast! Leave Greymouth to follow a series of river valleys and climb gradually eastwards through verdant rainforest. Pass picturesque Lake Brunner en route to the 8.5km long Otira Tunnel, the world’s second longest rail tunnel when it was completed in 1923. Reach Arthur’s Pass soon afterwards. The route from here delivers spectacular alpine vistas as the line makes its way along the Waimakariri River Gorge through fifteen short tunnels and across four dramatic viaducts, including the 72-metre high Staircase Viaduct.
Descend through the Southern Alps foothills to Springfield and ride across the colourful Canterbury Plains to reach Christchurch around 6.30 pm this evening. On arrival you will be met and transferred to tonight’s accommodation.
(Sun 5 April) … Own arrangements to home or next destination
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast this morning to conclude your New Zealand tour. A complimentary shuttle or taxi transfer to Christchurch Airport is included today too. Depart from the hotel by 10.00 am for your own arrangements to home or to your next destination. Pacific Trailways will be happy to assist with ongoing domestic travel arrangements (within NZ) if you wish.
T & Cs
Terms & Conditions
Tour prices are in New Zealand dollars and include GST. Prices are per person, twin share basis. An additional price applies to guarantee single person room occupancy.
Deposit, Payment and Acceptance of Terms:
A deposit of NZD$500 per person is required to confirm the booking. Payment of the deposit confirms the tour client has read and accepted the Tour Booking Terms & Conditions and a contract has been formed. Full payment can be made at any time but is required no later than 90 days prior to departure (full payment is required for bookings made less than 90 days from tour departure).
Deposit and Full Payment Options: CHEQUE – Payable please to Pacific Trailways Ltd. INTERNET BANKING – Pacific Trailways Ltd. BNZ Account number 02-0400-0116109-001. CREDIT CARD – Visa and Mastercard only.
Cancellation Charges and Refunds for client cancellation:
All cancellation charges apply ‘per person’. For cancellation 90 days or more prior to tour start date, loss of deposit applies. For cancellation:
89 – 61 days prior to tour start date: cancellation fee is 40% of the tour price
60 – 00 days prior to tour start date: cancellation fee is 100% of the tour price. No refund can be made once the tour is underway and there are no refunds for unused tour components.
Travel Insurance. Comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended from time of booking. Cancellation fees will not be waived in any circumstances where travel insurance may have covered you.
Cancellation by Pacific Trailways:
1. Tour Operation. If the tour cannot operate due to insufficient numbers, Pacific Trailways reserves the right to offer an alternative departure, or a full refund. 2. Aircraft Operation (prior to tour departure). If the featured DC3 aircraft is rendered unable to operate before the tour starts, Pacific Trailways will make every effort to arrange a similar aircraft. If another aircraft cannot be chartered, Pacific Trailways will refund all monies paid. In the cancellation circumstances above (1. & 2.), a full refund of tour price paid will be the full extent of our responsibility to you the client. Any additional costs you may incur as a result of cancellation by Pacific Trailways will be your responsibility and we expect you to seek remedy via travel insurance cover.
Itinerary amendments. Pacific Trailways reserves the right to amend the itinerary if/as necessary due to weather and/or operational requirements and to substitute accommodation, transport and sightseeing services if required. If weather conditions on a particular day (or days) prevent safe flying, Pacific Trailways accepts the professional decision of the DC3 Captain (Pilot in Command) to determine whether or not the aircraft will fly on the day. If a ‘no-fly’ decision is made, ground transport will be substituted on the affected day/s to continue the tour and meet itinerary obligations.
Aircraft Operation (during the tour). In the event the chartered DC3 aircraft is rendered unserviceable or unable to operate for any reason during the tour, Pacific Trailways will make every effort to use suitable chartered aircraft and/or scheduled air services to complete the affected tour sectors. If suitable chartered and/or scheduled air services are not available, Pacific Trailways reserves the right to substitute ground transport to complete the affected tour sectors. If air or ground transport is substituted for DC3 flights for any reason above, no refund or reimbursement applies and the air or ground transport substitution is the full extent of our responsibility to you.
Luggage on tour – limits per passenger.
(1.) One small to medium soft-sided cabin/overnight bag weighing no more than 10 kg (22 pounds) that can be stowed in the DC3’s forward hold each day to meet NZCAA safety regulations (the DC3 has no overhead lockers). (2.) One piece of luggage with a total length, width and depth of no more than 140 cm (56 inches) and weighing no more than 20 kg (44 pounds). Note: Your DC3 aircraft has no onboard space for large luggage. Ground crew will transfer your large luggage items from hotel to hotel by van, each day of the tour. On occasions when same-day connections are not possible we will advise you (ahead of time) to take an overnight bag on the aircraft to carry your next day’s clothing and personal items with you.
Seat change daily. To provide a fair and equitable viewing experience for all tour participants a daily seat change policy applies aboard the DC3 aircraft (and in tour coaches). The process will be explained during the tour and all tour party members are expected to participate.
Hotels. Four star hotel accommodation or better is the tour standard. Tour accommodation is on the basis of standard ‘twin or double’ rooms that may not include lake or scenic views.
Guaranteed Single tour members. Limited single occupancy rooms may be available at the time of booking. To secure a guaranteed single occupancy room, the Single Room Supplement price must be added to the per person share twin price.
Twin share rooming for single tour members. Single travellers may book ‘twin share’ basis and Pacific Trailways will make every effort to select appropriate same gender roommate pairings. Single travellers booking on this basis must accept that there is no guarantee of compatibility with your selected roommate and that smoking is not permitted in rooms.
Smoking. New Zealand Government laws forbid smoking in public transport, tour coaches, aircraft, airport terminals, accommodation, restaurants, bars, cafes and other recognised public places. Opportunities to smoke will be made available as possible within these boundaries and in circumstances that do not cause discomfort to non-smoking tour members.
Personal expenses. Items and/or services not specified as included under ‘Highlights and Inclusions’ are deemed to be personal expenses and are not included in your tour price. Items considered to be personal expenses may include but are not limited to scheduled airfares and taxes, accommodation and meals and transport not included under ‘Highlights and Inclusions’, food not included on the regular tour menu, drinks, personal items, laundry, passport and visa fees, excess baggage, fuel surcharges, optional excursions and gratuities.
Personal belongings and lost items. Valuables on tour should be kept to a minimum and packed in your hand luggage along with personal items such as a camera, phone, small personal appliances, essential changes of clothing, toiletries and other personal items. You are responsible for your personal items at all times and must ensure you have adequate travel insurance cover in the event of any loss.
Health requirements. Payment of the deposit is a warranty by you that you or any persons covered by your booking are sufficiently fit and healthy to undertake this tour and associated travel arrangements. Pacific Trailways reserves the right (at its discretion) to remove tour participants who prove unable to meet these health requirements or who prove to be incapable of caring for themselves or who become a hazard to themselves or other tour members. No refund applies in such circumstances if the tour has commenced and Pacific Trailways is not responsible for any associated travel arrangements or repatriation costs.
Passport & Visa Requirements. It is the client/s total responsibility to meet passport and/or visa requirements for travel to and from New Zealand. Pacific Trailways is not responsible for, nor liable for, any loss or damage suffered by the client (or any person covered in the booking) resulting from client/s failure to meet required passport and visa conditions.
Pre and post tour connecting transfers, transport and air travel. Transport and travel before and after your tour are not included in your tour arrangements and these are your responsibility. Pacific Trailways will make every effort to keep your DC3 Air Tour to the stated itinerary schedule but is not responsible for any missed connections before or after your tour.
Tour map. The tour map included on the website and in the brochure is not necessarily to scale. The map depicts an indication of the daily itinerary and route however the actual tour route may vary from the depicted tour route if operational or safety requirements make route changes necessary or desirable.
Illustrations. All photographs in this brochure, Pacific Trailways Facebook site/s and Pacific Trailways website illustrate and depict genuine events, places, occurrences and experiences. The use of these illustrations and images does not guarantee that such events, places, occurrences and experiences will necessarily be experienced or seen as depicted in the photograph or illustration.
Force Majeure. Force Majeure means an event or circumstance that is beyond the reasonable control of Pacific Trailways Ltd and that could not have been reasonably prevented by Pacific Trailways Ltd. It may include, but is not limited to, war, armed conflict, criminal damage, riot, civil strife, industrial dispute, terrorist activity or the possibility or threat of any such activity, natural disaster including but not limited to earthquake, volcanic eruption, cyclone, hurricane, tornado, tsunami, flooding, high or low water levels, fire, landslide, adverse weather conditions, nuclear or other industrial accident causing environmental contamination, or any change of law. In the event that Pacific Trailways Ltd cancels or changes your tour arrangements in any way due to a Force Majeure event, Pacific Trailways Ltd will not be liable to refund any part of your tour deposit or tour purchase price paid by you if Pacific Trailways Ltd subsequently changes or cancels your tour arrangements in connection with a Force Majeure event. As such Force Majeure events cannot be predicted and are beyond the control of Pacific Trailways Ltd it is your responsibility to purchase travel insurance that will adequately cover you against these risks.
Additional costs. Pacific Trailways is not responsible for any additional costs which may be incurred by tour participants as a result of events beyond the company’s control. Examples may include (but are not limited to) strikes, industrial action, weather or any other man-made or natural occurrence.
New Zealand law applies. All Pacific Trailways Booking Terms and Conditions and operations are governed by the laws of New Zealand and all parties submit to the jurisdiction of the New Zealand courts.