State Highway 1 is open north of Kaikoura and we are pleased to announce bus service will return to this route from 18 December onwards. Services will operate daily morning and afternoon's in both directions between Picton and Christchurch, both of which will have Gold seat upgrades available.
The Coastal Pacific will be back to service as early as possible for the 2018/2019 season and it is hoped the season will be extended if possible. This could mean an earlier start date than September 2018. We will continue to keep you updated as a return to service date becomes clearer. In the meantime we can book coach transportation for you between Picton and Christchurch.
TranzAlpine Service Information: Due to work in the Otira Tunnel and other track maintenance, this train service will run between Christchurch and Arthurs Pass only and will be replaced by bus between Arthurs Pass and Greymouth on the following dates 07 May, 18 June, 30 July, 10 September, 15 October & 26 November 2018.
Enjoy three of the North Island's most popular destinations with this great value tour combo including day tours from Auckland to the Bay of Islands, the Waitomo Caves and the famous Hobbiton Movie Set.
Day 1 – Bay of Islands Day Tour and Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise
Departs 7:30am, returns 8:10pm
Travel to Paihia in the beautiful Bay of Islands for a half-day cruise around its waters. Explore this region with its 144 picturesque islands, sheltered waters and abundant marine life. As you journey north from Auckland you'll pass through native bush and lush farmland, taking in commentary from your driver guide along the way.
After a stroll around the town, board your Bay of Islands cruise on the catamaran Dolphin Seeker and head out to sea. Keep an eye out for dolphins, whales, seals and birds as you travel around the islands and out along the Cape Brett Peninsula to the Hole in the Rock on Motuk?kako Island. If conditions are right, your skipper will take the boat through the hole! You'll have great views from the large outdoor viewing decks on board so you won't miss a thing during your cruise. After returning to shore, it's time to head back to Auckland, arriving in the evening.
Day 2 - Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Caves
Departs 7:30am, returns 8:10pm
Take a full-day tour of the Central North Island, visiting the magical Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Glowworm Caves for guided tours of these must-see attractions.
Board your coach in Auckland and travel south to the small town of Matamata. Just outside the town is a 1,250 acre farm, spotted by Sir Peter Jackson and his team and handpicked to be transformed into a filming location for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. On your guided tour you can walk through the village of Hobbiton that was carefully built and decorated for the films. Your guide will show you Hobbit holes, the Green Dragon Inn, the Mill and other set items, and might even spill some secrets about how the movie magic was made.
At the end of your tour, feast on a delicious lunch at the Green Dragon Inn before boarding your coach and crossing through the countryside into the King Country region, to the township of Waitomo. Since the late 1800s visitors have flocked to the Waitomo Caves, a network of underground caverns and tunnels carved out of limestone by flowing water.
During your 45-minute Waitomo Caves tour you will see stalactites, stalagmites, columns and pillars and visit the amazing Cathedral cave, before taking a short underground boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto to see the glowworms twinkling overhead in the darkness.
At the end of your Waitomo Caves tour, return to Auckland, arriving in the early evening.
Useful info: This tour combo must be taken over two consecutive days in the abovementioned order. Both tours depart daily. Please note accommodation is not included with this tour combo.Availability: If the Waitomo Caves tour cannot operate, a free upgrade to the Ruakuri Cave will be provided subject to availability. If the Ruakuri upgrade is provided, the Waitomo Caves portion is non refundable.
Free WiFi is available on this tour