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Independent New Zealand Travel Packages

New Zealand

Tranzalpine & North - Hostel & Coach

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Location Start: Christchurch     End: Auckland 

Starts Christchurch, travel on the world famous TranzAlpine rail journey. Join the Magic coach in Greymouth heading south down the West Coast to Queenstown. On to Dunedin and Christchurch then to the North Island, finishes Auckland.

Tour Options:




This is a hostel style travel and accommodation pass.

Accommodation is on a shared basis with linen, duvets and pillows provided.  All hostels have modern, fully equipped kitchens and comfortable lounges to relax after a busy and exciting day. You have total flexibility.  You decide how long you stay in each place .  Coaches travel to each destination DAILY throughout the year.

You choose 14, 21 or 28 Nights Hostel Accommodation.  Starts Christchurch finishes Auckland

Your Freedom of New Zealand Pass includes:

  • Magic Travellers Network Pass
  • Airport shuttle to YHA hostel on arrival
  • YHA Accommodation vouchers
  • Information and Discount Pack
  • Travellers Guide to all things Magic

Please Note:

  1. To purchase this pass and stay at YHA you must have a current   YHA membership card.  If you do not have one you will need to purchase this from us when making the booking for NZ$40. If you do have a YHA membership card please enter the details into the appropriate box.
  2. YHA has an Advanced Reservation System so it is always advisable to book your next nights in advance
  3. Freedom of New Zealand Passes are NOT available for purchase in New Zealand
  4. 72 Hours notice is required to confirm Freedom of New Zealand Passes
  5. When booking a Freedom of New Zealand pass we will automatically book your first nights accommodation at the YHA on the date that your flight arrives into New Zealand. Unless otherwise advised.



The TranzAlpine departs at 8:15am:

The TranzAlpine is world renowned as 'The Great New Zealand Rail Adventure'. Crossing the huge and fertile patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, The TranzAlpine winds its way over massive viaducts, through spectacular gorges and river valleys, before tracking slowly across the country's greatest mountain range, the Southern Alps. Following rivers and skirting lakes, it descends through lush beech forest to the Tasman Sea and the town of Greymouth.

The TranzAlpine will arrive in Greymouth at approximately 12:45pm

NB: You will need to make your own way to the train station.



This morning we travel further down the West Coast before stopping in the township of Hokitika, famous for its local cuisine and Pounamu (Greenstone). The traces of gold rush that brought thousands to the area in the mid 1800s are still evident in the historic town of Ross, where we take time to do a spot of gold panning later in the morning. Heading further south we enter Westland National Park, an area containing numerous scenic lakes, dense forests, many of the Southern Alps highest peaks and two amazingly accessible glaciers. Time for more adventure! We arrive into the alpine village of Franz Josef in time for those who want to partake in a half day glacier hike. If you wish to aim higher, take a heli-hike that will deliver you to the top of the glacier within the midst of the Southern Alps. If you want a bit more of a challenge, allow an extra day and go for the full day glacier hike. There are not too many opportunities in the world to do something like this. If glaciers aren’t your thing, another option here is to go kayaking on the scenic Lake Mapourika, surrounded by stunning mountain peaks.

Approximate arrival time into Franz Josef in winter is 12.00pm and summer is 1.00pm.



We have an early start for an action packed day. First up we pass through Fox, another village nestled next to a glacier before stopping off at Lake Matheson. Often called the ‘Mirror Lake’, it is famous for its reflections of the Southern Alps which dominate the skyline - perfect for those picture postcard photos. As we head inland away from the west coast via Haast and Makarora, the scenery changes from dense forest to vast plateaus as we enter the Central Otago region. Make sure you have your cameras ready as we pass Lake Hawea and shortly after, Lake Wanaka – a popular and recommended overnight stop. Next up, is a stop at the home of the bungy, the Kawarau Bridge, 42m over the Kawarau River and the world’s first commercial bungy site. We head into Queenstown late afternoon where there are endless activity options, from mild to wild. We have allowed two days in Queenstown (but many people prefer to stay longer) to soak it all up.

Approximate arrival time in Queenstown is 5.30pm.


Spend the day trying one of the many activities in the "Adventure Capital of the World" or take a journey into majestic Milford Sound.


WILDLIFE, SCOTTISH HERITAGE, CHOCOLATE FACTORY Life will slow down a little as we leave Queenstown behind us. We head off along the old gold mining trail taking in some spectacular scenery through Central Otago to the city that is known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’, Dunedin. A wonderful mixture of Victorian colonial history and contemporary cafes and bars, Dunedin also provides a great base to explore the largest variety of wildlife on the South Island. Upon arriving in Dunedin, get close to nature and join the highly recommended Elm Wildlife Tour that takes you to the Otago Peninsular to spot yellow-eyed penguins, Albatross, sea lions and fur seals up close. For something quite different, visit the Cadbury Chocolate Factory, where samples are included (yum!), or perhaps finish of a great day by joining the evening Speights Brewery Tour.

Approximate arrival time into Dunedin is 12.30pm.



We start the day with a chance to run up the world’s steepest street (that’s you, not the Magic coach!). The next stop is a walk on the beach to see the Moeraki Boulders, huge great rocks just scattered across the seashore renowned for their unique spherical shape. If you are after a real New Zealand experience take the opportunity to jump off the coach after passing through the historic stone town of Oamaru, and stay at a working farm in Kurow. As we head on into the Mackenzie Country, we pass by the Benmore Dam, the largest earth dam in the Southern Hemisphere. Keep an eye on the scenery as there are some amazing views of Aoraki Mt. Cook and the many surrounding lakes. The tranquil Lake Tekapo is our overnight destination, a small town located at the end of a lake by the same name. There is a lot on offer here including an optional day trip to Mt Cook, kayaking on the lake, fantastic sightseeing flights of the Southern Alps or a sedate visit to the idyllic Church of the Good Shepherd. Tonight, don’t miss the chance to view the Southern Hemisphere stars up close.

Approximate arrival time into Lake Tekapo is 4.00pm.



After leaving the shores of Lake Tekapo, we travel around the edges of the stunning Mackenzie Country, crossing over Burkes Pass and the foothills of the Southern Alps. We then pass through the picturesque towns of Fairlie and Geraldine, stopping here for a short time. For those considering undertaking the ‘Lord of the Rings’ tour, let your driver know as you can get picked up just before Methven, a rural Canterbury town. The coach then heads through the Canterbury Plains, the largest area of flat land in NZ – a huge contrast to our previous days travel! On arrival in Christchurch, we go first to the International Antarctic Centre where you’ll have the option to learn more about the frozen continent and even undertake a Hagglund Ride before travelling into the centre of the ‘Garden City’.

Approximate arrival time into Christchurch is 12.30pm or 3.00pm if visiting the Antarctic Centre.



Upon leaving the Garden City this morning, we follow the rugged coastline up to Kaikoura, stopping enroute to visit a seal colony. The coach will arrive in the Green Globe community of Kaikoura in time to experience the lifetime thrill of whale watching or dolphin swimming – don’t miss out! The name 'Kaikoura' translates to 'meal of crayfish' so back on dry land make sure you try some fresh Crayfish or indulge in a traditional New Zealand fish & chip dinner here, voted one of the best places to do so!

Approximate arrival time in Kaikoura is 12.00pm.



A slightly more leisurely departure time this morning so enjoy a lie in! We follow the Pacific coast north today, before heading inland and travelling through famous hilly pastures and wine country of Marlborough via the small and friendly township of Blenheim. We continue on to Picton, the gateway to the Marlborough Sounds, in time to catch the early afternoon ferry across to Wellington (price of ferry not included in some passes). If you are travelling to Nelson, stay onboard the coach and you will arrive into Nelson late this afternoon.

Approximate arrival time in Wellington is 4.30pm.



Today we start with a hilly climb out of Wellington through the Rimutaka Ranges. Our first stop en route gives you the chance to see a real Kiwi and also the ancient Tuatara at Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre. Whilst the Kiwi is a symbol of New Zealand, the Tuatara is one of New Zealand’s rarest creatures and Magic are proud sponsors of the Tuatara Recovery Programme. Heading further north, via a number of NZ’s picturesque pioneer towns including Greytown and Carterton, we arrive in Mangatainoka which feels like the middle of nowhere but is in fact the home of the nationally famous Tui Brewery. Try a beer or two here or wait until later in the day when the wine connoisseurs might want to part with a few dollars and indulge in some tastings in Hawkes Bay wine country. We arrive into Napier by early afternoon with plenty of time to explore the unique buildings, and perhaps another local winery or two. Due to a major earthquake in the 1930s, this city had to be rebuilt and is now referred to by some as “The Art Deco capital of the World”. Enjoy your stay in another unique Magic spot.

Approximate arrival into Napier is 3.00pm.



Just north of Napier today you have the opportunity to jump off and overnight at Mountain Valley wilderness stop to experience relaxation and adventure at its best – a place to really get back to nature. We continue on to the lakeside town of Taupo and then arrive in Rotorua. For those of you passing through for the first time, we advise at least one night in each town and in Rotorua in particular, you need to make time to explore some of the many attractions including Whakarewarewa Thermal area, white water rafting on the Kaitiaki or get wet and wild in a Zorb at the Agrodome. Leaving Rotorua behind, the coach will then carry on to the chilled out beach town of Mt Maunganui (world famous for surfing) arriving late afternoon. Many of our passengers like to stay a couple of days here to either relax or try some of the many beach activities including learning to surf, whilst allowing the ocean and salt air to work their Magic.

Approximate arrival into Mount Maunganui is 4.00pm. Passengers staying at Tauranga add 20 mins.



Leaving Mt Maunganui behind us, today you will see a glimpse of rural New Zealand as we pass through small pioneer towns such as Katikati, the ‘mural’ town of New Zealand, and Waihi, where the gold rush which began in the 1800s still continues today. We travel on through the incredible bush lined cutting of the Karangahake Gorge to Paeroa, where some unique landmarks pay homage to the iconic Kiwi soft drink ‘Lemon & Paeroa’ which was named after the town. Grab a photo by the large L&P bottle before you leave! In Thames, those travelling to the Coromandel Peninsula can connect directly with the Coromandel coach and head on to visit some incredible native bush, a beach where the water is boiling hot and one of the most beautiful coves in New Zealand. For those who are heading on to Auckland, we continue on to meet the southern motorway and traverse the famous Bombay Hills and then deliver you back into the city via the AJ Hackett Bungy and a free chance to sample the Bridge Climb, by early afternoon. There will still be enough time to do some of the Auckland’s other sights, such as jumping off the Skytower or catching a ferry to a nearby island.

Approximate arrival time into Auckland is 1.00pm.

For a few extra dollars, if you have not visited Waitomo, we recommend you take the following alternative route (below) from Mt Maunganui via Waitomo to Auckland which is available on selected days.

Sector 99: PLEASE NOTE

The departure and arrival times listed above are approximate and many different factors can cause these times to alter so please use them as a guide only.



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