TranzAlpine Cancellations

08 February 17

On Saturday the 4th of February a 300ha fire in a remote part of the South Island of New Zealand has resulted in the Midland Train line between Christchurch and Greymouth to be out of action for the next six weeks.

The fire has damaged bridges, track and signal systems and affected services including the renowned TranzAlpine Rail Journey, plus coal and dairy freight services.

KiwiRail is bringing in crews from around the country to tackle the reinstatement of the line as quickly as possible.

The first scheduled departure for the TranzAlpine will be Wednesday, 22 March 2017. 

Grand Pacific Tours have 68 tours affected, Click here to view

The affected tours will travel the route via Coach which still provides stunning scenery.

As the majority of files have paid finals all travellers will be refunded NZ$125.00 pp in New Zealand whilst on tour.   In the main the refunds will be done by our New Zealand Operations Team on Day 2 of the itinerary prior to despatch.   The exception is our 19 Day Showcase Tour, refunds will occur on Day 11 once they reach the South Island.

Travellers can utilise this money to partake in one of our Optional Tours which will provide another ‘icing on the cake’ experience.   We have added the Seasider Rail Journey in Dunedin to our list of Optional Activities, however, this is only available on selected dates.   All options will be discussed by the Crew to the travellers whilst on tour.

Please note that all personalised itineraries will be distributed as per the brochure product but a ‘with compliments’ slip will be included outlining the cancellation of the TranzAlpine and the pending refund.

Due to the immediacy of this situation and the volume of tours affected, this is Grand Pacific Tours official advice. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.


Earthquake Updates

Following the November 14 Kaikoura earthquake and damages incurred to some of the infrastructure in the South Island, Grand Pacific Tours have needed to make some slight modifications to our touring itineraries.  

Other than these modifications it is business as usual and all groups that have travelled since November have thoroughly enjoyed their touring experience and have shared many wonderful memories with us.

The main infrastructure damage is to State Highway 1 which was the most direct route from Picton to Christchurch plus within the same region the Coastal Pacific will no longer be running due to damage to the tracks with no predicted restart timeframe.

Tours January – May 2017

• Depending on the direction of your tour, the drive between Picton and Christchurch to board the Interisland Ferry will now be via the Lewis Pass as opposed to via Kaikoura on State Highway 1.  
This is the inland route with spectacular scenery but as the drive time is slightly longer an earlier start to the day will be factored in. 

• Rail Tours - Unfortunately due to the damage to the railway tracks, the Coastal Pacific Rail Journey will not be running until further notice and the journey from Picton to Kaikoura will be via coach.

A refund will be provided for this inclusion.   January tours will be refunded in New Zealand.   All tours from February to May will be refunded prior to final payment via your travel agent.

• For travellers on our 19 Day Rail, Cruise & Coach itinerary, part of our Luxury Escorted Tours range, instead of a two night stay in Christchurch the stay will now be broken into one night in Blenheim and one night in Christchurch.
This will provide a more leisurely pace.   A visit to the spectacular Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre will replace the visit to the International Antarctic Centre & Tram Pass. 
Several tours will remain two nights in Christchurch as alternative accommodation could not be secured.   All travel agents have been contacted in regards to these alternative arrangements.

• All personalised itineraries included in your Documentation Pack will reflect the modified tour arrangements.


Tours September 2017 – May 2018

• All itineraries now loaded on our website for this travel period reflect any tour modifications.   Please click through to the relevant tour.

• If you made an early booking on a tour for travel during this period prior to our brochure being published or the website being updated, our Reservations Team will be in contact with your Travel Agent to advise modifications and provide any refunds due to modified itineraries.


We look forward to welcoming you to New Zealand and providing a very memorable holiday experience.

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