**IMPORTANT NOTICE** - DUE TO RECENT EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE THIS TRAIN WILL NOT BE RUNNING BEFORE MID-2018
For a superb scenic train ride, take the Coastal Pacific Scenic Journey from Picton to Christchurch or Christchurch to Picton. The full journey would take a little over five hours, beginning and ending in pastoral land of farms and vineyards. The central section of the trip follows the coast in the shadows of a mighty mountain range. The Coastal Pacific runs through the South Island's Northeast Coast from September until May, leaving Christchurch for the journey North at 7am, and departing Picton for the return journey at 1pm.
For more information on the Coastal Pacific Train CLICK HERE before checking out our suggested itineraries below.
PICTON | Blenheim | Seddon | Kaikoura | Mina | Waipara Pass | Rangiora - CHRISTCHURCH
New Zealand's longest running passenger service, the Northern Explorer is a long distance scenic train service running between Auckland and Wellington, stopping at Palmerston North, Ohakune, National Park and Hamilton. The train passes over 25 major bridges and through 14 tunnels and also traverses the famous Raurimu Spiral just North of National Park, an impressive engineering feat which sees the single track traverse a height of 139m.
A highly recommended trip for any person. One could take a break for three nights in Auckland or Wellington, Otorohanga and Hamilton. You take the train one way and fly back the other - the journey takes just over 10 hours, but it is through some of the most breath-taking scenery New Zealand has to offer. One way fares from Auckland and Wellington start from $99 per person. The Northern Explorer has new panoramic carriages, reclining seats, cafe car, open air viewing car, power sockets at all seats.
For more information on the Northern Explorer Train CLICK HERE before checking out our suggested itineraries below.
AUCKLAND | Hamilton | National Park | Ohakune | Palmerston North | WELLINGTON
The TranzAlpine is listed as being one of the most visually stunning train rides in the world! The train passes through 16 tunnels and over five viaducts with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, spectacular gorges and river valleys. It is a journey of a lifetime, a journey to remember.
The TranzAlpine has everything you need to enjoy your train ride without a hassle. Onboard food and drinks are available as well as convenient stopping points at Springfield, Arthur's Pass and Moana at Lake Brunner where you can disembark to enjoy the local sights and tastes.
Where else in the world will you get to enjoy such panoramic views, starting in rainforest clad mountains, climbing down into scenic river valleys with the Southern Alps as your backdrop, before racing across braided river systems and the Canterbury plains. The townships of Arthurs Pass, an alpine mountain village and Moana at Lake Brunner, a lakeside retreat all add the charm of your journey.
The train leaves Christchurch at 7am - 4 hour duration.
NB: No flights are able to connect for this time, so accommodation needs to be factored in at both ends of the journey.
For more information on the TranzAlpine Train CLICK HERE before checking out our suggested itineraries below.
CHRISTCHURCH | Rollerston | Darfield | Springfield | Arthur's Pass | Otira| Moana | Kokira | GREYMOUTH
It is one of the most scenic ferry crossings in the world and THE way to travel between New Zealand's North and South Islands.
There are several different options of crossing the Cook Strait from North Island to South Island (or vice versa), jumping off a plane and skydiving right into the fields near Picton Harbour, flying from airport to airport, which would save you time perhaps, but would also result in you missing one of the most scenic ferry trips in the world. Crossing the Cook Strait with Interislander offers you a relaxing epic journey between the two islands, which are only separated by a 92 kilometre sail, but separating two islands which are worlds apart.
There are three Interisland ferries that take passengers between Wellington and Picton every day. In peak season there can be up to 11 crossings a day, so it will be easy for you to find a suitable time. The Marlborough Sounds waters are simply beautiful. Gorgeous blue waters against lush green valleys and hills of the Marlborough Sounds, stretching to the horizon. On a clear day, this is an absolutely stunning journey. Leaving one island you arrive in a completely different land, both islands having so much to offer.
Ensure you have a good site either inside in one of the lounges or outside in the crisp sea air to take in the views of the Wellington City and its surrounding suburbs as you leave the harbour. On a clear day you will get beautiful views of the north Island behind you and the South Island in the distance. You reach the Cook Strait soon after leaving the harbour, and this is where you may run the risk of a rough crossing.
WELLINGTON | PICTON | WELLINGTON