The Coastal Pacific will be back to service for the 2019 season and it is hoped the season will be extended if possible. 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.
5 DAY ITINERARY - AUCKLAND TO AUCKLAND
Travel Day 1: Auckland to Wellington
Depart: 7.45am – Arrive: 6.25pm
Travel by the Northern Explorer train from Auckland heading south through the farming landscape of the Waikato region to rugged bush country before ascending to the Volcanic Plateau via the famous Raurimu Spiral, passing the Volcano’s of Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Tongariro for a stop at Tongariro National Park.
From Tongariro National Park pass Mt Ruapehu the home of the North Island skifields of Whakapapa and Turoa, the ski town of Ohakune before descending through stunning river gorges to the rolling farming landscape of the Palmerston North region and onto Wellington – the Harbour Capital for 1 or more nights stay.
The Auckland to Wellington train service operates Monday, Thursday and Saturday.
Travel Day 2: Wellington to Christchurch
Depart: 8.25am – Arrive: 6.21pm
Travel on a day time Cook Strait ferry from Wellington, with it’s picturesque harbour. Crossing Cook Strait which separates the North to South Islands, before entering the magnificent Marlborough Sounds. The 3 hour (92 kilometers) ferry journey is aboard the ferry “Kaitaki’, a modern ship with a range of on board facilities from eateries, a shop, two movie theaters, a games arcade, a large bar with live entertainment, numerous passenger lounges, 3 open air decks and a friendly on board crew to assist you. Your Cook Strait ferry journey ends at Picton located in a sheltered marine harbour where you will have time to experience this charming small town. From Picton travel on the Coastal Pacific train south along the eastern coast of the South Island, passing through the Marlborough vineyards, Lake Grassmere Salt Ponds and stopping at Kaikoura – famous for viewing whales and dolphins. From Kaikoura you travel south following the stunning coastline and the northern Canterbury Plains to the Garden City of Christchurch for 1 or more nights stay.
Travel Day 3: Christchurch to Greymouth Day Excursion
Depart: 8.15am – Return: 6.05pm
Travel between Christchurch and Greymouth, from one coast of New Zealand to the other and return on the TranzAlpine train. From your carriage you’ll see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River, as you ascend through the Southern Alps to the alpine village of Arthurs Pass. From Arthurs you descend through the Otira Tunnel to the lush beech rain forests of the West Coast and onto Greymouth. After a hour stopover in Greymouth, The TranzAlpine train departs Greymouth heading east heading east to the Southern Alps ascending through the Otira Tunnel to the alpine village of Arthurs Pass before slowly descending to the Canterbury plains through the river valleys of the Waimakariri River, and onto Christchurch for 1 or more nights stay.
Travel Day 4: Christchurch to Wellington
Depart: 7.00am – Arrive: 4.35pm
This morning you board the Coastal Pacific train travelling north travelling through the north Canterbury plains before heading east to the coast and north along the rugged coastline the separates the majestic Kaikoura Ranges from the sea to Kaikoura, famous for viewing whales and dolphins. From Kaikoura your journey takes you north along the coastline before turning inland passing Lake Grassmere Salt Ponds and the wineries of Blenheim and onto Picton – the gate way to the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. At Picton, you board your Interislander ferry for your 3 hour (92 kilometre) journey on board the ferry “Kaitaki’, a modern ship with a range of on board facilities from eateries, a shop, two movie theatres, a games arcade, a large bar with live entertainment, numerous passenger lounges, 3 open air decks and a friendly on board crew to assist you. through the spectacular Marlborough Sounds and onto Cook Strait before enteringthe picturesque harbour of Wellington – The Harbour Capital and New Zealand’s capital city, for 1 or more nights stay.
Travel Day 5: Wellington to Auckland
Depart: 7.55am – Arrive: 6.50pm
This morning you board the Northern Explorer train heading along the west coast to the rolling farming landscapes of the Palmerston North region before ascending through stunning river gorges of the central North Island to the volcanic plateau passing Mt Ruapehu to National Park, for a short stop. From National Park your journey takes you along the volcanic plateau passing the Volcano’s of Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Tongariro before descending the famous Raurimu Spiral to rugged bush country and then the rolling farm landscapes of the Waikato region and onto Auckland – the city of sails.
This service operates Tuesday, Friday and Sunday only.'
Please note: You must purchase a Scenic Rail Fixed Pass before you can make any travel sector reservations.
Itineraries are a guide only and times / schedules are subject to change. Accommodation is additional and not included with your pass.