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.
This train service operates daily between end September to early May each year.
The Coastal Pacific train operates between the delightful port of Picton - the gateway to the beautiful Marlborough Sounds - to Kaikoura - the home of whale watching and onto Christchurch - the South Island's largest city.
Your journey takes you through the wine growing region of Blenheim to the rugged Kaikoura mountain ranges on one side of your train, the Pacific Ocean coastline on the other with views of marine wildlife such as seals and penguins to some of New Zealand's finest horticultural and farmland areas of the Canterbury Plains, all from the comfort of your carriage.
Along the way you pass though the town of Kaikoura, where you can break your journey to take in whale watching or get up and close by swimming with the dolphins.
The Coastal Pacific train's carriages have advanced air bag suspension for quieter and smoother travel, un-tinted, non-reflective, panoramic side and roof windows to capture the dramatic coastal and mountain views of the magnificent South Island, GPS triggered journey commentary in five languages at your seat via passenger headphones, plus information displays and overhead HD video.
All carriages are centrally heated, air conditioned with on board washroom/toilet facilities, forward facing or 'Table' (4 people around a table) seating allowing you to share experiences through large panoramic windows.
There is an open air viewing carriage where all your senses are awakened with the clean, fresh sea air and a Café Carriage offering a selection of alcoholic and non alcoholic hot/cold drinks, snacks and light meals.
The Coastal Pacific train is a reserved seating 'One Class' non-smoking service.
For mobility-impaired passengers, there are spaces for wheel chairs and a disabled public toilet. Wheelchair hoists provide access to the café carriage from track level. For hearing-impaired passengers - a hearing loop covers all of the café carriage saloon and serving area.
Operates daily between September and May
Stops along the route include Blenheim, Seddon, Kaikoura, Waipara and Rangiora.
The Coastal Pacific train connects at Picton with various Cook Strait ferry sailings to and from Wellington in the North Island.
This train connects at Blenheim with bus and coach services to Nelson and services from Nelson to Blenheim.
You can take a day excursion from Christchurch to Kaikoura travelling on the Coastal Pacific train.
So, sit back and enjoy a genuine kiwi rail experience through the South Island's north eastern rugged coastline.