We are pleased to announce that the Northern Explorer and Coastal Pacific trains will be returning to the tracks this spring and summer and the Tranz Alpine will resume services once we move to Covid- 19 Alert Level 1.
The Northern Explorer running between Auckland and Wellington will recommence its normal weekly timetable from Thursday 01 October.
The Coastal Pacific returns from Tuesday 13 October, running between Christchurch and Piction and returning the same day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The TranzAlpine running between Christchurch to Greymouth will resume service once we move to Covid-19 Level 1. It runs on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.
Cook Strait ferry bookings and some daytours and bus routes are also open for sale. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries on 0800 143 669 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We understand that Covid-19 continues to add uncertainty in planning, and indeed all the train services rely on the country returning to Alert Level 1. Should there be cancellation of services due to Covid 19 restrictions, we will offer affected customers a transfer to an alternative date, a credit for 12 months, or a refund, regardless of the fare purchased less a $30 processing fee for the entire reservation.
7 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 and head south passing 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 you pass Mt Ruapehu, 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 to Wellington – the Harbour Capital for an overnight stay in New Zealand’s capital city for 1 or more nights.
The Auckland to Wellington train service operates Monday, Thursday and Saturday.
Travel Day 2: Wellington to Christchurch
Depart: 8.30am – Arrive: 6.21pm
Travel on a day time sailing on a Cook Strait ferry from Wellington. Cross 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
Today travel between Christchurch and Greymouth, from one coast of New Zealand to the other and return. 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 lush beech rain forests to the West Coast and Greymouth. After a hour stopover in Greymouth, the TranzAlpine train departs Greymouth 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 river valleys of the Waimakariri River, and onto Christchurch.
Travel Day 4: Christchurch to Kaikoura
Depart: 7.00am – Arrive: 9.45am
This morning you board the Coastal Pacific train travelling north through the north Canterbury plains before heading east to the coast and north along the rugged coastline that separates the majestic Kaikoura Ranges from the sea to Kaikoura famous for viewing whales and dolphins for 1 or more nights stay.
Travel Day 5: Kaikoura to Wellington
Depart: 9.54am – Arrive: 4.35pm
This morning you leave Kaikoura. Your journey takes you north on the Coastal Pacific train, along the coastline before turning inland passing Lake Grassmere Salt Ponds and the wineries of Blenheim and onto Picton – 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 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. through the spectacular Marlborough Sounds and onto Cook Strait before entering the picturesque harbour of Wellington – The Harbour Capital and New Zealand’s capital city for 1 or more nights stay.
Travel Day 6: Wellington to National Park
Depart: 7.55am – Arrive: 1.20pm
This morning you board the Northern Explorer train heading along the east coast and to the rolling farming landscapes of the Palmerston North region before ascending through the stunning river gorges of the central North Island to the volcanic plateau passing Mt Ruapehu to National Park. for a 1 or more nights stay.
The National park to Auckland train service operates Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.
Travel Day 7: National Park to Auckland
Depart: 1.20pm – Arrive: 6.50pm
Leave National Park travelling on the Northern Explorer train, 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 on through rolling farmland of the Waikato region before arriving in Auckland – the city of sails.
The National park to Auckland train service operates Tuesday, Friday and Sunday
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.