Due to unscheduled maintenance between Blenheim and Picton, our train is unable to travel on a small section of the line while repairs take place. We are very pleased to advise that the Coastal Pacific service will go ahead as planned however a 25-minute portion of your journey, between Blenheim & Picton, will be replaced by Bus.
If you are starting your journey from Picton, you are able to check in at the train station as usual and will be advised by train staff on the location of our private bus transfer.
For those doing a day return from Christchurch, you will have your break time in Blenheim. The station is in the centre of town, so lots of time to explore.
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.