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 at Auckland and head south passing through the farming landscape of the Waikato region to the rugged bush country ascending to the Volcanic Plateau via the famous Raurimu Spiral, passing the the Volcano’s of Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Tongariro for a stop at Tongariro National Park.
From Tongariro National Park you 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 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 Cook Strait ferry from Wellington, with it’s picturesque harbour, for a day time sailing, crossing Cook Strait the separates the North to South Islands, before entering the magnificent Marlborough Sounds. The 3 hour (92 kilometers) ferry journey is aboard a modern ship with a range of on board facilities from eateries, a shop, movie theatre, a games arcade, a large bar with live entertainment, numerous passenger lounges, 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 local 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 Pass you'll descend through the Otira tunnel to the lush beech rain forests of the West Coast through to Greymouth. After a hour stopover in Greymouth, The TranzAlpine train departs Greymouth heading east to the Southern Alps ascending up through the Otira tunnel to the alpine village of Arthurs Pass, then slowly descending through river valleys of the Waimakariri River, crossing the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.
Christchurch to Greymouth
Depart: 8.15am – Arrive: 12.45pm
Today travel between Christchurch and Greymouth, from one coast of New Zealand 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'll descend through the Otira tunnel to the lush beech rain forests of the West Coast through to Greymouth. This is a great base for visits to Punakaiki and the always popular glaciers. From Greymouth you can add to your Scenic Rail Pass travel, a 35 Hour ‘Hop On/Hop Off’ bus/ferry pass for travel to or from Greymouth to Queenstown, Milford Sound, Te Anau, Invercargill and Christchurch
Travel Day 4: Christchurch to Kaikoura
Depart: 7.00am – Arrive: 9.45am
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 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 to the Picton – the gate way of the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. At Picton, you board your Interislander ferry for your 3 hour (92 kilometre) journey on board a modern ship with a range of on board facilities from eateries, a shop, movie theatre, a games arcade, a large bar with live entertainment, numerous passenger lounges, open air decks and a friendly on board crew to assist you through the Marlborough Sounds and out to Cook Strait before entering 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 Wellington’s coast line to the rolling farming landscape of the Palmerston North ascending up through stunning river gorges of the central North Island to the volcanic plateau passing Mt Ruapehu to National Park for 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 down the famous Raurimu Spiral to the rugged bush country and through rolling farming landscape of the Waikato region and onto 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 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.