Latest Operational Schedule


  COASTAL PACIFIC Operating days: 29 SEPT 2022 –  | 02 February - 30th April 2023 7 days a week  | 21 SEPT 2023 - 29 April 2024 Thursday to Sunday

NOT OPERATING :01 MAY 2023 - 20 SEPT 2023 | 29 APRIL 2024 - 01 JULY 2024 
NORTHERN EXPLORER Operating days: Northbound (Wednesday, Friday & Sunday) | Southbound (Monday, Thursday & Saturday)
TRANZ ALPINE Operating days:  26 DEC 22 – 30 APRIL 23 7 days a week | 28 APRIL 2023 - 28 SEPT 2023 Friday to Monday | 29 SEPT 2023 - 6 MAY 2024 7 days a week | 10 MAY 2024 - 30 JUNE 2024 Friday to Monday
 Face masks are no longer mandatory on any of these train services Northern Explorer, Coastal Pacific, and Tranz Alpine trains. However, we do recommend you continue wearing facemasks for your own safety while moving around the train. On-board crews will continue to wear facemasks for the time being.


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The Tranz Alpine







About the journey

The TranzAlpine train operates between Christchurch, Arthurs Pass and Greymouth - from the east coast to the west coast of New Zealand's South Island. 

Travelling west crossing the Canterbury Plains, the train slowly ascends through spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River towards the Southern Alps to the alpine village of Arthurs Pass for a short break before descending through the Otira Tunnel to the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island, through lush alpine beech rain forests to Greymouth - a great base for visits to Punakaiki and the always popular glaciers at Franz Josef and Fox Glacier.

Scenic Plus Experience

From 14 April 2023 "Scenic Plus" class is returning to the TranzAlpine. When you take your Scenic Plus seat, in the exclusive carriage, you'll enjoy an enhanced dining experience where both hot and cold dishes are freshly made in the custom built kitchen carriage. The locally inspired, seasonal dishes are served at your seat, while you sit back and enjoy the sensational scenery. The complimentary drinks menu is carefully selected to match the sumptuous lunch and afternoon tea. Enjoy New Zealand's world famous Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir wines or sit back with a cold beer or freshly made coffee and tea.  Scenic Plus dedicated hosts are on hand to answer questions, add local knowledge and ensure you have the best journey possible. We recommend you travel the full traverse between Christchurch and Greymouth or Greymouth to Christchurch to enjoy the complete "Scenic Plus" experience.


The Carriages

The train's carriages have an advanced air bag suspension system for quieter and smoother travel, un-tinted, non-reflective, panoramic side and roof windows to capture the beauty of the Southern Alps and alpine forest landscape views of the central South Island, GPS triggered journey commentary in five languages at your seat via headphones, plus information displays and overhead HD video and are centrally heated/air conditioned for passenger comfort.

Each carriage has onboard washroom/toilet facilities, with '2 Seat-Aisle-2 Seat' seating either as reclining forward facing seats with head and foot rests or 'Table Group' (4 people around a table) seating allowing you to experience the amazing views of the magnificent South Island, through panoramic side and roof windows, while enjoying the company of other passengers.

This train has a café carriage offering a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, snacks and light meals and an open viewing carriage for views of the Southern Alps and alpine rain forest landscape of the South Island's west coast.

The Tranz Alpine train is a non-smoking, reserved seating 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.

Operating Days

14 Jan – 24 Dec 2022 Friday to Monday | 26 DEC 2022– 30 MAR 2023 7 days a week

Stops along the route include Rolleston, Darfield, Springfield, Arthur's Pass, and Moana (Lake Brunner).

More Details

You can travel from Greymouth by bus along the west coast down to Franz Josef, Fox Glacier, Wanaka, Queenstown and Milford Sound or up to Punakaiki, Westport and Nelson and then back to Christchurch.

You can take a day excursion from Christchurch to either Arthurs Pass or Greymouth travelling on the Tranz Alpine train.

So, sit back and enjoy a genuine kiwi rail experience through the rugged Southern Alps and alpine rainforests of the South Island.