By taking your foot off the pedal and going by train you’ll get the chance to soak in some of New Zealand’s stunning scenery with a glass in your hand. It's a relaxing and romantic alternative to the car, which we often incorporate into our itineraries.
The three scenic rail journeys we recommend are the Coastal Pacific, TranzAlpine and Northern Explorer routes. They'll bring you breathtakingly close to the Pacific coast, whilst offering thrilling views of gorges, farmland, mountains and volcanic landscapes respectively.
The carriages on these trains have been specifically designed to ensure you get the best of the views in complete comfort. They have wide, panoramic side and roof windows, as well as open air viewing decks. There are licensed cafés on board with a selection of snacks, hot meals and local beers and wine.
The Northern Explorer runs between Auckland and Wellington and vice versa, offering 681km of views. Passengers journey through Tongariro National Park taking in its three stunning volcanic mountains, along rocky coastlines and past the magnificent lakes near Otaki.
The Coastal Pacific travels between mountain and sea from Picton to Christchurch and vice versa, taking in the vineyards at Blenheim. We’d recommend stopping off at Kaikoura, a town almost overwhelmed by marine wildlife. From here you can go whale watching, encounter albatross, or swim with dusky dolphins and fur seals. The train service runs daily between New Zealand’s summer months of September and May. It also connects with the Interislander ferry at Picton, so your bags can be transferred automatically between the two.
The TranzAlpine route connects Christchurch to Greymouth and vice versa. It runs daily throughout the year, taking in the farmlands of the Canterbury plains, the gorges alongside the Waimakariri River and the incredible landscape of the Southern Alps.
We take the stress out of train travel by booking tickets for you, choosing the routes which best suit your interests, and recommending the most interesting places for stop offs. You don’t need to worry about transfers. We have built strong, personal relationships with our partners in New Zealand and can happily organise pick-ups and drop-offs to the hotels we use.
Call us on +44 (0)1298 74040 to find out more about our New Zealand holidays.
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