Take a ride on one of New Zealand’s great train journeys!
Sometimes, driving can become tiring when you’re on holiday. Long days on the road pass by without it feeling like you’ve taken in the sights along the way. Train journeys offer a welcome change of pace, avoiding the grind of road traffic and driver fatigue. These famous train journeys across both islands effortlessly connect you to some of New Zealand’s top destinations, and offer views you simply can’t get from the road. All you have to do is relax! Maybe it’s time to ditch the car and hit the rail trail…
Northern ExplorerThe Northern Explorer runs between Auckland and Wellington and is a full day journey. You’ll pass through famous regions like the King Country, Waikato Plains (where much of NZ’s world-famous dairy is farmed), the Kapiti Coast, and Waitomo, home of the glow worm caves. Full commentary is provided, and there’s a great selection of food and drink to keep hungry tummies full and content. Travellers love the glowing customer service and the opportunity to spend quality time with family playing games, reading, or just admiring the ever-changing views. Look out for Mount Ruapehu and Mount Ngauruhoe (Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings movies). A visit to the open-air viewing deck is a must when you cross the Raurimu Spiral – an engineering triumph ascending nearly 150 metres.
Northern Explorer at a glance
Connects: Auckland & Wellington
Duration: 11 hours
Explore: Waitomo, Tongariro National Park, Wellington, Auckland
Coastal PacificThe Coastal Pacific is the easy way to get up and down the South Island. It’s a half-day journey that packs in some of New Zealand’s most beautiful coastal views, especially as you pass through Kaikoura. To one side, you’ll see mountain ranges climbing high into the sky, and on the other side the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean stretching endlessly into the distance. It’s a view to savour and you’ll want to bring some friends and family to share it with. Pass by the bright pink waters of Lake Grassmere, and soon you’ll be in Marlborough, the South Island’s premier winemaking region. The best part? You’re there in time for lunch!
Coastal Pacific at a glance
Connects: Picton & Christchurch
Duration: 6 hours
Explore: Kaikoura, Marlborough, Christchurch
TranzAlpineThe TranzAlpine is New Zealand’s most famous train journey, rich with history and incredible sights, as well as some pioneering feats of engineering. Cross through the mighty Southern Alps as you make your way from Christchurch to the West Coast, where highlights include Arthur’s Pass national park (a favourite with hikers and nature lovers), the Otira tunnel, which was once the world’s second longest (over 8 kilometres), and the unique landscape of the wild West Coast. With rugged riverbeds, mountains on either side, and lush native bush, it’s a place like no other! Savour the journey in comfort as you swap the car seat for a delicious lunch and drinks, with stunning views of the Waimakariri riverbed that you can’t get anywhere else.
TranzAlpine at a glance
Connects: Christchurch & Greymouth
Duration: 5 hours
Explore: Arthur’s Pass, Greymouth & West Coast, Christchurch
Click through to learn more about these iconic New Zealand Train Journeys!