Experience New Zealand’s incredible beauty when you travel by train, one of the best ways to see this country’s ever-changing landscapes and stunning scenery. See more of New Zealand by travelling by rail rather than road, and sit back in comfort as you watch the scenery glide past through enormous panoramic windows.
Aboard one of KiwiRail Scenic Journeys scenic carriages, you’ll find world-class comfort with wide panoramic side and roof windows that are non-reflective, allowing for great photo opportunities. Seating is spacious and comfortable, and carriages are heated to keep you warm. If you work up an appetite during your trip, enjoy a snack, hot meal, or drink from the fully licensed on-board café. If you’re interested in hearing stories of the region and a detailed history of the areas you pass through, plug in your headphones to hear the GPS-triggered journey commentary from the comfort of your seat.
Be sure to visit the open-air viewing carriage, where you can enjoy the feeling of fresh alpine air rushing through your hair. Here, nothing can get in the way of you and your camera enjoying the spectacular New Zealand landscapes. Just be mindful that it can get a bit cold during winter, so don’t forget to pack a coat and hat to keep you snug and warm.
Northern Explorer (Wellington to Auckland)
The Northern Explorer travels through the heart of the North Island between Auckland and Wellington. You’ll enjoy the scenery along the way as you pass through Central North Island ski towns of National Park and Ohakune, a great spot for a winter holiday with family or friends. Along this route you’ll see breathtaking views of New Zealand the volcanic plateau, Mount Ruapehu, the world-famous Raurimu Spiral, and stunning river gorges.
Coastal Pacific (Christchurch to Picton)
The Coastal Pacific is one of the world’s most scenic train journeys, and you’ll enjoy jaw-dropping views nearly the whole way. Travel between Picton, at the top of the South Island, and Christchurch, in the heart of Canterbury, and enjoy majestic views of the Kaikoura mountain ranges and rugged Pacific Ocean as the train hugs the coastline. Along the way you’ll pass though the picturesque seaside town of Kaikoura, where you can have a break to watch whales, swim with dolphins, enjoy a coastal walk, or tuck into a plate of mouth-watering crayfish. This trip is also a structural marvel, as you travel through 22 tunnels and cross 175 bridges, one of which is New Zealand’s only road-rail bridge.
TranzAlpine (Christchurch to Greymouth)
The TranzAlpine journey is one of the most diverse, travelling coast to coast through forests, farmland, and over the spectacular Southern Alps between Christchurch and Greymouth. Pull out the camera starting on the east coast, where you’ll travel through the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the breathtaking gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. The highlight of the trip is climbing up into the Southern Alps before you descend through lush beech rainforest to the west coast town of Greymouth.
You’ll love rediscovering the romance of rail travel, but the modern amenities and comforts will make your journey more relaxing and enjoyable. You’ll get to see the true beauty of New Zealand when you travel by train on KiwiRail’s unique, scenic journeys that operate throughout the country.