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Travelling by Train in New Zealand

Travelling by train is a fantastic way to see sections of New Zealand. Sit back and look out the carriage window without having to concentrate on the road.  We can create a seamless journey combining train travel and self drive, with short private transfers to link the two. 

There are three main sections of railway line that can be travelled via purpose built scenic train and any number of day trips and rail-related activities to enjoy while you are in New Zealand.

The Northern Explorer

The Northern Explorer travels between Auckland and Wellington and this can connect to the Interislander Ferry. The ferry takes you on the 3 hour scenic cruise between Wellington in the North Island and Picton in the South Island.

Take a look at some of our popular Northern Explorer train tours:

The TranzAlpine

Whether you reach Christchurch by car or train and ferry you are in for a train travel treat when you do. The South island's largest city is at one end of the famous TranzAlpine train line which crosses the Southern Alps and travels to Greymouth on the West Coast of the South Island. 

This trip has a worldwide reputation as one of the best train journeys available. You'll travel through a mountain pass and enjoy a unique perspective on the alpine environment as our train passes over tracks and viaducts whose construction was an amazing feat of engineering.

Take a look at some of our popular TranzAlpine train tours:

The Coastal Pacific

The Coastal Pacific, which travels between Picton and Christchurch, is not current running as its line was very badly damaged by the 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake. When it returns to service it will again be possible to travel from Auckland to Christchurch via train and ferry.

The Coastal Pacific is currently not operating, it is due to re-open early 2018.

Day Trips, Excursions & Activities

There are a number of smaller vintage and hobby rail experiences that can be included in your holiday. Our travel consultants will be able to suggest options that suit your travel plans. The most popular of these smaller train journeys is the Taieri Gorge Railway, which operates from Dunedin through to Central Otago, where you can catch a road connection to Queenstown or return back to Dunedin.

See our collection of suggested New Zealand holidays featuring scenic train journeys and talk to us about including train travel in your New Zealand experience.

Note: When planning your holiday in New Zealand operating days need to be taken into account, as scenic trains may run less frequently in the winter.