New Zealand train Travel Packages
The Northern Explorer’s carriages all have large windows for panoramic views of the magnificent landscapes. At the rear of the train, an observation carriage includes lounge-style seating surrounded by glass on three sides. There are also open-air observation areas and a buffet car for meals, drinks and snacks.
Between Picton and Christchurch you can catch the Coastal Pacific. The scenery is remarkable, with the Kaikoura Ranges rising steeply on one side and the Pacific Ocean swells washing over a rocky coastline on the other. Seals and penguins can often be seen on the rocks.
If you have a rail travel pass, make a stopover at the town of Kaikoura for a whale-watching safari. The next stage of this journey chuffs across the Canterbury Plains, where vast braided rivers dissect a patchwork of horticultural and farming landscapes. In total, the Coastal Pacific carries you through 22 tunnels and across 175 bridges.
The other intrepid South Island rail route is the TranzAlpine. The fantastically scenic rail trip on the TranzAlpine - one of the world’s greatest - crosses the Southern Alps on a journey that links the city of Christchurch to historic Greymouth, a river town on the rugged West Coast. Highlights include the 73 metre high Staircase viaduct, Arthur’s Pass National Park and the Otira tunnel.
The TranzAlpine covers 223.8 kilometres in four and a half hours. There are 19 tunnels and four viaducts. An outdoor viewing carriage will get you close to the fresh alpine air and spectacular scenery.
Stay put or hop on and off the train
Each of Kiwirail Scenic Journey's great train trips can be completed as a single journey in one day. Or, with a multi-day Scenic Rail Pass, you can hop on and off to explore attractions along the way. The pass is also a convenient way to combine several of New Zealand’s great train trips into the rail journey of a lifetime.