Train journeys in New Zealand are wonderful, and we really recommend trying to add a rail trip into your itinerary, not only because it offers a break from driving but also because you’ll have the chance to really make the most of the breath taking views and stunning scenery you’ll be travelling through.
There are three main lines in New Zealand, all offering a completely different scenic experience ranging from mountains to beaches, volcanoes to viaducts.
The Northern Explorer takes you through the heart of North Island from Auckland to Wellington, crossing Tongariro National Park, with views of the Volcanic Plateau, and Mount Ruapehu. You’ll travel along rugged coastlines and through small townships, taking in the lush farmlands of the heart of New Zealand
On South Island, The Coastal Pacific provides a daily link between Christchurch and Picton, where it connects with the Interislander ferry. The route traverses Marlborough Wine Country, and along the beautiful Eastern Coastline with its hinterland of the snow-capped Kaikoura Ranges.
To enjoy one of the world’s top scenic train journeys, climb aboard The TranzAlpine, which travels from Christchurch to the West Coast across the mighty Southern Alps. You’ll head west through the Canterbury plains and climb across the heart of the Alps, weave alongside the wide flats of the Waimakariri River, before finally descending into Greymouth.
The Interislander ferry crossing between Wellington and Picton operates 4-5 times daily in each direction and is a relaxing journey of 3 hours, cruising through one of the most stunning waterways in the world: the Marlborough Sounds.