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KiwiRail Scenic Journeys

Discover the heart of New Zealand by train.

KiwiRail Scenic Journeys offer some of the most spectacular scenery in New Zealand. With three train services that span the country, each with its own unique identity, there is no better way to experience the best New Zealand has to offer.

All services feature state of the art carriages as good as any of the scenic railways in the world. Automated GPS triggered commentary is available at seating, making sure no highlights are missed.

Each train also features a licenced café car and open air viewing carriage which is the ideal spot for photographing passing scenery.

The Northern Explorer Auckland to Wellington

Travel through the heart of New Zealand and experience the North Island’s extraordinary range of scenery in one journey.

  • The Northern Explorer takes you through rolling green farmland and virgin bush, past quaint country towns and along rocky coasts.
  • The journey through Tongariro National Park, with its three spectacular volcanic mountains –Tongariro, Ngāuruhoe and Ruapehu – is a highlight, a place of extremes and surprises, where snow-blanketed fields, ancient lava flows and dense beech forests can be seen side by side.
  • The Northern Explorer operates a 6-day timetable travelling Southbound on Monday, Thursday & Saturday, and Northbound on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.


Departs Auckland Monday, Thursday and Saturday at 7.45 am and arrives in Wellington at 6.25 pm.

Departs Wellington Tuesday, Friday and Sunday at 7.55 am and arrives in Auckland 6.50 pm.

* Service excludes Wednesdays and Christmas Day.

The Coastal Pacific Picton to Christchurch

Discover the wild spirit of the coast!

  • Immerse yourself in the rugged coastal architecture of New Zealand. Travelling between Christchurch and Picton over the extended summer season, this memorable journey stops at Blenheim and the renowned whale watching town of Kaikoura.
  • Along 98 kilometres of ruggedly beautiful coastline you’ll get astonishingly close to the surging Pacific Ocean and steeply rising Kaikoura Ranges.
  • You’ll also travel through beautiful wine growing regions, across broad, braided rivers and the rich patchwork farming landscape of the Canterbury Plains.


Departs Christchurch 7 am, arrives Picton 12.13 pm. Departs Picton 1 pm, arrives Christchurch 6.21 pm.

* Coastal Pacific is a summer season train, only operating daily between October and April each year excluding Christmas Day.

The TranzAlpine Christchurch to Greymouth

Rated one of the world’s great scenic railway journeys! Meeting the challenge of the mountains!

  • Climb aboard one of the world’s most famous train journeys. Cross the fertile farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, and enjoy thrilling vistas over deep gorges as you travel alongside the ice-fed Waimakariri River.
  • Traverse the mighty Southern Alps, where spectacular views of the chiselled alpine landscape will take your breath away at every turn.
  • Then, after stopping at Arthur’s Pass, emerge from the long Otira Tunnel and descend through sub-tropical rain forest past beautiful Lake Brunner and on to Greymouth – a great base for exploring this unspoilt region with its mighty glaciers, wild rivers and famous Punakaiki pancake rocks.
  • The trip is 223.8 kilometres long and takes just 4.5 hours. There are 16 tunnels and 5 viaducts, the highest being the ‘Staircase’ standing at 73 metres.


Departs Christchurch 8.15 am, arrives Greymouth 12.45 pm. Departs Greymouth 1.45 pm, arrives Christchurch 6.05 pm.

* The TranzAlpine operates daily excluding Christmas Day.

Other Information

The train may depart intermediate stations earlier if all booked passengers are onboard. Passengers are advised to be at all stations at least 20 minutes before the time shown. This timetable is subject to change.


Auckland Station: Britomart, 12 Queen Street

Wellington Station: Bunny Street

Picton Station: Auckland Street

Christchurch Station: Troup Drive off Clarence Street

Greymouth Station: Mackay Street


* All pricing is in New Zealand Dollars

* Prices are based on a one way fare structure

* Children: 2-14 years, under 2 years are free

* Select item(s) above and submit with your other New Zealand accommodation, activity and transport needs. A travel consultant will contact you in less than 12 hours with availability and best available price. Upon your approval and payment you will then receive confirmation.

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