New Zealand Rail
New Zealand’s rail network is not a vast one with endless passenger services, but a collection of scenic rail journeys taking you through some unforgettable landscapes.
There is little commuter service besides the services running in Wellington and Auckland and a few intercity trains. The long-distance services are primarily driven by tourism, taking passengers on scenic journeys. Trains have reclining seats, a buffet car with reasonable, good-value food, panoramic windows, and occasionally a glass-backed observation carriage.
Scenic Rail pass
The Scenic Rail Pass enables you to travel around New Zealand on the Tranz Scenic rail network at your own speed. The pass is ideal for independent travellers wanting to enjoy the calming benefits of train travel. With the pass, you can pick your own route, get on and off where you like, and travel as often as you like within the validity of the ticket. Both 7 and 14 day options are available.
The Overlander train connects Auckland to Wellington, travelling through some of the central North Island’s more rural regions and the volcanic Central Plateau. Interesting stops along the way include Te Awamutu, Te Kuiti (where the train is met by a shuttle bus to Waitomo Caves) and National Park (with access to Mount Ruapehu and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing).
All carriages include large windows giving panoramic of the magnificent North Island. The Observation carriage features a mixture of seating that includes some lounge style seating. The service leaves both Auckland and Wellington daily around 7.35am and reaches its destination around 7.20pm.
Auckland is also the launching point for fascinating boutique steam train trips around the whole country.
The TranzCoastal train follows the coastline between the inter-island ferry terminal at Picton and the city of Christchurch. Taking just over 5 hours, the journey travels past the Kaikoura mountains on one side and the coarse Pacific Ocean coastline on the other. You’ll be able to spot dolphins, seals and penguins from the luxury of your seat or in the open air viewing carriage. It departs Christchurch at 7.00am arriving in Picton at 12.15pm. It then departs Picton at 1.30pm arriving in Christchurch at 6.20pm.
The TranzAlpine train is one of the world’s great train journeys taking you through the Southern Alps as it connects Christchurch to Greymouth on the west coast. The four and half hour journey departs daily and includes an open air viewing carriage for those all important photo opportunities.
The Taieri Gorge train, leaving Dunedin's historic Railway Station, is a daily service taking you through the dramatic Taieri River Gorge and hand carved tunnels dating back over a 100 years ago. With full commentary, photographic stops and on board refreshments the train offers year round, all-weather entertainment. You can also book a return journey to Pukerangi or Middlemarch. The Taieri Gorge Train can be part of your trip to and from Queenstown and Central Otago on their connecting 'Track & Trail' coach service.
|TranzAlpine Express||Christchurch To Greymouth|
|TranzCoastal||Picton To Christchurch|
|Overlander||Auckland To Wellington|
|Taieri Gorge Railway||Dunedin To Middlemarch|
|Tranz Scenic Railway||Domestic||0800 TRAINS / 0800 872 467|
|Tranz Scenic Railway||International||+64 4 495 0775|
|Taieri Gorge Railway||International||+64 3 477 4449|
Oriental Bay - Wellington
Skydive Lake Wanaka
Roaring Meg - Central Otago
"A traveller without observation is a bird without wings" - Moslih Eddin Saadi