New Zealand Rail
New Zealand long distance passenger train services
Train service operations from Auckland to Wellington to Auckland
The Northern Explorer traverses the length of North Island from Auckland, home of the Sky Tower and New Zealand’s largest city, to the harbour capital Wellington, the country’s centre for the culture and arts. It’s a dramatic journey through the central heartland of North Island, passing through five different geographical regions each with its own unique landscapes.
Train service operations from Christchurch to Picton to Christchurch
Operating between the end of September to early May every year, the Coastal Pacific Train runs from the picturesque port of Picton, gateway to the spectacular Marlborough Sounds, to the Garden City of Christchurch, the largest city in South Island. Take the Coastal Pacific Train to the rugged coast of Kaikoura about halfway from either direction and join whale watching tours.
*The train will have daily departures over summer, 7 days a week, from 1 December 2018 to 28 April 2019 only. For more information and updates about travel around Canterbury and Marlborough regions, please visit this website.
Train service operations from Christchurch to Greymouth to Christchurch
Considered as one of the most iconic train journeys in one of most iconic parts of the world, the Tranz Alpine train services Christchurch in the east coast and cuts through the heart of Canterbury Plains as it makes its way through Arthurs Pass and the chiselled alpine landscape of the Southern Alps. Offering passengers breathtaking views of contrasting landscapes, the Tranz Alpine arrives/departs in Greymouth in the west coast.
Long distance or regional passenger train services in New Zealand do not offer overnight trips. You can get to other popular tourist attractions from either Auckland or Hamilton in North Island, or Christchurch or Greymouth in South Island by connecting scenic bus and coach services.
Taieri Gorge Railway
Train service operations from Dunedin to Pukerangi or Middlemarch
Taieri Gorge Railway begins its historic journey from the beautiful Dunedin Railway Station. It travels through some of New Zealand's spectacular, iconic, and ever-changing scenery. Explore the southern part of Dunedin City through Taieri Plains and into the Taieri Gorge, a narrow and deep gorge carved out over aeons by the ancient Taieri River. There are plenty of scenic points along the way where you can take photos or just stretch your legs and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings.