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BOOK YOUR NORTHERN EXPLORER, COASTAL PACIFIC, and TRANZ ALPINE TRAIN  Journeys online 
 
 COASTAL PACIFIC Operating days: 29 SEPT 2022 – 30 APRIL 2023 Thursday to Sunday | 21 SEPT 2023 - 30 JUNE 2024
01 MAY 2023 - 20 SEPT 2023 | 29 APRIL 2024 - 01 JULY 2024 NOT OPERATING
NORTHERN EXPLORER Operating days: Northbound (Wednesday, Friday & Sunday) | Southbound (Monday, Thursday & Saturday)
Northern Explorer Scheduled Track Maintenance: 20-24 October 2022 | 25 December 2022-09 January 2023 | 27-30 January 2023 | 3-6 February 2023 | 7-10 April 2023 | 2-5 June 2023 | 14-17 July 2023 | 25 December - 8 January 2024 All full cancellations No bus replacements. 
TRANZ ALPINE Operating days: 14 JAN 22 – 24 DEC 22 Friday to Monday | 26 DEC 22 – 30 APRIL 23 7 days a week | 28 APRIL 2023 - 28 SEPT 2023 Friday to Monday | 29 SEPT 2023 - 6 MAY 2024 7 days a week | 10 MAY 2024 - 30 JUNE 2024 Friday to Monday
 TranzAlpine Scheduled Track Maintenance - 28-30 May 2022 |  23-24 July 2022 | 13-15 August 2022 | 16-17 October 2022 | 23 April 2023 \ 21-22 May 2023 | 24-26 June 2023 | 15-16 July 2023 | 5-6 August 2023 | 26-27 August 2023 | 16-17 September 2023   All full cancellations No bus replacements. 
 
Face masks are no longer mandatory on any of these train services Northern Explorer, Coastal Pacific, and Tranz Alpine trains. 
However, we do recommend you continue wearing facemasks for your own safety while moving around the train. On-board crews will continue to wear facemasks for the time being.

 

 
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About the journey

The Coastal Pacific train operates between the delightful port of Picton - the gateway to the beautiful Marlborough Sounds - to Kaikoura - the home of whale watching and onto Christchurch - the South Island's largest city.

Your journey takes you through the wine growing region of Blenheim to the rugged Kaikoura mountain ranges on one side of your train, the Pacific Ocean coastline on the other with views of marine wildlife such as seals and penguins to some of New Zealand's finest horticultural and farmland areas of the Canterbury Plains, all from the comfort of your carriage.

Along the way you pass though the town of Kaikoura, where you can break your journey to take in whale watching or get up and close by swimming with the dolphins.

The Carriages

The Coastal Pacific train's carriages have advanced air bag suspension for quieter and smoother travel, un-tinted, non-reflective, panoramic side and roof windows to capture the dramatic coastal and mountain views of the magnificent South Island, GPS triggered journey commentary in five languages at your seat via passenger headphones, plus information displays and overhead HD video.

All carriages are centrally heated, air conditioned with on board washroom/toilet facilities, forward facing or 'Table' (4 people around a table) seating allowing you to share experiences through large panoramic windows.

There is an open air viewing carriage where all your senses are awakened with the clean, fresh sea air and a Café Carriage offering a selection of alcoholic and non alcoholic hot/cold drinks, snacks and light meals.

The Coastal Pacific train is a non-smoking, reserved seating service.

Disabilities

For mobility-impaired passengers, there are spaces for wheelchairs and a disabled public toilet. Wheelchair hoists provide access to the café carriage from track level. For hearing-impaired passengers - a hearing loop covers all of the café carriage saloon and serving area.

 

Operating Days

 

COASTAL PACIFIC operating days: 29 SEP – 30 MAR Thursday to Sunday

 

Stops along the route include Blenheim, Kaikoura, and Rangiora.

 

More Details

The Coastal Pacific train connects at Picton with various Cook Strait ferry sailings to and from Wellington in the North Island.

This train connects at Blenheim with bus and coach services to Nelson and services from Nelson to Blenheim.

You can take a day excursion from Christchurch to Kaikoura travelling on the Coastal Pacific train.

So, sit back and enjoy a genuine kiwi rail experience through the South Island's north eastern rugged coastline.

Coastal Pacific - Christchurch to Picton Book Now
Coastal Pacific - Picton to Christchurch Book Now