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 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.
For mobility-impaired passengers, there are spaces for wheel chairs 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.
BOOKINGS WILL OPEN ON THE 26TH OF APRIL 2022 FOR THE NORTHERN EXPLORER and COASTAL PACIFIC TRAIN.
For Travels from 29th of September 2023. Additional dates for the TRANZ ALPINE train will be added as well.
TRANZ ALPINE operating days. 14 JAN – 24 DEC Friday to Monday | 26 DEC– 27 APR 7 days a week
COASTAL PACIFIC operating days: 29 SEP – 30 APR Thursday to Sunday
NORTHERN EXPLORER operating days: Northbound (Wednesday, Friday & Sunday) | Southbound (Monday, Thursday & Saturday)
TranzAlpine Scheduled Track Maintenance - May 28-30 | July 23-25 | August 13-15 All full cancellations No bus replacements.
Stops along the route include Blenheim, Kaikoura, and Rangiora.
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.