TranzAlpine, Coastal Pacific and Northern Explorer Services Covid Alert Level 2 & 3

The TranzAlpine, Northern Explorer and Coastal Pacific schedules are affected due to Covid Alert Level 3 and Level 2. Regretfully the TranzAlpine, Coastal Pacific and Northern Explorer services are now cancelled until at least 13 December 2021. Scenic trains will not be operating in alert level 2 areas as we are unable to provide the service experience we seek to deliver. Unfortuneately, we can't provide our customers with total certainty at this time when services will resume and we appreciate this may be affecting your travel plans. We will advise updates on our websites as soon as a decision has been made on resuming services.

Face masks are now mandatory on all journeys, except when consuming food or drink.

Cook Strait ferry bookings and some daytours and bus routes are also open for sale. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries on 0800 143 669 or

 We understand that Covid-19 continues to add uncertainty in planning. Should there be cancellation of services due to Covid 19 restrictions, we will offer affected customers a transfer to an alternative date, a credit for 12 months, or a refund, regardless of the fare purchased less a $30 processing fee for the entire reservation.


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New Zealand long distance passenger train services

Northern Explorer: Auckland-Wellington-Auckland train service

A scenic rail journey through the heart of New Zealand's beautiful North Island. The Northern Explorer train service connects Auckland, New Zealand's largest city and home of the Sky Tower; to Wellington, New Zealand's arts and culture capital. You‘ll travel through rugged native bush, up the world famous Raurimu Spiral to the alpine desert Central Plateau. Enjoy views of its majestic volcanoes, then descend through stunning river gorges to the rocky seascapes of the lower North Island. See it all from the comfort of your carriage through panoramic windows. Read more

Coastal Pacific: Christchurch–Picton–Christchurch train service

A scenic rail journey from Christchurch to Kaikoura, Blenheim and Picton — the gateway to the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. Your journey takes you through picturesque countryside, with the Kaikoura mountain ranges on one side of your train and the rugged Pacific Ocean coastline on the other. Travel through some of New Zealand's finest farmland and wine growing regions, and see marine birds, seals and penguins from the comfort of your carriage. Panoramic windows ensure your stunning views are uninterrupted. Read more

Tranz Alpine: Christchurch–Greymouth–Christchurch train service

A scenic rail journey from one coast of the beautiful South Island to the other through the famed Arthurs Pass. You'll see the rich farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, then ascend the Southern Alps through the spectacular river gorges and valleys of the Waimakariri River to Arthurs Pass. Enjoy a stunning descent through the Otira Tunnel and lush beech alpine rain forests to Greymouth — the gateway to the South Island's West Coast and glaciers. Read more

Regional passenger train services in New Zealand

Alongside the three long distance passenger train services in New Zealand there are also two regional passenger train services.

  • The Capital Connection train operates between Wellington and Palmerston North Monday to Friday 
  • The Wairapapa Connection train operates between Wellington and Masterton seven days a week.

There are no overnight regional or long distance passenger train services in New Zealand.

Travel to other major tourist destinations in New Zealand is by scenic bus and coach services from either Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch or Greymouth.