Latest Operational Schedule


  COASTAL PACIFIC Operating days: 29 SEPT 2022 –  | 02 February - 30th April 2023 7 days a week  | 21 SEPT 2023 - 29 April 2024 Thursday to Sunday

NOT OPERATING :01 MAY 2023 - 20 SEPT 2023 | 29 APRIL 2024 - 01 JULY 2024 
NORTHERN EXPLORER Operating days: Northbound (Wednesday, Friday & Sunday) | Southbound (Monday, Thursday & Saturday)
TRANZ ALPINE Operating days:  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
 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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Train Services

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.