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KiwiRail’s scenic trains to resume from September with new tourism offering

KiwiRail’s Northern Explorer and Coastal Pacific scenic trains will resume later this year, with the addition of exciting new travel packages and tours which will encourage travellers to explore regional New Zealand, KiwiRail General Manager Scenic Journeys Tracey Goodall says.

KiwiRail’s Northern Explorer and Coastal Pacific scenic trains will resume later this year, with the addition of exciting new travel packages and tours which will encourage travellers to explore regional New Zealand, KiwiRail General Manager Scenic Journeys Tracey Goodall says.

New Zealand is now open to travellers from Australia, and to celebrate, KiwiRail’s Northern Explorer and Coastal Pacific scenic trains will recommence later this year.

The Northern Explorer (Auckland – Wellington) will resume from 25th September and the Coastal Pacific (Picton – Christchurch) from 29th September.

The two services were hibernated in December 2021, when the ongoing impacts of Covid-19 saw passenger numbers dwindle. 

The best known of KiwiRail’s three tourism trains, TranzAlpine, (Christchurch – Greymouth) re-started in January and will also offer package and tour options from early October.

ANZCRO New Zealand
TranzAlpine alongside Waimakariri River

“Our three services will cater for a range of travellers, both domestic and international. People will be able to book tickets between Auckland and Wellington, Picton and Christchurch, and Christchurch and Greymouth as they previously have, but we will also be offering new products on all three trains to appeal to more people and different travel styles,” Ms Goodall, KiwiRail General Manager Scenic Journeys, said.

“We’ll be providing new visitor experiences on the Northern Explorer, Coastal Pacific and TranzAlpine – with the addition of self-guided tours and set and customized packages, which will allow people to get off the trains for a day or two to experience more of what the regions have to offer.

“We are also going a step further by adding a range of high-quality, multi-day guided tours, built around our scenic trains. There is a growing international market for this kind of high-quality, rail-cruising experience and this will be a first for KiwiRail.

“The diversity of the new visitor offering allows KiwiRail to appeal to different parts of the international tourism market, while also offering something new for Kiwis,” Ms Goodall concluded.

Mt Victoria, Wellington. Image credit: Sky view photography
Mt Victoria, Wellington. Image credit: Sky view photography

Bookings for standard travel on all three train services are open from 26 April. The new package and tour products will be launched in the coming months.

“Given that pre-Covid 65 per cent of our passengers were international tourists, the restart will allow time for New Zealand’s borders to progressively re-open and we’ll be fully up and running in time for the summer tourism peak,” Ms Goodall says.

For more information visit www.greatjourneysofnz.co.nz