Whether you are from overseas or from New Zealand – one of the best ways to discover New Zealand is by Train travel.You can travel by train between all three major New Zealand Cities from Auckland to Wellington and from Wellington to Christchurch (with a little bit of help from the Interislander Ferry).
The Overlander Train between Auckland and Wellington and vice versa
The famous Overlander train is easily the best way to get from downtown Auckland to the city of Wellington, in one worry-free journey – with various interesting stops along the way – one being at the Tongariro National Park. This is the longest train travel in New Zealand and takes approx 12 hours to complete, across the entire interior of the North Island in one single day. The Overlander train journey will take you from coastlines to mountains, from lush and green farmland to thick and beautiful native New Zealand.
Tranzcoastal Train connects Picton and Christchurch
Before you get to Picton on the South Island you need to take the ferry across Cook Strait. Passengers due to take the Tranzcoastal train from Picton to Christchurch can check their baggage through to Christchurch in Wellington – this makes things super easy and you only need to carry hand luggage onto the ferry and the Tranzcoastal train. The Tranzcoastal train has comfortable carriages with four seats around a table. All carriages have large panoramic windows to allow you to view the scenery along the east coast of the South Island. The train also has a cafï bar carriage offering snacks and drinks and some meals along the way. There is a full length open viewing platform on the Tranzcoastal train – ideal to make the most of your Train travel New Zealand. The Tranzcoastal train operates all year round, once daily in each direction – the journey takes approximately 5 hours to complete. If you wish to stop over for a night or two in Kaikoura to experience the world famous whale watch tour or go swimming with the Dolphins you have to break the journey up in Kaikoura!
Tranzalpine Train connects Christchurch and the Westcoast of theSouth Island
The train journey from Christchurch via Arthurs Pass to Greymouth is perhaps the most scenic train journey in New Zealand. This train also runs once daily between Christchurch, Arthur's Pass and Greymouth on the South Island's west coast. It is a journey through the magical misty mountain scenery of the Southern Alps and best taken during the winter months to view that majestic snow capped mountain peaks.Special fares available all year round. The Tranzalpine travels once a day in both directions.
The Taieri Gorge Railway Track & Trail link from Dunedin to Queenstown
Another highly recommended train travel New Zealand is the Taieri Gorge Railway between Dunedin and Queenstown on the South Island. The Track & Trail link Taieri Gorge Railway is a well maintained railway running daily all year round taking visitors and locals through scenic scenery over parts of the old Dunedin-Cromwell branch railway and ends at Pukerangi which is about 58km from Dunedin. A minibus connection then takes passengers to Queenstown. This train service is highly recommended.
So ditch the plane ticket in favor of train travel New Zealand – you would be crazy to waste such a superb opportunity!