Experience the World-Famous Scenic Luxury Rail Journeys in New Zealand!

Generally, when we think about the world’s most extraordinary rail journeys, we’d probably jump straight to Europe’s Orient Express, the Trans-Siberian Railway, or India’s Maharaja’s Express. But, what if you were to find out that rail journeys in New Zealand were fast catching up, and for some adventurous souls, actually surpassing the most notable journeys? A country already well-known for its Kiwi birds, Maori culture, and bungy jumping, New Zealand train tours have been gaining notoriety for offering passengers a treasure trove of unique adventures and the opportunity to experience some of the most breathtaking and awe-inspiring scenery anywhere on the planet.

From Snow-Capped Mountains and Rugged Coastlines New Zealand Rail Holidays Have So Much to Offer!

The country is famed for its incredible landscapes. Its stunning mountain ranges, wild snaking rivers, and grassy meadows answer why it became the perfect setting for Middle-earth in the Lord of the Rings movies. New Zealand rail holidays provide the ideal means to explore its unspoiled beauty while travelling in incredible comfort and style, and the diversity is one of the leading reasons why NZ rail tours have gained so much draw.

During rail trips in New Zealand, adventurous travellers get to explore snow-capped mountains, National Parks, the Franz Josef Glacier, and rugged coastlines, all genuinely spectacular displays of Mother Nature doing her displaying her finest work.

Check Out Our Selection of Iconic Luxury New Zealand Scenic Rail Journeys for 2024/25

Train tours in New Zealand have developed in popularity significantly over the years, with rail enthusiasts and adventurous travellers alike realising how much they have to offer. If you’re considering booking one of these train tours in New Zealand in 2024/2025 to experience the breathtaking landscapes from the comfort and security of a premium carriage take a look at the following guide. These New Zealand train holidays allow you to indulge in world-class service, and gourmet dining, and immerse yourself in the rich history of the country’s rail heritage. 

TranzAlpine NZ Rail Tour: From Christchurch to Greymouth

TranzAlpine New Zealand train tour packages offer a momentous journey, passing through the staggeringly beautiful route from Christchurch to Greymouth. A classic rail adventure and frequently proclaimed as being among the most outstanding journeys, this train trip in NZ delivers passengers astonishing views of the country’s South Islands. Beginning its voyage in Christchurch, the TranzAlpine snakes its way through the verdant Canterbury Plains, climbs into the imposing Sothern Alps, and then descends into the abundant rainforests of the West Coast.

The lucky passengers onboard these NZ rail trips can feast their eyes on sweeping vistas of snow-blanketed mountain peaks, bottomless crevasses, and undisturbed river valleys. Each one of these train tours in NZ spans 223 kilometres and incorporates highlights such as the Waimakariri River and the sensational Arthur’s Pass. With comfy seating, enlightening commentary, and plentiful opportunities to take photos, the TranzAlpine train trips in New Zealand promise an unparalleled travel experience, blending natural beauty with first-class service.

Coastal Pacific New Zealand Train Tour: Picton and Christchurch

Embarking on the journey from Picton to Christchurch onboard the Coastal Pacific supplies passengers with the most magical New Zealand scenic rail journeys. A truly breathtaking route along the Pacific Ocean, those onboard are treated to a unique blend of stunning landscapes and vibrant marine life, making it a can’t-miss adventure. Commencing in the delightful town of Picton, snuggled into the top of the South Island, these train tours in NZ hug the craggy coastline, offering unmatched views of the ocean and mountain ranges.

As these train journeys in New Zealand wind their way south, passengers can marvel at the Kaikoura Seaward Ranges, where snow-capped mountains reach the sea, and penguins, seals, and even whales are regularly spotted along the way. These NZ rail tours conclude in Christchurch, a culturally and historically rich city. Whether a nature lover or a train enthusiast, the Coastal Pacific Train trip in NZ promises an unforgettable experience through one of the most spectacular regions in the Southern Hemisphere.

Northern Explorer NZ Rail Trip: Auckland and Wellington

Passengers discover an unforgettable escapade onboard the Northern Explorer NZ rail trips, a journey that links Aukland and Wellington. The scenic route provides an awe-inspiring glance into the country’s distinct and diverse landscapes. From the vibrant urban streets of Aukland to the cultural heart of Wellington.  Passengers enjoy panoramic views of spectacular and effortless beauty as these rail trips in New Zealand weave through flourishing farmlands, rugged mountains, and immaculate National Parks.

Onboard, comfort easily blends with convenience with roomy seating, informative commentary, and a cafe car offering regional specialities. Whether you’re a photography buff, nature enthusiast, or simply seeking refuge from the pace of contemporary living, Northern Explorer train journeys in NZ promise a memorable experience. These NZ rail trips are an opportunity to explore the North Islands’ hidden gems and shouldn’t be missed.

When is the Best Time To Book Train Trips in New Zealand?

Luxury rail tours in New Zealand offer fortunate passengers an overabundance of picturesque landscapes year-round. It’s generally felt that the ideal time of year will depend on your preference. Spring is between September and November and offers colourful blossoms and verdant greenery, perfect for scenic train tours of New Zealand. Warmer weather can be found between the summer months of December and February, highlighting stunning foliage, and beautifying the already incredible vistas. Snow-capped mountains and cosy, serene NZ rail tours can be enjoyed between the winter months of June and August. These New Zealand train tours sell out quickly, so it’s highly advised you book between 3 and 6 months in advance.

Experience Wonderful NZ Cuisine During Your Luxury New Zealand Rail Tour!

One of the many pleasures of travelling is indulging in local cuisines that outline a destination’s culture. New Zealand train tour packages open up a world of possibilities, from the famous Kiwi breakfast featuring Manuka honey-drizzled pancakes and freshly brewed coffee. Lunch could see you delight in succulent New Zealand lamb with Kumara, a traditional sweet potato. Then a fine feast of green-lipped mussels and succulent crayfish for dinner finished with a creamy pavlova for dessert.

Luxury rail tours in New Zealand provide a wealth of variety for even the most difficult-to-please foodie, and you’re guaranteed to experience new, unique flavours and fantastic wines. 


New Zealand Rail Tours FAQs

Although everyone will have their own opinion on what makes a journey by rail exceptional, it’s generally felt that the TranzAlpine offers the most scenic New Zealand rail tours. These train journeys in NZ traverse the jaw-dropping South Island, operating from Christchurch to Greymouth. Passengers fortunate enough to experience NZ rail trips get to discover diverse landscapes, from the lush Canterbury Plains to the rugged Southern Alps, and the breathtaking gorges of the Waimakariri River. Other highlights include Arthur’s Pass National Park and the tranquil rainforests of the West Coast. The TranzAlpine is a nature lover’s dream, making it a must-do journey. 

Absolutely! Numerous train trips in New Zealand should be on any nature lover or rail enthusiast’s bucket list. The country is home to some truly awe-inspiring scenery and cultural highlights, making it a fantastic place to visit for those seeking adventure. Rail journeys in New Zealand can be enjoyed onboard the TransAlpine, the Coastal Pacific New Zealand train, and the Northern Explorer. These three examples offer a diverse flavour of the country and take in some incredible spectacles along the way.

New Zealand train holidays and tours typically range from NZD 100 to NZD 400 per person, depending upon the train route and destination. Some of the most popular and highly sought train tours in NZ, including the Northern Explorer, TranzAlpine, and Coastal Pacific offer passengers incredibly scenic journeys with prices varying based on travel class and season. 

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