Each year, we carry around one million tourists on our scenic train journeys and Interislander ferry service, collectively branded the Great Journeys of New Zealand. Our journeys have been named among the top train and ferry experiences in the world.
Through the connected network of the Great Journeys of New Zealand, passengers are able to travel from Auckland in the North through to Greymouth on the West Coast of the South Island, experiencing New Zealand’s famous coastlines and mountains along the way.
KiwiRail’s tourism services help drive New Zealand’s regional growth, bringing thousands of tourists each year to cities such as Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, and to regions including Waikato, Ruapehu, Manawatu, Marlborough, Kaikoura and the West Coast.
Not only are our journeys spectacular, they are a sustainable option for experiencing the beauty of Aotearoa with fewer carbon emissions than road travel, enhancing the safety and beauty of the country. Great Journeys of New Zealand is proud to have signed up to the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment. Click here for more on KiwiRail’s sustainability goals.
With the help of the New Zealand Government, KiwiRail is increasing capacity on its popular rail journeys and hope to have our first premium carriages in operation by 2022. Find out more.
To book tickets on any of our services, visit Great Journeys of New Zealand.
New Zealand's longest running passenger service, the Northern Explorer travels between Auckland and Wellington, stopping at Palmerston North, Ohakune, National Park and Hamilton. Highlights include the journey through the Tongariro National Park, with its three spectacular volcanic mountains, and the famous Raurimu Spiral.
The Interislander ferry is the longest running Cook Strait ferry service in New Zealand, and sails between Wellington (North Island) and Picton (South Island). The service is known as one of the most beautiful ferry journeys in the world and one of New Zealand's most iconic tourism experiences, with consistently high customer service rankings.
Our Coastal Pacific train runs on Saturdays and Sundays from Christchurch to Picton and return throughout the winter season. With the sea stretching to the horizon in the east and the Kaikōura mountains stretching to the sky in the west, the Coastal Pacific is one of the most beautiful journeys in New Zealand. The service was halted in 2016 following the Kaikōura earthquakes, but returned in December 2018.
The TranzAlpine runs return services on Thursdays and Fridays between Christchurch and Greymouth for the winter season, and has been named among the world’s top train journeys. It covers 223km (139 miles) one-way, taking just under five hours. Passengers experience the majestic Canterbury Plains and mighty Southern Alps on their journey to the beautiful West Coast.