Great Journeys New Zealand
Great Journeys New Zealand
4.5
6:30 AM - 3:00 PM
Monday
6:30 AM - 3:00 PM
Tuesday
6:30 AM - 3:00 PM
Wednesday
6:30 AM - 3:00 PM
Thursday
6:30 AM - 3:00 PM
Friday
6:30 AM - 3:00 PM
Saturday
6:30 AM - 3:00 PM
Sunday
6:30 AM - 3:00 PM
About
Great Journeys New Zealand provide a window to the most spectacular scenery in New Zealand. With three long-distance train services and three ferries that span the country, there is no better way to experience the best New Zealand has to offer. All services feature state-of-the-art carriages with large reclined seats, panoramic windows, GPS-triggered at-seat commentary, a fully licensed cafe, and open-air viewing decks. The Northern Explorer is our Auckland to Wellington train, the Coastal Pacific travels from Christchurch to Picton, and the TranzAlpine travels through the Southern Alps from Christchurch to Greymouth. Each of our great journeys offers passengers unparalleled views of New Zealand's natural beauty, as well as providing superior transport for individual travellers, families and small groups.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • jrwms
    London, United Kingdom119 contributions
    Stress free and amazing
    Travelled from Christchurch to Greymouth, hired a car, spent two nights in Kumara and returned by train. All stages of the train journey were easy - booking, parking, managing luggage and the journey itself. The staff were friendly, helpful and engaged both on train and at each end. The train was comfortable and clean - including the toilets - and there was a good range of drinks and food to choose from (veggie as well as meat). We travelled in a family group with a toddler and again it was made easy. The views were amazing in both sunshine and rain and we saw far more than we would have done travelling by car. The available commentary was interesting and informative. I would strongly recommend this trip either as part of a longer journey or staying a couple of days before returning.
    Visited December 2022
    Written 19 December 2022
  • Simon A
    Melbourne, Australia6 contributions
    Finally, after a 3 year wait…
    I planned my trip on the NE three years ago, and it was cancelled (and we all know why….). Finally, a week ago, I got to go, from Wellington to Auckland. The scenery is spectacular. My seat was very comfortable. The train’s were excellent, from check in to the end. The food available was really nice, surprisingly so. The big viewing windows at my seat were great. And the Viewing car, at the back of the train, gave a great experience. Sheep, cows, a few people, mountains, Volvanoes, rivers, viaducts, small towns, and some cities,….you get it all on the Northern Explorer.
    Visited December 2022
    Travelled solo
    Written 23 December 2022
  • Anne B
    Christchurch, New Zealand10 contributions
    Tranz Alpine - "a spectacular visual journey"...
    A Christmas gift to my 90 year old mother...the two of us were greeted warmly at the station by wonderfully attentive and helpful staff, who immediately offered to change our seating if the walk to the front carriage was too far for my mother (with walker). We had comfortable, spacious seats with huge crystal clear windows and found the whole journey so smooth and comfortable. The food and beverage selection was so much more than I would have ever expected, and staff continuously attentive. The continual commentary was the highlight, enabling us to fully learn so much about the scenery and terrain we were passing through. I would so highly recommend this coast to coast rail journey for all ages.
    Visited December 2022
    Written 31 December 2022
  • tjo
    Chesapeake Beach, Maryland154 contributions
    Great trip on the Transalpine express from Greymouth to Christchurch
    Transalpine trip spectacular, especially from the open air observation car at the end of the train. While this is standing-only, the seats in the rest of the train are comfortable, with tables. Highly recommended - even though part of the trip was a bit rainty (typical of Western New Zealand in November)
    Visited November 2022
    Written 9 January 2023
  • Debbie P
    3 contributions
    Wonderful scenery
    The train trip to Arthurs Pass has spectacular scenery and the train experience was highly enjoyable. Staff were very helpful and friendly. Pack a picnic if stopping at Arthurs Pass as food, service and facilities are abysmal. Plan on doing some walking to fill in time.
    Visited December 2022
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 15 January 2023
  • Debbie S
    4 contributions
    Nice ride. 🚂
    We enjoyed our train trip. Was a nice relaxing day to enjoy getting from Wellington to Auckland. Some nice scenery. Not a lot but some. Food on board is expensive. We brought most of our food on and only bought some sandwiches.
    Visited January 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 24 January 2023
  • BeanAround10
    25 contributions
    Unforgettable train journey
    Unforgettable train journey - great scenery, saw Dusky Dolphins and lots of wildlife and birds. Staff were exemplary, train was clean and food good. Observation car is a must.
    Visited January 2023
    Written 5 February 2023
  • Benita G
    Napier, New Zealand4 contributions
    Better than driving.
    Ask for a booth with table when booking in. We did and were able to spread out comfortably. Relax back and enjoy the scenery. If you are able, stop over on the coast, hire a car and tour for a few days then return on the Tranzalpine.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 8 February 2023
  • cruzfool2005ft
    Freeport, Texas295 contributions
    Excellent day long ride from Auckland to Wellington
    We booked this train trip as part of our overall NZ 6 week tour, and found it to be a comfortable & enjoyable way to traverse from Auckland to Wellington. Thankfully we booked the Northern Explorer train and Interislander ferry as part of the same trip so the only change we had was a slightly earlier departure from Wellington which they took care of and communicated to us. We found the whole experience to be worthwhile and so much less stressful than dealing with airports. Very nice staff on the train working a long day to keep everyone happy and safe. Train was very full which meant the observation car was packed at times, but not a big deal. The windows in the carriages are huge. Would highly recommend this way of travel.
    Visited February 2023
    Written 22 February 2023
  • Melanie M
    2 contributions
    Worth doing
    Excellent and relaxing way to travel and see the scenery. The carriages are well designed for maximum view and you can get up and walk around. Baggage loading and unloading was easy. Staff are friendly and helpful and the commentary was excellent. Children might get a bit bored.
    Visited February 2023
    Written 22 February 2023
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4.5
257 reviews
Excellent
161
Very good
57
Average
21
Poor
6
Terrible
12

Safari12172560058
1 contribution
Nov 2023 • Family
We took the Scenic Plus Transalpine from Churchchrist to Greymouth. We loved the scenery, open air car and great food and service. It was one of our high rated experiences of our trip. I highly recommend it!
Written 3 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nathan F
1 contribution
Nov 2023 • Family
The train ride was lovely. The cars felt clean, modern, and comfortable with plenty of leg room. The views are fantastic and I loved the viewing car.

I would have preferred a slightly larger meal selection for vegetarians though. We took the Interislander ferry to Wellington and the onboarding went well but the ferry arrived late and their free bus to the railway stoped before we departed. While they were nice to van us to the railway station, it took two round trips to get everyone so we weren't at our hotel until 1.5 hours after we arrived in the city.
Written 1 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Glennis M
Hastings, New Zealand81 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
Staff couldn't do enough for us on scenic plus carriage. Food was yummy. Plenty of info available via commentary. Thoroughly recommend. Would definitely book another train trip within NZ
Written 22 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jocelynesSK
Ottawa, Canada121 contributions
Nov 2023 • Solo


I took the Scenic Plus from Christchurch to Greymouth and back again in the same day. The information audio along the way was interesting and informative.
Service was excellent, and the food was delicious.
If sitting on a train for 12 hours in one day is not your thing, you can opt for just one way, or stay over for a day or even a few days before returning. I found the seating comfortable enough to sit through the journey, and they also have a viewing car where you can stretch your legs and capture pictures with no window in between you and the views.
Written 16 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dreamer13238231162
3 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
We travelled from Hamilton to Wellington as we wanted to include a train journey in our itinerary. So glad we did! The train is beautifully designed, seats comfortable, cafe had good selection of hot and cold food and drinks which were not overpriced. Toilets were clean and spacious - much bigger than an aeroplane! There were free headphones which gave interesting commentary at various points of the journey. There’s no Wifi but there are charging ports in the seats. The windows are huge to allow maximum views of the stunning scenery. We would highly recommend travelling by the Northern Explorer.
Written 15 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Taxjay
Houston, TX14 contributions
Nov 2023 • Family
Gorgeous views to see
Comfortable seating
Friendly crew
Easy check in
Cafe in board offers hot and cold drinks
Hot prepackaged meals available
Beer was great too!!
Written 14 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Connector61191666979
1 contribution
Sep 2023 • Couples
Northern Explorer was a great experience. Took reading material, never touched it. Pleasant staff, good food options, spacious seating and interesting audio. And unique and stunning scenery from the open car.
Written 22 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tania P
Riverhead, New Zealand6 contributions
Sep 2023 • Family
Stunning outlook to our beautiful country, it’s a great way to travel. Check in easy with friendly staff & off we went. We went from Christchurch to Kaikoura & got off there to do the Whale Watch. Next day back on through to Picton. They checked our luggage through to Wellington as well which saved us the stress of getting them & rechecking them in. Super awesome customer service!
Totally recommend doing it, comfortable seats, huge windows & commentary along the way. Open side carriage awesome to get some fresh air whilst enjoying the stunning views.
Written 21 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DaveNotRodney
London, UK6 contributions
Jan 2023 • Solo
I travelled with Distant Journeys on their tour of New Zealand by rail, road and sea. The itinerary and hotels were excellent but, however, the tour/coach manager was far from award winning. He had little personal knowledge of North Island and offered minimum advice on where to go and eat. This led to a very disappointing start to the holiday which did improve slightly when we crossed over to South Island.
On return to the UK I did contact Distant Journeys to bring to their attention what had happened, and the effect it had on the overall holiday experienced by almost all of the travellers with me. However, whilst I got a verbal apology there was no sign of any compensation for a holiday that cost me over £6000 excluding my flight upgrade.
I am afraid this was not a ‘once in a lifetime experience’.
Written 9 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Explorer26961361487
1 contribution
Sep 2023 • Couples
Took the TranzAlpine (Scenic Plus option) on 09 September 2023 and came away feeling nothing but impressed with the level of quality and great service we received. Tina (the team leader) exhibited such excellent customer service skills, empathy, and great communication, she turned what was a very disappointing start to the journey for us, into one that we will remember with great delight.
The quality of the meals and the service from the staff was outstanding, better than many experiences we have enjoyed in good restaurants.
Just be aware that Scenic Plus has two different types of seating - airplane style seating - and table setting. You are not given an option when you book so it is a surprise to get to the SP carriage and find some people have airplane style seating and others have the table seating arrangement which is far more roomy and comfortable.
Written 9 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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GREAT JOURNEYS NEW ZEALAND: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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