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“Just breathtaking”

Coastal Pacific Train
Ranked #30 of 232 things to do in Christchurch
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: KiwiRail Scenic Journeys is New Zealand's only long distance passenger train operator. We take passengers across New Zealand in comfort and style through some of the most scenic areas of the North and South Islands. It is an experience, not just a journey. The Coastal Pacific is our summer train, traveling between Picton & Christchurch in the South Island between October and April each year. It's a dramatic tour of New Zealand's coastline between the Pacific Ocean and the breath-taking Kaikoura ranges, journeying through 22 tunnels, across 175 bridges and past spectacular wildlife. Coastal Pacific services connect with the Interislander Ferry & Sounds Air Scenic flights in Picton, taking passengers to and from the capital city, Wellington. KiwiRail Scenic also operate the Northern Explorer (previously the Overlander) between Auckland and Wellington, and the TranzAlpine between Christchurch and Greymouth.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Just breathtaking”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2012

wonderful scenic trip worth a day excursion to see the rugged coast line and meander through the wineries

Visited February 2012
Thank susel1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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239 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Burton upon Trent
Level Contributor
188 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“Wonderful day trip to Kaikoura!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 30, 2012

As part of our 12 day tour of South Island, New Zealand, our first trip was to Kaikoura on 2nd October to go Whale watching. We travelled on a special day-return ticket on the Kiwi Rail Coastal Pacific train.
This leaves from Christchurch at 7am arriving in Kaikoura just before 10am, to connect with the 10.30am Whalewatch. On the return journey it leaves Kaikoura just before after 3.30pm, getting back to Christchurch around 6.20pm. We booked this direct with New Zealand Rail on the Internet, where exact Departure & Arrival times are listed. We were also picked up at our hotel by a free minibus service that is provided by the local authorities, to take you to the station. Upon arrival we presented our online paperwork at the office and confirmed our seats.
The train was absolutely spotless, the facilities were excellent and spacious, and the staff very friendly and helpful. The journey is very comfortable and headphones are also provided for a commentary throughout the journey, full of information about the local history, scenery etc. There are excellent full facilities for disabled passengers too. There is a buffet car that sells hot & cold drinks, sandwiches, fruit, and a small selection of hot food. This is not overpriced for the service and comfort that you experience on your trip.
We left Christchurch as the sun was rising and the views as we climbed, winding through the countryside were amazing, through the huge windows in the carriage. There is also an open ‘viewing carriage’ on the train that enables you to take photographs of the stunning scenery as you travel. Nothing is a rush, and it is a pleasure to take it all in. Around half way through the journey the train reaches the coast and is met with stunning views of the coastline, and many tunnels that have to be negotiated through the cliffs. We went on a beautiful day, however being early in Spring it was chilly too so you needed to wrap up warm when going outside into the viewing carriage.
Our return journey left Kaikoura on time and returned us to Christchurch, where you can either catch a minibus or taxi back to your hotel. The return minibus is not free but is excellent value for money. Everything was so relaxed, and simple throughout, and I would have no hesitation in recommending this trip to others. A wonderful day out!!

Visited October 2012
4 Thank Rick64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stroud, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
582 reviews
259 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 207 helpful votes
“The Only Way to Travel!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 27, 2012

We arrived in Christchurch on the train from Picton via Kaikoura and loved the journey, slipping slowly between the mountains and the sea - spectacular scenery at reasonable cost, in very comfortable coaches with interesting commentary on headsets.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank malcsaville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. George, Utah
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Relaxing train trip”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2012

We had new passenger train cars that were clean and comfortable. The views were great. Try to get a seat on the left side of the train heading from Picton to Christchurch. Also, do not forget to enjoy the cafe car. The prices are acceptable, but you can bring your own food on the train, but no alcohol. Beer, wine, and premixed drinks are available on the train for purchase.

Visited October 2012
Thank brian d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
157 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“Stunning scenery”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2012

Great scenery. Good value. Friendly staff. Good food avaiable for purchase. The journey around Kaikoura is awesome.

Visited November 2011
Thank Hansie13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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