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“Very scenic”

Coastal Pacific Train
Ranked #31 of 248 things to do in Christchurch
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The Great Journeys of New Zealand operate three long distance trains and three inter-island ferries that take passengers across New Zealand in comfort and style through some of the most scenic areas of the North and South Islands. The Coastal Pacific train travels between Picton & Christchurch in the South Island. It's a dramatic tour of New Zealand's coastline between the Pacific Ocean and the breath-taking Kaikoura ranges. The Coastal Pacific journeys through 22 tunnels, across 175 bridges and past spectacular wildlife and marine-life. Coastal Pacific services connect with the Interislander ferry at Picton to provide onward travel to and from the capital city, Wellington. The Great Journeys of New Zealand also operate the Northern Explorer (previously the Overlander) between Auckland and Wellington, and the TranzAlpine between Christchurch and Greymouth.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Reviewed January 5, 2014

We took the train to Picton and the ferry to Wellington. The bags are checked in through to Wellington and it is a short walk from Picton station to the Ferry terminal. The trains were spotlessly clean and comfortable. The scenery was amazing and we got some wonderful views. The side towards the sea is the obvious preferred side to sit and you can call them a day earlier and make a request since seats are pre-allocated. The train itself seemed new and well maintained. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable journey.

Thank mva9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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152 - 156 of 240 reviews

Reviewed December 27, 2013

First, the "Addington Railway Station, Christchurch" in the T-A site leads me to clarify that the following review is of our trip New Zealand Rail from Picton to Christchurch on the South Island. Hope I'm putting this in the right place.

This is one of the three major NZ passenger train routes. All have wonderful new trains, great staff, interesting announcements about what we're going past, observation cars with a roof but no window glass for photos and fresh air, etc. This route stands out due to many views of the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other. Incidentally, it doesn't matter much which side of the train you select your "permanent" seats on, as you can see out both sides, change to other seats, get up and walk around, go out to the observation car, etc.

We had studied a little geographic trivia before our trip and it was a thrill to actually be able to see Mt. Tapuaenuku (in the Inland Kaikoura Range, and the highest South Island peak not in the Southern Alps) and Mt. Manakau (the highest in the Seaward Kaikouras), and to drive across Lake Grassmere (now pretty much dedicated to salt production). Going around one curve I captured both sea and mountains in the same photo; probably only one of many chances to do this if I'd paid attention and been quicker. A memorable trip!

2  Thank Chuck360
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2013

To or from Picton, this is a must. The route travels through some of the most scenic countryside and there is a considerable stretch along side the Pacific Ocean twisting and turning along the shoreline.

Comfortable new coaches with a restaurant car at the centre of the train, and an open sided viewing car at the end.

1  Thank chris36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2013 via mobile

Amazing views fRom this very clean and new train. Went from Picton to Kaikoura and will definitely do it again, and again, and again!
Sit back in the comfy seats and take in magnificent views or go out in the open air for great photo opportunities! Too bad it was a cloudy day and we couldn't enjoy the views in Kaikoura!

Thank Jonadventurer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2013 via mobile

Me & my husband took the train from Picton to Christchurch. The view was outstanding. The train itself was clean and comfortable. Worth to try if you are travelling in south island.

Thank Rukawa4711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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