Christchurch Rail

KiwiRail Scenic Railways (formally TranzScenic) operate the two train journeys that connect Christchurch to both Picton at the top of the South Island, and Greymouth on the West Coast.

Christchurch to Picton Train

The Coastal Pacific train connects Christchurch to Picton. This scenic train journey takes you from Christchurch and the Canterbury plains, along picturesque coastline and the marine wildlife at Kaikoura, the vineyards and cellar doors at Blenheim and onto Picton – the gateway to the Marlborough Sounds and North Island. The train also stops off at Rangiora, Waipara, Mina, and Seddon.

The journey takes approximately 5 hours 15 minutes, includes a café and an observation carriage. The trains leave daily at 7.00am.  From May 11 to September 11 the trains only run on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.

Christchurch to Greymouth Train

The TranzAlpine train is one of the world’s great scenic railway journeys.  The four and half hour journey travels through Arthur’s Pass National Park to Greymouth, allowing passengers to enjoy the majestic Southern Alp scenery from the comfort of their seats.

The train departs Christchurch at 8.15am arriving in Greymouth at 12.45pm. It takes about 2 and half hours to reach Arthur’s Pass. The train departs Greymouth at 13.45 arriving at Christchurch at about 6.00pm. The train includes a café bar and a viewing carriage in the middle of the train. A number of shuttle buses await either end to transport you (at a relatively low cost) into the respective city centres. Passengers are advised to arrive at least 20 minutes before departure. Read full details of the journey in our 'On Board The Tranz Alpine Railway' travel article. 

Auckland and Wellington Trains

Read details of the Overlander train that connects Auckland to Wellington and commuter train services in our Auckland Rail and Wellington Rail guides.

Christchurch to Greymouth TranzAlpine 0800 872 467 / +64 4 495 0775
Christchurch to Picton Coastal Pacific 0800 872 467 / +64 4 495 0775
Wellington to Auckland Overlander 0800 872 467 / +64 4 495 0775