One of New Zealand's great rail journeys - KiwiRail’s iconic Coastal Pacific scenic journey - will roll again from December 1 this year, two years after the service was put on hold while the railway line was rebuilt following the devastating Kaikoura earthquake.
The rail journey between Picton, at the northern end of the South Island, and Christchurch on the eastern coast is a spectacular journey beginning (or ending) at Picton, in the Marlborough Sounds, passing through the Marlborough wine region, and following a dramatic coastline south to Christchurch.
The 6-hour train trip includes 98km travelling along the rugged Pacific coastline. It also journeys through 22 tunnels and crosses 175 bridges.
Bookings are expected to fill up quickly, according to KiwiRail GM Sales and Commerical, Alan Piper.
“We are delighted to confirm this well-loved service will be running again this summer, allowing thousands of travellers from around the world to once again enjoy this spectacular coastline by train,” Piper says.
KiwiRail is one of New Zealand’s largest tourism operators, delivering a million tourists around the country each year on its Great Journeys which include the three scenic train services and ferries between the North and South Islands.
The scenic trains are becoming increasingly popular and they play an important role in taking tourists out into some of New Zealand's less accessible regions.
The Coastal Pacific service was suspended after the 14 November Kaikoura earthquake in 2016. The Main North Line reopened to restricted freight services in September last year, just 10 months after the devastating earthquake.
Key Facts: Coastal Pacific Great Journey
The Coastal Pacific will run daily from December 1, 2018 (except for Christmas Day) through until late April 2019
The Coastal Pacific services departs from Christchurch each morning, and returns from Picton each afternoon
Booking for this service can be made by visiting greatjourneysofnz.co.nz/coastal-pacific
Key stops along the 6-hour route include Rangiora, Kaikoura and Blenheim
The journey includes 98km travelling along the rugged Pacific Coastline. It also journeys through 22 tunnels and crosses 175 bridges
Photo Credit: KiwiRail