New Zealand Trains?

May 14th, 2019, 04:02 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 274
New Zealand Trains?

Hello kiwi fans! I'm planning a 3 week trip that will include both islands, and although we will rent a car for part of the trip, I'm also hoping that we can do a train or two. It looks like there are train routes from Wellington-Auckland, Greymouth-Christchurch and also Christchurch-Picton. If you have done any of these trains routes, I would love to know what you thought. Would you recommend that as a way of travel? Thanks!
laurelt is offline  
May 15th, 2019, 04:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,116
I've taken the Tranz Alpine from Christchurch to Greymouth and return. Much of the route is in tunnels and lacks the spectacular scenery one sees driving over Arthur's Pass. It's not something I'd do again. I don't think of it as a way to travel - I think of it more as something tourists buy into (as we did on our first visit!)

NZ is best seen by car IMO - it offers the most flexibility - there are just so many reasons to stop en route, so many side roads to follow, so many photo ops, so many tracks to explore - it's one of the many reasons it takes us so long to get between destinations.
Melnq8 is offline  
May 17th, 2019, 11:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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I believe I've taken all of those as well as some suburban trains from Wellington and the old Bay Express.

If you want one, I'd probably take the Coastal Scenic, with an overnight or two in Kaikoura.

I've often done a combo of public transit and car rental. Sometimes Avis New Zealand had relocation specials where you basically got the car for free.. eg to drive a car in to the city from the Airport, or to go north from Wellington To Auckland. Probably not the best idea for a first trip, though!

Often flying isn't a bad deal if you book on the NZ version of Air New Zealand. Helps to save a bit of time in such a long country where gas isn't cheap. Eg you could fly to Dunedin, rent the car there, and work your way north to Queenstown and/or Christchurch; or fly to Wellington from Auckland and take the ferry crossing and continue onward to Kaikoura.

Last edited by mlgb; May 17th, 2019 at 11:48 AM.
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