TranzAlpine, Coastal Pacific and Northern Explorer Services Covid Alert Level 2 & 4

The TranzAlpine, Northern Explorer and Coastal Pacific schedules are affected due to Covid Alert Level 4 and Level 2. Regretfully the Coastal Pacific, TranzAlpine and Coastal Pacific services are now cancelled until 28 September 2021. Scenic trains will not be operating in alert level 2 areas as we are unable to provide the service experience we seek to deliver. Unfortuneately, we can't provide our customers with total certainty at this time when services will resume and we appreciate this may be affecting your travel plans. We will advise updates on our websites as soon as a decision has been made on resuming services.

Face masks are now mandatory on all journeys, except when consuming food or drink.

Cook Strait ferry bookings and some daytours and bus routes are also open for sale. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries on 0800 143 669 or

 We understand that Covid-19 continues to add uncertainty in planning. Should there be cancellation of services due to Covid 19 restrictions, we will offer affected customers a transfer to an alternative date, a credit for 12 months, or a refund, regardless of the fare purchased less a $30 processing fee for the entire reservation.


Show Notification Close Notification




Do I need a Reservation?

Yes, as all scenic train, bus & ferry services in New Zealand are 'Reserved Seating/One Class' services, so it is recommend that you make a reservation in advance, as there is no guarantee that there will be seats available on the day you want to travel.

How do I pay for my booking or pass?

You can pay for your booking or pass by a Visa or Mastercard debit or credit card which will incur a 2.4% fee. If you live in New Zealand you can also pay via direct credit to our bank account by selecting the Account2Account and paying from your account directly into ours.

How do I receive my ticket ?

You will be travelling on an ‘Electronic’ Ticket which is emailed to you, so there is no need to have a ticket.

It is strongly recommended that you print out your ‘E-Ticket’ and include it with your other travel documents. Failure to do so, may result in disruption of your travel plans and additional fares to be paid.

Valid photo ID may be required on check in.

Luggage Requirements

Free checked luggage allowance is 1 item per person, with a maximum weight of 32kgs. Bags weighing over 23 kgs will require two crew members to lift onto the train, you may be asked for assistance.  Wheeled cacbin bags and backpacks are classed as check-in luggage.  Two additional items of baggage can be purchased for $20 including GST per piece.

Each fare paying passenger can take one small hand bag and/or personal items such as camera, coat, etc, on board. Passengers are responsible for all carry on luggage.

Unaccompanied luggage will not be carried on any long distance passenger train services, bus or on any Cook Strait ferry service.

All luggage should be covered by independent insurance.

Carriage of Bicycles, Pets, Un-accompanied Luggage, Freight, etc

Train Services
Bringing your bike, board, skis or baby buggy aboard is fine, but space is limited.  There will be an additional charge for carrying extra items like surf boards, bicycles or skis. Because of space demands, bicycles will be limited to four per train service and we recommend that you book your bike on in advance to secure a place at $20.00 per bike. You may also be requested to remove, fold, or cover some parts of your bike.

Bus Services
Oversized luggage is classified as any item that is heavier than 23kg or exceeding total dimensions of 158cm

Bicycles must be collapsed down (both wheels removed from the frame) with handlebars turned sideways and the chain covered.  Bicycles presented in this fashion will be accepted for travel and counted as one of your two Checked Luggage entitlements.  If your bicycle is not collapsed down then it will be regarded as Oversize Luggage.

f you are bringing a bicycle that is not collapsed down, please contact us in advance of travel so we can inform the driver. This may make it easier for him/her to leave space for your bike, although we cannot guarantee carriage on any specific travel date or service. Please see the oversize luggage information above regarding services which are unable to accommodate bikes. st of other traveller’s luggage and driver safety, all bicycles must have the pedals removed and the chain covered. The charge for bicycles that are not collapsed down is $20.00 per bike, per individual bus connection. This is payable to the driver.

Travelling with a Wheelchair or Mobility Scooter

If the wheelchair or mobility scooter cannot be collapsed down to fit the Checked Luggage size and weight dimensions, then the Oversized Luggage policy applies.

Ferry Services
Sporting equipment, such as surfboards, golf clubs, canoes and bicycles, can be carried on our vessels, for an additional cost of $15 per item.

Animals or pets are not permitted on any long distance passenger trains or bus except for seeing-eye dogs.

Long distance passenger train, bus or ferry services do not carry un-accompanied luggage or freight.

Pets (except for see-eye dogs) are not allowed in the passenger areas of any Cook Strait ferry.

Other animals can be carried on any Cook Strait ferry but are subject to the terms of carriage of the ferry operator.


Requiring Extra Assistance

Train, Ferry & Coach staff are highly trained in supporting passengers to make their trip enjoyable.


Under New Zealand law all long distance passenger train and bus services are non smoking services.

There are short smoking stops at various points within your journey where you can stop, stretch your legs.

On Cook Strait ferry services, there is a smoking area on each ferry. 

Do I need to have travel insurance ?

It is recommended that you have travel insurance when travelling, to cover your luggage, personal belongings, medical/hospital care and trip disruption and trip cancellation.

If you have medical insurance in your own country, please check with your medical insurer as to what level your insurer will cover you to before leaving your country.

If you require travel insurance or require to top up your medical/travel insurance, please contact your professional travel agent for advice.

Check in Times

Final check in time for all long distance passenger train services is 30 minutes before scheduled departure time.

Final check in time for foot passengers on a Cook Strait ferry service is 45 minutes before scheduled sailing time or 1 hour for passengers taking a vehicle.

Final check in time for bus services is 15 minutes before scheduled departure time.

What is the age of children?

Train Services & Ferry Services
A Child is from 2 years up to 14 years travelling with an Adult.
Children under 15 years must be accompanied by an adult or guardian. Children aged 15 to 17 years may travel unaccompanied and to book call 0800 143669. 

An infant is a child 1 month to 23 months travelling with an adult (Over 18 years) being a parent or guardian.
An infant must be carried on the adult’s lap in order to travel free. If a seat is required, then a ‘Child’ fare must be paid for. Infants must be named at time of booking as passenger numbers are limited.

Bus Services
A Child is from 3-12 years travelling with an Adult.
All children aged between 7 and 12 may travel as unaccompanied minors on direct services only.  Children travelling on routes requiring a tarnsfer must be accompanied by an adult or guardian 18 years and over

An Infant is a child 0-3 years travelling with an adult (Over 18 years) being a parent or guardian. An infant must be carried on the adult’s lap in order to travel free. If a seat is required, then a ‘Child’ fare must be paid for. nfants must be named at time of booking as passenger numbers are limited.


Is there a Processing Fee?

No, there is currently no processing fee for online bookings, however a fee maybe charged for help via the phone or chat service.

Should you cancel a processing fee will be charged on top of any cancellation fees charged by the operator.

Are there toilet & washrooms facilities onboard?

All long distance trains and ferry services have toilet facilities onboard.  InterCity bus and coaches do not have onboard toilet/washroom facilities except for the Starlighter over night services.

Intercity services do stop regularly for comfort breaks on route.

All Great Sights and most Newmans services have a onboard toilet & washroom facilities.

Can I travel if I am disabled?

If you have special requirements, require accessibility assistance please call us to discuss your needs so we can help make your journey as comfortable as possible.

For train travel, mobility-impaired passengers, wheelchair hoists provide access to the café car from platform level. Up to 2 spaces for wheel chairs are available in the cafe car, and each cafe car has a disabled public toilet as well as a hearing loop for hearing-impaired passengers.

Passengers travelling on InterCity, Great Sights and Newmans services must be able to stand on their own legs when assisted by the driver.

InterCity, Great Sights and Newmans drivers will not be in a position to carry passengers on and off buses or coaches.

Passengers who require somebody to lift them on and off the coach must arrange for this assistance at pick up and drop off points.

Drivers are not permitted to participate in carrying on passengers due to health and safety reasons.

For ferry travel, mobility-impared passengers can be accommodated. Interislander takes very seriously its responsibility for the safety and comfort of all passengers. While onboard ask any of the crew at any time for assistance - they are only too happy to help.

How do I book my Rail or Bus Pass travel sectors?

To make individual train, bus or ferry travel reservations please contact our New Zealand Travel Team. Details will be shown on your pass.  When you receive your Rail or Bus Pass it is your responsibility to check all details / dates are booked correctly. If you need to make changes to your ticket, please contact us immediately as space is limited and subject to availability.

What if my service is cancelled?

Should your service be cancelled for any reason you will be contacted if there is time or advised when you turn up at the station. If a bus replacement can be organised, you will be offered this option.

A processing fee as stated on your e-ticket will be charged on top of any fees imposed by the operator.

What is the refund on my ticket

Cancellation penalties can vary depending on the ticket you have purchased and your e-ticket will show you the applicable fees, as a guide the following maybe of assistance:


* Bus Cancellations - New Zealand Travel Team charge a 10% Refund Processing Fee in addition to any charges applied by Intercity Coachlines on cancellations of all point to point bookings. A NZ$ 30.00 Refund Processing Fee will be applied to all tours.

* Train Cancellations - New Zealand Travel Team charge a $30.00 per booking Refund Processing Fee in addition to any charges applied by Great Journeys of New Zealand on cancellations of all point to point bookings.

* Ferry Cancellations - New Zealand Travel Team charge a 10% Refund Processing Fee in addition to any charges applied by InterIslander or Bluebridge on cancellations of all point to point bookings.

* Rail/Bus Passes - New Zealand Travel Team charge a $100.00 per person booking Refund Processing Fee in addition to any charges applied by Great Journeys of New Zealand or Intercity Coachlines on cancellations of passes.

How much room is there for a carry on bag on the train

We are often asked about the space on the train for your carry on luggage, please see the photo below that shows that a small carry on bag is fine to place above your head in the main carriage.



Can I get a Senior Discount on the Train?

Yes but only if you hold a New Zealand Super Gold Card.

We are happy to offer a 10% discount off fares on the 3 Scenic Train Journeys, Northern Explorer / Tranz Alpine / Coastal Pacific . Passes are not valid for this offer. 

At check out type "SENIOR" in the Apply Code box and then tick the Apply Code box which will then prompt you to enter your "9 digit Super Gold Card client number".  The 10% discount will then be reflected in the payment due.

The Super Gold Card will be requested at check in at the station and the card number must match the number provided at time of booking.

This offer is not combinable with any other savings.