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New Zealand South Island Rail Line Reopens

The Coastal Pacific train alongside the Kaikoura Coast by Alex Burgess from Wikimedia Commons The Coastal Pacific train alongside the Kaikoura Coast by Alex Burgess from Wikimedia Commons

New Zealand’s KiwiRail will resume seasonal summer (their summer) service on its Coastal Pacific train December 1. This line on the South Island links Picton, the ferry terminal for Wellington, with Christchurch. It passes along some great scenic areas, including parts of the line that hug the Pacific coast. Service was halted by damage to the line in the November 2016 Kaikoura earthquake. Daily seasonal round-trips will run through April 2019, and resume again the summer of 2019-2020.

The Coastal Pacific is one of New Zealand’s only three long-distance trains, all operated primarily as sightseeing excursions with coaches designed for great visibility. The others are the TranzAlpine, operating a daily round-trip over the South Island mountains from Christchurch to Greymouth on the Tasman Sea, and the Northern Explorer, running on the North Island between Auckland and Wellington. More information

Ed Perkins, editor

For more travel tips from Ed Perkins, see our companion site Ed on Travel

See Ed’s earlier article on New Zealand rail passes

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