Connecting your journey
Crossing the Cook Strait on an Interislander ferry is one New Zealand's most iconic experiences, but it could be just the beginning of a much greater journey...
Connect with the South Island
New Zealand's South Island is recognised as one of the most scenic places on earth. Part of the reason people fall in love with it, is the sense of remoteness and the feeling that nature is still in control. One of the best ways to experience this wilderness is to take the train.
Breeze along the coast with the Coastal Pacific
The Coastal Pacific route is currently undergoing major restoration work and is expected to return in early 2018.
The Coastal Pacific connects at Picton with the morning Interislander services from Wellington to provide a seamless journey south. The Coastal Pacific connects with two of the South Island's top destinations as it travels to New Zealand's third largest city, Christchurch.
The first of the Coastal Pacific's major destinations is Blenheim, which lies at the heart of New Zealand's premier wine region. Here you will find wine tasting tours and vineyard lunches are combined with near-constant sunny weather to create an air of relaxation like no other. The second major stop is Kaikoura. Set on the seaside beneath the imposing peaks of the Kaikoura mountain ranges, Kaikoura is one of New Zealand's most spectacular towns and an essential part of every New Zealand itinerary.
Catch a coach
Just a short walk from the Interislander terminal is the Picton i-Site where the majority of long-distance coaches set off from. You can buy InterCity coach tickets along with your Interislander ticket through out Scenic train booking system. The long-distance coaches tend to leave quite early, so you will probably need to stay in Picton overnight.
Hire a car
Several major car hire companies have desks at our Picton terminal cars can be picked up and dropped off cars directly outside the terminal.
Connect with the Southern Alps and the West Coast
You can travel all the way from Picton to the West Coast by train by catching the Coastal Pacific to Christchurch and then climbing aboard the world-famous TranzAlpine for a spectacular journey through the Southern Alps to Greymouth (you will need to stop overnight in Christchurch).
The TranzAlpine is rated as one of the great train journeys of the world. The 225 kilometre journey takes just under 5 hours to rumble across the Canterbury Plains, slice through the Southern Alps and descend the river valleys of the West Coast to Greymouth. The TranzAlpine connects you with some of the greatest scenery the South Island has to offer and much of it is unreachable by car.
Connect with the North Island
Interislander's North Island terminal is in Wellington, New Zealand's capital city. Wherever you want to go on the North Island, you can get there from Wellington and most places have direct services by bus or train.
Explore the heart of the North Island with the Northern Explorer
When it comes to seeing the best of the North Island on a limited timeframe, the Northern Explorer is the way to go. This luxurious train rumbles right through the heart of the North Island, from Wellington to Auckland, stopping at top destinations such as Otorohanga (home of Waitomo Caves) and National Park (home of the Tongariro Crossing). If you have time on your itinerary, then stop at Ohakune and Hamilton too.
With a Flexi or Flexi Plus ticket, you can stop off along the journey for a day, a week, or a month, for no extra charge. This allows you to explore New Zealand fully, whilst returning to the relaxing calm of our Scenic trains at any time to continue your journey onwards.
If you don't have time to stop and take in the sights, then the Northern Explorer provides an exceptional way to see the best of New Zealand's famous scenery in a single day! From humble villages and farmsteads, to gaping gorges, towering volcanoes, rolling hills, vast plains and ancient forests. All this and more will roll past your window as you sit back and soak it up from the comfort of your reclined seat.
Catch a coach
From Wellington, you can catch a nationwide bus pretty much anywhere. In comparison to the train, coaches are cheap and effective in getting you from A to B - although the experience is very different and New Zealand roads are quite bumpy!
Hire a car
You can hire a car directly from the Wellington terminal and head off on your merry way to wherever takes your fancy.