Travel Tips & FAQs

Before arriving for your mountain adventure, brush up on our Travel Tips to ensure you've got everything you need on board.

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Our Travel Tips

What should I bring onboard?

Only a small carry-on can be taken onboard our trains. Bags with wheels or anything bigger all have to be checked-in and you won’t be able to access it until you get to your destination. So make sure you have all your essentials and everything else you need to have a comfortable and enjoyable journey.


Please make sure you bring along all your required medication with you in your carry-on.


Even if it’s overcast, the New Zealand sun is very strong and can burn you in less than half-an-hour.  


There is nothing more annoying than leaving your sunglasses behind because it’s cloudy and then suddenly needing them.

Charging cables

We have plenty of power point outlets on-board, so bring your charging cables along to keep them charged up so you're ready for the next part of the journey after you disembark.

If you are using international charging cables, make sure you have the right power plug/ adapter.

In New Zealand we use 220-240V/50-60hz and our socket points look like this:
Interislander Travel Tips NZ Wall Socket

Can I take photos?

During our journeys you'll see some of the most incredible scenery New Zealand has to offer, make sure you bring a device to capture it.


Make sure your camera is fully charged and you have enough memory on your device to capture the memories of your journey.


Bring your fish eye and wide angle lens and make sure your phone is charged enough so you don’t miss out on capturing those perfect moments to share with your family and friends.

Remember to share with #NZbyTrain

What should I wear?


The weather is often completely different as we travel through our wonderful backyard. It can also be breezy in some of the remote areas. So remember to take a jacket or jumper with you onboard.


Please ensure that all members of your party are wearing footwear.

Do you have anything for kids?

Kids’ activities are available for purchase onboard from the café. These fun zip-up packs include cards, colouring-in books, origami and other activities, all suitable for the ages of 3-14 years old. You might even want to bring one of your child's favourite small toys or puzzles to give them more options to make their journey more enjoyable.

Important information to know


For the comfort of all passengers, all areas of the train including the viewing deck are designated non-smoking areas.


You can only consume alcohol that has be purchased onboard and the purchased alcohol must stay onboard at the end of your journey.

Paying for items onboard

Our trains travel through some of the most remote areas of the country, which means sometimes there is no reception for electronic transactions. So please make sure you bring some cash if you want to make any purchases onboard.

Common FAQs

How do I reserve a seat?

We automatically reserve your seat(s) when you complete your booking. Your seat number(s) will be on your Boarding Pass, which we print the day before travel ready for your arrival.

See our Seat selection page to find out more about the allocation process.

Which seats are better?

All our seats are the same. They are large, they are comfy, they are reclined - and they all have amazing views!

To cater for everyone's needs, we have two arrangements:

  • Paired seating: this is rotated prior to travel so that all seats face the direction of travel. The paired seating provides a huge amount of legroom and a large flip-down tray-table for your personal use.
  • Table seating: this allows you to enjoy travelling as a group, playing games and sharing food & drink together. However, two people will be sitting against the direction of travel and the legroom is shared.

All seats have New Zealand 3-pin power sockets and a headphone socket for listening to the onboard commentary (headphones are supplied). 

Please see the On board our trains section to explore our carriages, facilities and seating arrangements.

Is there long term parking at the Station?

To find out information about you departure and arrival station, including long and short term parking, please see our Stations pages.

Can I take my luggage on board?

We have plenty of room in our secure luggage carriage for all your wheelie bags, backpacks, suitcases, golf clubs, bikes and sport equipment.

However, we only have room for small day bags and handbags on-board. This is because the overhead shelves are made from glass to allow the views to flow into the carriage - so its nice not to obscure them with large bags.

For more information about checking in you larger bags and your luggage allowance, please see our page on Luggage.

Should I bring food and drink?

We have a fully licensed café on board that sells nibbles and snacks, hot and cold food, teas and coffees, soft and alcoholic drinks. You can view our menu online  and even pre-order whilst booking.

You will find that our sandwiches and snacks are similarly priced to New Zealand supermarkets - and it saves you the bother of nipping into the shops on your way to the station!

However, bringing your own snacks and non-alcoholic drinks is allowed, although we do ask that you respect other passengers by not bringing anything with a strong odour.

You are not allowed to bring alcoholic drinks on board, due to our license.