Winter Mystery on the Coastal Pacific

Experience a rare winter excursion along the frozen Pacific coast this year as the Coastal Pacific runs through the depths of winter

Coastal Pacific train winding around the Oaro coastline in winter
Looking out from the Coastal Pacific train just north of Kaikoura, New Zealand
Coastal Pacific train in the mist on the coast at Oaro

A voyage into the unknown...
along frozen coastlines

The Coastal Pacific is New Zealand's sensational summer train, running along the east coast, treating passengers to stunning seaside views on hot sunny days.

This year, a new chapter will be written in the Coastal Pacific’s story. With dramatic twists and turns, the Coastal Pacific will voyage into the unknown, navigating through frozen winter months to complete an enthralling year-round journey.

In an action-packed season, the plot will move from an absorbing adventure into a suspense-filled whodunnit. Even the most ardent New Zealand rail fans will struggle to figure out when a passenger train last travelled down the Pacific Coast during winter. Who has done it? It is a mystery.

So, join us for a real-life adventure story this winter aboard our Coastal Pacific train.

Coastal Pacific train winds around Mangamaunu Bay in winter

Looking out from the Coastal Pacific train just north of Kaikoura, New Zealand
Passengers step of the Coastal Pacific train at Kaikoura to admire the view

Misty coves and frosty beaches

When the cold air of winter descends upon the Pacific coast, soft blankets of mist linger mysteriously within isolated bays and coves. Shimmering dews form enchanting fields of glitter. The silvery plating of frost sparkles on coastal grasses, bejewelling Canterbury’s wild beaches. When the low winter sun breaks through, a pristine world glistens around you.

These wintry spectacles will be gracing the Pacific coast this winter, enveloping the Coastal Pacific in a season of magic.

Stunning snow-capped mountains

Two enormous ranges erupt from the sea between Blenheim and Kaikoura. The southernmost is the South Kaikoura range, which rises majestically to the peak of Tapuae-O-Ueneku. At 2,885m above sea level, this almighty mountain is easily seen from the North Island, with its lofty peak sparkling with snow from mid-autumn to late spring.

From this heavenly zenith, mountains cascade into the Pacific Ocean. As winter takes hold, snow descends down these mountains, creating a scintillating skyline of jagged snow-covered peaks. 


Twilight on Oaro Beach from the Coastal Pacific train

Take a winter break 

During the short days of winter, your direction of travel will alter your experience. The best solution is to travel in both directions and stay somewhere in between. With the Coastal Pacific stopping in Christchurch, Kaikoura, Blenheim and the Marlborough Sounds, finding somewhere incredible to stay for a week isn't difficult. 

Sunrise to sunset

Setting off from Christchurch Railway Station in the early morning on the Christchurch to Picton train, there is a good chance you'll be enjoying sunrise aboard the Coastal Pacific with a freshly made coffee in hand - it's an incredible start to the day.

Departing Picton in the early afternoon on the Picton to Christchurch train,  the winter sun will be hanging low over the Kaikoura mountains as you approach the Pacific Coastline. On a clear day, shafts of light will beam through the mountain peaks on the approach to Kaikoura, adding drama to an already dramatic scene. In the heart of winter, we recommend bringing a pillow and a book to sit back and enjoy whilst easing through early evening nightfall. 

*Book a special winter fare

Coastal Pacific special winter fares start from $79 for single journeys between Christchurch and Picton. All fares are subject to availability and are changeable/refundable according to our standard terms and conditions, so if your plans change then so can your ticket. 

The winter season finale is on Saturday 16 October 2021. So book your seat now to see this sensational story unfold at these spectacular prices. 


Read more winter stories

SP Northern Explorer Manganui O Te Ao Viaduct 730x504

Northern Explorer winter Thriller from $89

From frosty fields to frozen volcanoes, watch the winter transformation from our Northern Explorer train
Read the story
SP TranzAlpine Winter on the Waimakariri River 730x504

TranzAlpine winter Fantasy from $89

Voyage into a fantastical winter wonderland, high in the snow-capped Southern Alps, aboard the TranzAlpine train
Read the story
SP Travel New Zealand on our scenic nz trains 730x504

Travel New Zealand by train

New Zealand travel doesn't get more scenic or comfortable than aboard on our scenic NZ train services
Find out more
SP Rail New Zealand Map 730x504

Our New Zealand rail network

Create your amazing New Zealand travel itinerary using our New Zealand rail map to connect together our top New Zealand destinations
Find out more