On-board our trains
Our carriages are designed to glide through the heart of New Zealand's beautiful scenery, bringing you an intimate view of our epic landscapes through huge panoramic windows, from the comfort of your seat.
Your window to New Zealand
At the heart of our carriages' design are our spacious reclined seats, panoramic windows, glass shelves and skylights. These details bathe our carriages in light and deliver an incredible view of New Zealand's epic landscapes. We even sacrificed seat numbers to create spaciousness and extra-wide viewing angles.
By spreading the seats out, we also created generous amounts of leg room and comfort. And to heighten this comfort, we used state-of-the-art air bag suspension to guarantee a smooth ride across our rugged New Zealand terrain.
Quite simply, we have done everything we can to ensure you feel at peace as you sink back in your reclined seat and soak up the scenery.
Step into the outdoors by visiting the Northern Explorer Open-air Carriage. This incredible experience provides a unique way to explore New Zealand's great outdoors. Breathe in the mountain air and the scents of pine forest, get tanned in the sun and get wet in the rain!
Our Open-air Carriages also provide uninterrupted views of New Zealand's epic scenery, making them the perfect place to snap away and take home some amazing photos.
If you're travelling during the winter months be sure to pack a coat and hat as it can get a little chilly, especially in the when passing through the Central Plateau.
Our journeys are all about relaxing and what could be more relaxing than sitting back with a freshly brewed speciality tea or barista coffee married with a sumptuous cake? Well, maybe you'd like to toast your special journey with a bottle of bubbles or an award-winning local wine? Or perhaps you'd prefer to keep it simple with a cold beer? Whatever it is that makes you smile inside, you are likely to find it in our licensed Café Carriage.
When it comes to food, our Café Carriage serves a broad menu of delights. From sweet or savoury snacks to tasty and substantial meals. Hot or cold, for young or old, we're sure to have something that tingles your taste buds and satisfies your appetite.
Follow the stories of our land
Connect with the histories, legends and myths of New Zealand by tuning into our audio commentary system. We've packed a seamless stream of stories, narratives and facts about the places outside your window, which playback as we pass by them. Our passion is New Zealand and we want you to step off the train with an intimate knowledge of our land, our history, and our culture.
The audio commentary system is mounted in the arm of your chair. We provide you with a free headset to use for the journey, however you are welcome to use your own headphones if you prefer (the system used a standard mini headphone jack). The commentary is in both English and Mandarin.
Get snap happy on your digital SLR, video the whole journey on your handycam, go into social overdrive on your phone or watch films on your iPad; you can do it all. Just make sure you bring your charger so that you can power-up along the way. All our seats have a power outlet for you to stay switched on for the whole journey!
Carriage seating plan
All of our seats enjoy spectacular views thanks to the spacious design of our carriages. Window seats do get a better view out of one side of the carriage. But, aisle seats enjoy a better view out of both sides of the carriage.
When it comes to seating arrangement, our carriages feature two different styles:
• Forward facing seating: these are the more spacious of the two options. We rotate these seats at the beginning of each journey to face the direction of travel. The forward facing seating has the advantage of always facing in the direction of travel and has much greater legroom than the table seating.
• Table Seating: this features four seats around a large table. This is perfect for families and groups who want to eat, drink, play games and enjoy time together. The downside is that two people have to face against the direction of travel and the legroom is shared with the person sitting opposite you.
Booking your seat
When you book your journey, we automatically reserve your seat(s). We do not carry standing passengers and when all seats are sold the service will show as Sold Out.
We calculate the seating plan on the day before travel. We aim to sit passengers on the same booking number together, with couples and singles in the paired seating and groups around the tables. Our priority is making the journey enjoyable for everyone and we have a lot of experience in making sure you get a seat that you will love.
If you are travelling with people on a separate booking, or have a specific seating request, then please email email@example.com with your booking number(s) and your request.
You'll be kept beautifully comfortable in our Air Conditioned carriages, which are cool and fresh in the summer and warm and cosy in the winter. If you like it the other way around, then simply stroll through to the Open Air Viewing Carriage!
Apparently, on other forms of transport you have to hold it in until its convenient for the driver to pull over. We think you should stay comfortable and go whenever you like, so we have added plenty of toilets, including an accessible toilet near the Café.
Baby changing facilities
Baby changing facilities, including a changing table and nappy disposal bin, are located in the Accessible Toilet in the Café Carriage.
All our trains are fitted with lifts/hoists for step-free access and have accessible seating.