Great Journeys New Zealand offers new packages and tours to encourage regional tourism visitation

September 2022

Great Journeys New Zealand (operated by KiwiRail) will be offering new tourism packages and guided tourism in the months ahead.

Earlier this year Great Journeys announced the Northern Explorer (Auckland – Wellington) scenic train would resume running from 25 September 2022 and the Coastal Pacific (Picton – Christchurch) from 29 September 2022. The TranzAlpine (Christchurch - Greymouth) re-started in January 2022 and will increase to running 7 days from 26 December.

"Our customers can still book standard passenger train tickets, and now we will also be offering short break packages and multi-day fully guided tours across the country," says General Manager Tracey Goodall.

"Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, while our scenic trains were popular, passengers mostly travelled between major cities and didn’t spend much time and money in the regions. Our packages and tours are designed to help rectify that, while also ensuring our Great Journeys New Zealand business is financially sustainable."

The packages offer both domestic and international travellers something different and exciting. Travelling on the three Scenic train journeys, these offerings encourage visitors to vastly explore more of New Zealand and get into the heart of our stunning regions and all they have to offer.

"We are working with a range of local tourism providers – covering a plethora of activities, accommodation suppliers and restaurants, and transport operators – which will also help give regional tourism operators and local businesses an economic boost after a tough few years dealing with the impacts of COVID," says Tracey.

"We are in the final stages of confirming arrangements with providers and are releasing a taste of what our tourism offering looks like, ahead of this summer’s peak tourism season. More detailed information, including final pricing, will follow and we expect bookings to open in the coming months. Packages will begin operating later this year and tours in early 2023."

Great Journeys New Zealand packages are short breaks designed to allow people to sit back, relax and explore the regions from a different perspective, get people off the beaten track and give back to the community.

Guests can experience a Rail Cart in Taumarunui, coupled with a night in Whangamōmona; a night in Tongariro National Park; wine tasting in Marlborough; whale, dolphin and albatross encounters in Kaikōura; or a trip to the West Coast’s Punakaiki Rocks and Hokitika Gorge.

What better way for Kiwis to explore parts of the country they may not have visited, as well as attracting international travellers to do something new. 

"The longer, multi-day, fully-guided tours are small group focused and we expect will appeal more to international travellers. Visitors will be immersed in New Zealand’s Tiaki Promise through unique experiences and giving back to communities."

There are two travel styles depending on what travellers are looking for and budget:

  • Classic tours are designed for the traveller who likes comfortable accommodation, more free time, with the ability to add-on optional extras to customise their experience. They range from six days to 15 days in length.
  • Signature tours are designed for the traveller who wants a complete experience that explores the grandeur of New Zealand with higher standard accommodation (4* hotels) and more inclusions. They range from six to 17 days in length.

Both types of tours bring numerous tourism experiences together, complete with a guide who will accompany and support the group throughout their journey. There will be set departure dates each year.