Yes, as all scenic train, bus & ferry services in New Zealand are 'Reserved Seating/One Class' services, you need to make your reservation in advance, as there is no guarantee that there will be seats available on the day you want to travel.
You can pay for your booking or pass by a Visa or Mastercard debit or credit card which will incur a 2.4% fee. If you live in New Zealand you can also pay via direct credit to our bank account by selecting the Account2Account and paying from your account directly into ours.
You will be travelling on an ‘Electronic’ Ticket which is emailed to you, so there is no need to have a ticket.
It is strongly recommended that you print out your ‘E-Ticket’ and include it with your other travel documents. Failure to do so, may result in disruption of your travel plans and additional fares to be paid.
Valid photo ID may be required on check in.
On-board Carry on Allowance
One small day pack (no wheels) and one small handbag and/or personal items such as a camera, coat, and umbrella. You are asked not to leave personal items of value unattended at any time. We are not responsible or liable for the loss of baggage or personal items carried on board.
Carry On items: To maximize scenic views and natural light coming through our glass shelves and skylights, we ask all passengers to keep their belongings to a minimum. Carry-on baggage should be limited to a jacket and a small bag or handbag. All wheeled cabin bags must be checked in.
One item of baggage per person with a maximum weight of 23kgs (50lb) and one Wheeled or hard-sided cabin bag* with a maximum weight of 7kgs (15lb).
*Cabin-sized wheeled and/or hard-sided suitcases must be checked into the baggage van due to limited space and safety requirements onboard.
The maximum volume for the checked bag is 158 linear cm (62") (this is calculated by adding the height, length, and width of the bag together)
The maximum volume for the cabin bag is 118 linear cm (46.5") (this is calculated by adding the height, length, and width of the bag together)
Infants are not allocated a checked baggage allowance.
A maximum of one additional item of baggage per person with a maximum weight of 23kgs (50lb) may be purchased for $35.
The maximum volume for the additional checked bag is 158 linear cm (63") (this is calculated by adding the height, length, and width of the bag together)
Fragile or perishable items, money, jewelry, and all other valuables should always be carried in Cabin Baggage
Overweight and oversized items
If your baggage includes an overweight, oversize or sporting item. If your bag weighs more than 23kg you can't get your checked bag under 23kg (50lb), here are your options:
Purchase a Re-Pack Bag.
If your overweight bag is more than 23kg and your cabin-sized bag is already at the 7kg weight limit, it is possible, in addition to the $35 additional baggage allowance charge, to buy a re-pack bag for $20 to repack your baggage to the allowable weight limit.*
*For safety reasons, we do not accept bags that weigh more than 23kg.
If your cabin-sized bag exceeds 7kg, you can purchase an additional baggage allowance for $35.
If your bag's dimensions add up to more than 158cm (62") or 118cm (46.5") for your cabin bag
When the length, width, and height of your bag add up to more than 158cm (62") or 118cm (46.5") here are your options:
Purchase a Re-Pack Bag.
If your bag is oversized it is possible to buy a re-pack bag for $20 to repack your baggage to the allowable dimensions. This cost is in addition to the $35 additional baggage allowance charge.
Transporting sports equipment
Sporting items less than 2m (78.7") long and weighing up to 23kg count as a standard bag and fall under your baggage allowance. Otherwise, excess baggage charges of $20 apply.
Sports bags can contain more than one piece of related equipment. They're assessed on their overall weight and length.
Here are some examples of sporting equipment that can be packed or bagged as single items:
Bikes need to be checked in and added at the time of booking. Our baggage vans have limited capacity and the number of bikes we can carry may vary by service. Please contact us for details.
You don't have to deflate the tires, but bicycles can only be accepted as checked-in baggage if:
Ttandem bikes cannot be carried.
Restricted Items/Dangerous Goods
Certain Dangerous substances may be carried however you must let us know prior to the day of departure. These items cannot be stored in your checked-in or carry-on bags and will need to be separated and stored in a designated Hazardous Items area of the baggage van.
Restricted articles include but are not limited to compression gases, corrosives, explosives, ammunition, flammable liquids and solids, radioactive materials, oxidizing materials, poisons, and infectious substances.
By law, all trains are designated non-smoking. Passengers may not smoke anywhere on board, including when outside on an open-air carriage.
It is recommended that you have travel insurance when travelling, to cover your luggage, personal belongings, medical/hospital care and trip disruption and trip cancellation.
If you have medical insurance in your own country, please check with your medical insurer as to what level your insurer will cover you to before leaving your country.
If you require travel insurance or require to top up your medical/travel insurance, please contact your professional travel agent for advice.
At check-in, on your day of travel, you will receive a boarding pass with your carriage and seat allocation. All carriages include airline-styled paired seating and seating around tables. Families and group bookings are allocated table seating wherever possible. Online seat selection is not currently available, but if you have a specific seating request or wish to seat separate bookings together, please email us with your booking reference(s) and we will do our best to accommodate your requests.
The final check-in time for all long-distance passenger train services is 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time.
The final check-in time for foot passengers on a Cook Strait ferry service is 45 minutes before the scheduled sailing time or 1 hour for passengers taking a vehicle.
The final check-in time for bus services is 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time.
Meals and/or refreshments are not included your train fare. You can pre purchase meals before you travel, please contact us for details.
Each train has a Cafe Carriage, where you can purchase alcoholic/non alcoholic drinks, snacks and light meals.
Train Services & Ferry Services
A Child is from 2 years up to 14 years travelling with an Adult.
Children under 15 years must be accompanied by an adult or guardian. Children aged 15 to 17 years may travel unaccompanied with an Adult price. (If more than 1 child is travelling, at least one of them should purchase an Adult fare for the booking process to proceed.)
An infant is a child 1 month to 23 months travelling with an adult (Over 18 years) being a parent or guardian.
An infant must be carried on the adult’s lap in order to travel free. If a seat is required, then a ‘Child’ fare must be paid for. Infants must be named at the time of booking as passenger numbers are limited.
Travelling with Children
Child fares have the same baggage allowance as adult fares as well as two items from the below list for every child in your group as part of the child's baggage allowance.
Pram, stroller or buggy
Bassinet or port-a-cot
These additional items must be checked into the baggage van, with the exception of car seats which can be brought onboard with paid child's seats.
Travelling with Infants
Infants travelling with adults include an additional small carry-on bag (max 7kg) but no additional checked-in baggage other than two items from the below list for every infant in your group as part of your baggage allowance.
Pram, stroller or buggy
Bassinet or port-a-cot
These additional two items must be checked into the baggage van and cannot be taken onboard.
Your car seat can be comforting and familiar to your child when travelling and it also provides extra protection.
You're welcome to bring a car seat onboard for a child with a paid seat. Your car seat must:
Be in safe working condition
Be able to seat your child with their arms and thighs within its frame
Fit within your seat cushion base
For safety, your car seat can't block access to the aisle or be placed on the tables. These must be kept on the seat.
Children and Infants
A ticket must be purchased for any child who is two years of age or older. Infants under two years of age may travel free, except where the infant travels in a car seat or similar carrier, in which case a ticket must be purchased at the applicable child fare for that infant. A Passenger aged between 2 and 14 years inclusive is classified by us as a child, and cannot travel unaccompanied. An Accompanying Person is a person who has reached their 15th birthday and is known by the child prior to travel. An Accompanying Person must be physically and mentally capable to care for the child while using our services. We may reassess at check-in the classification of any passenger type
A Child is from 3-12 years travelling with an Adult.
All children aged between 7 and 12 may travel as unaccompanied minors on direct services only with an Adult fare. Children travelling on routes requiring a transfer must be accompanied by an adult or guardian 18 years and over
An Infant is a child 0-3 years travelling with an adult (Over 18 years) being a parent or guardian. An infant must be carried on the adult’s lap in order to travel free. If a seat is required, then a ‘Child’ fare must be paid for. infants must be named at the time of booking as passenger numbers are limited.
No, there is currently no processing fee for online bookings, however a fee maybe charged for help via the phone or chat service.
Should you cancel a processing fee will be charged on top of any cancellation fees charged by the operator.
All long distance trains and ferry services have toilet facilities onboard. InterCity bus and coaches do not have onboard toilet/washroom facilities except for the Starlighter over night services.
Intercity services do stop regularly for comfort breaks on route.
All Great Sights and most Newmans services have a onboard toilet & washroom facilities.
Bottled water and snacks are allowed however hot food and drinks are not for safety reasons.
Long distance bus and coach services do not drop you off at your accommodation. Most stops in major cities are within close proximity to all the main backpackers and hotels.
We make every effort to ensure your safety and comfort with our services. To avoid disappointment or difficulties on arrival, we request that you advise us of any assistance you require when you book with us. Trains have designated wheelchair spaces, an accessible toilet, a hearing loop, and lifts for helping passengers aboard.
Train, Ferry & Coach staff are highly trained in supporting passengers to make their trip enjoyable.
A train ‘Travel’ day can be – one way ‘Point to Point’ train like Auckland to Wellington, return ‘Same Day’ day travel like:
To make individual train, bus or ferry travel reservations please contact our New Zealand Travel Team at least 48 hours in advance of your intended travel date. Details will be shown on your pass. When you receive your Rail or Bus Pass it is your responsibility to check all details / dates are booked correctly. If you need to make changes to your ticket, please contact us immediately as space is limited and subject to availability.
You can change a train, bus or ferry travel date up to 48 hours prior to departure, subject to availability.
No. The Rail or Bus Passes do not include extra items like bikes, extra luggage, etc. You will need to book and pay for these costs separately for each train, bus, coach and/or ferry sector travelled.
Please refer to the FAQ for extra luggage and a Bike.
A Rail or Bus Pass cannot be transferred to another person.
You will be emailed your travel e-ticket/Itineraries of your travel sector/s containing the departure dates, departure/arrival times and check-in times to the email address that was given in the original purchase of your Pass. When you receive your Pass it is your responsibility to check all details / dates are booked correctly. If you need to make changes to your ticket, please contact us immediately as space is limited and subject to availability.
No , you must make a reservation at least 48 hours in advance of your intended travel date.
A Rail or Bus Pass does NOT guarantee a seat on The Auckland to Wellington train, the Christchurch to Picton train or the Christchurch to Greymouth train, any regional or long distance bus services or foot passenger space on a Cook Strait ferry service unless a reservation has been made at least 24 hours in advance.
Already Purchased your Pass ?
Please email our New Zealand Travel Team to assist you in managing your itinerary. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your complete itinerary (journey and date)
Have not yet Purchased your Pass?
If you have not yet purchased your pass and would like to build your journey and then work out what type of pass is best for your needs, simply start adding your journeys to the Journey Cart. You can then save your details by creating an account, purchasing the applicable pass, and then sending us the journey details to reserve for you or submitting your request and we can advise which pass best suits your needs.
Not all journeys are included with the pass and these will display with additional prices if applicable.
All journeys are subject to availability and we will contact you should the service you have requested not be available.
If you need any further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Please call 0800 ARRIVAL(0800 277 482) for Arrival and Departure Updates
Should your service be cancelled for any reason you will be contacted if there is time or advised when you turn up at the station. If a bus replacement can be organised, you will be offered this option.
A processing fee as stated on your e-ticket will be charged on top of any fees imposed by the operator.
Book your journey i.e. Departure City - Auckland and Arrival City - Wellington, Departure date is when you first want to leave Auckland, leave the Return date as that is only optional, then Search and Book
Choose how many adults or child is traveling then Click Add to the Cart
On the next page, you will see the option to Add Stop
Choose your stop over i.e. National Park and your departure date going to Wellington
Confirm and continue to do all the processes
Stop - Over is for $10 per person per stop-over
Cancellation penalties can vary depending on the ticket you have purchased and your e-ticket will show you the applicable fees, as a guide the following may be of assistance:
* Bus Cancellations - Dates can be amended and canceled prior to 72 hours or 3 days before departure, less a $30 processing fee. Once travel is within 72 hours prior to departure, fares are non-refundable. Tickets cannot be transferred to another person.
* Ferry Cancellations - Fare is 100% refundable less a 10% processing fee up to 48 hours prior to departure, inside of 48 hours fares are nonrefundable.
* Rail/Bus Passes - New Zealand Travel Team charges a $100.00 per person refund processing fee in addition to any charges applied by service providers.
* Train Cancellations:
Fully flexible, with unlimited free date changes up to 7 days before travel subject to availability of the original fare paid.
Refundable up to 7 days before travel less a $30 processing fee.
Refundable within 5 days of travel less a $25 cancellation fee plus a $30 processing fee.
Non-Refundable and Unamendable within 72 hrs or 3 days of travel date.
We are often asked about the space on the train for your carry on luggage, please see the photo below that shows that a small carry on bag is fine to place above your head in the main carriage.
Yes but only if you hold an NZ Super Gold or Australian Seniors Card.
We are happy to offer a 10% discount off fares on the 3 Scenic Train Journeys, Northern Explorer / Tranz Alpine / Coastal Pacific. Passes are not valid for this offer.
At check out type "YOUR AGE" in the box and then enter your "7 or 9-digit Super Gold Card/Seniors Card client number (e.g. 123456789)". The 10% discount will then be reflected in the payment due.
The Super Gold Card or Seniors Card will be requested at check-in at the station and the card number must match the number provided at the time of booking.
This offer is not combinable with any other savings.
Unfortunately, we are no longer able to allow e-Bikes and e-Scooters to be carried on our journeys. This is due to the high Watt-hour (Wh) rating and lithium content in the batteries, these batteries pose a high fire risk.
While the chances of an e-Bike or e-Scooter catching fire are low, thermal runaway remains a possibility. Our luggage carriages are unattended spaces, and with long tunnels on all of our routes, any risk of fire breaking out on the train is a substantial concern.
The team is currently looking at solutions that match our safety requirements, but in the interim, we are unable to carry e-Bikes and e-Scooters.
No animals are permitted on trains other than registered assistance dogs or Eye-seeing dogs.
We may refuse to carry any person or property (including by canceling a ticket or terminating a passenger’s journey early) where it is reasonably necessary for the safety or comfort of other passengers, staff, or members of the public, or where a passenger breaches our Conditions of Carriage or any Law.