Service information: The Coastal Connection train/ferry service will operate from 26 September 2014 to 3 May 2015 only. Bus/ferry service will operate normally through out the year.
The Coastal Connection is a unique scenic experience that combines a Cook Strait ferry crossing between Wellington and Picton, connecting with the Christchurch to Picton train or bus service between Picton, Kaikoura and Christchurch.
The Coastal Connection begins with a ferry sailing from Wellington, with it's picturesque harbour, crossing Cook Strait before entering the magnificent Marlborough Sounds.
The 3 hour (92 kilometre) ferry journey is aboard the vessel “Kaitaki', a modern ship with a range of onboard facilities from eateries, a shop, two movie theatres, a games arcade, a large bar with live entertainment, a children's play area, numerous passenger lounges, 3 open air decks and a friendly onboard crew to assist you.
Your ferry journey ends at Picton located in a sheltered marine harbour where you will have time to experience this charming small town. Picton has a variety of attractions including the Aquarium and the Edwin Fox Museum which are located between the ferry terminal and the train station.
From Picton you board Christchurch to Picton train or bus travelling South along the eastern coast of the South Island, passing through the local Marlborough vineyards, Lake Grassmere Salt Ponds and Kaikoura - famous for viewing whales and sea life. You may break your journey and stay overnight in Kaikoura, to take an optional tours to see the whales, or swim with the Dolphins before continuing your train journey to Christchurch the next day.
The train has air-conditioned carriages with panoramic windows, open air viewing platform from which you can take scenic photographs, a buffet carriage where you can purchase small meals, snacks and drinks. Your onboard crew provides commentary about the passing scenery and can assist you with your needs.
You can start your Coastal Connection experience from either, Christchurch, Kaikoura or Wellington.
Travelling on The Coastal Connection is worry free as this service offers the convenience of one ferry/train or ferry/bus ticket and being able to check your luggage through to your final destination.
The Coastal Connection is a reserved seating 'Non-Smoking/One Class' service
So discover The Coastal Connection experience for yourself!