Sailing across the Cook Strait on the Kaitaki, then a rail journey from Picton to Christchurch on the CoastalPacific is fabulous. Now it’s going to be even better!
KiwiRail’s new scenic carriages are now on the Coastal Pacific train between Christchurch and Picton: the carriages have 52 square metres of panoramic side and roof windows. They also have ceiling mounted HD screens, GPS triggered commentary in a choice of five languages, and new café cars. They’re also the first carriages to be entirely designed and built in New Zealand since the 1940s.
I’m off to Christchurch in 10-days: on the Interislander ferry (Kaitaki) and train (Coastal Pacific). This will be a great trip as the day I travel is the day the train service from Picton to Christchurch resumes which is fabulous for the region.
With talk of shifting the Picton terminal from the Marlborough Sounds (top of the South Island, New Zealand) to Clifford Bay I will make sure I enjoy it as the Sounds may not be the preferred route forever! While this change would apparently save 50 minutes off the road trip from Christchurch (or 80 mins from the train journey) and 30 minutes from the sea trip that links the North and South Islands, it would also mean that travellers would miss some of the most beautiful cruising scenery in New Zealand – and the world. The 92km has breathtaking views and I’m hoping for another beautiful day so I can add more photos to my collection of pictures from the Interislander’s decks. Although, if it’s not wonderful I will be cosy in the Kaitaki Plus lounge!
These photos are from an earlier trip – come back to this site and hear about the trip and what’s happening with travel and tourism activities in Christchurch.
PS: I have just had another a train trip – on the Overlander, a 12-hour journey from Wellington to Auckland. What fabulous scenery is hiding from those who usually drive up there! Paul Theroux says ‘trains are the only way to travel’ – it certainly was relaxing and no doubt the trip to Christchurch will be great too.
These photos are from part of a series about my recent road trip toWOMAD 2010 held annually in New Plymouth: I was travelling in a Backpacker campervan, and on the Interislander ferry over Cook Strait – from Christchurch to WOMAD and back again. for more information check out these links (above) and the categories on the right.
Hope you enjoy some of these … from a list of many I love
‘The five reasons for travel, given to me by Sayyid Abdullah, the watchmaker: “ to leave ones troubles behind one; to earn a living; to acquire a learning; to practice good manners; and to meet honourable men’ Freyer Stark in A winter in Arabia 1940
Travel magnifies and intensifies life. It allows you the opportunity to recapture a feeling of wonder, innocence and youth and depending on how vulnerable you are willing to become, it can also deliver a profound experience of unreality that can rattle your most basic beliefs. Eric Hansen. The traveller
“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard
“You will have more fun on your vacation if you maintain a mental age of 18 or less. Act just old enough to make your travel connections and stay out of trouble.” – Joe Schwartz