Coastal Pacific Train Wildlife Encounter

Duration: 2 Days

Price: from NZ$749

Departure From: Christchurch

Departure Date: Thursday, Friday & Saturday - September to May

Tour Type: Independent Tour

Meal Plan: B&B and selected meals

Physical Grading: 2/5


See the majestic Albatross, view the Giant Sperm Whale, or get up close beside a pod of dolphins while discovering the spectacular coastal landscapes of Kaikōura with the Coastal Pacific Train.

If you are looking to be surrounded by wildlife, history and delicious kai (food), then this short escape is for you. Enjoy the exhilarating experience of this dolphin experience in picturesque Kaikōura. Departing from Christchurch, journey to the picturesque town of Kaikoura and choose to cruise the waves beside playful pods of dolphins, search for whales or view the mighty Albatross.

Coastal Pacific Train Wildlife Encounter Highlights

  • Meander along rugged and remote coastlines on the Coastal Pacific train
  • Explore the natural playground and seafood mecca of Kaikōura
  • Experience an unforgettable half-day albatross encounter, dolphin experience or watch for the whales.
  • Discover the highlights of Kaikoura on a sightseeing tour
Albatross Encounter, Kaikoura

Coastal Pacific Train Wildlife Encounter Experiences

Our two day trip is action-packed, but you must choose from one of these great half-day experiences at the time of booking. It’s a tough choice!

Dolphin Encounter – The Dolphin Encounter tour enables you to witness the most incredible wild dolphin show on earth, with spectacular viewing of these acrobatic and energised dolphins. There’s also an option to upgrade to swim with the dolphins on the tour, where you’ll interact in the water with this highly sociable specie for a truly memorable experience.

Albatross Adventure – In your small birding tour group, you will join a boat to encounter the majestic Albatross and other pelagic species. Knowledgeable staff and identification guides will ensure you get the best out of your experience, as you’ll see the birds up close for incredible viewing and photographic opportunities.

Whale Watch – Today you can choose from a once-in-a-lifetime experience of whale watching! After enjoying your inclusive breakfast, head off to experience the thrill of an up-close encounter with the world’s largest-toothed predator, the Giant Sperm Whale.

South Island Trains Kaikoura
Diving whale near Kaikoura

Coastal Pacific Train Journey

One of the biggest highlights of your Wildlife encounter will be the train journey. Climbing aboard the Coastal Pacific train in Christchurch, your coastal discovery break will start in relaxing style as you ease back in your reclined seat and enjoy the views through your panoramic window. 

Explore the stunning Kaikōura Coastline, famous for its marine life and whale watching. We’ll then voyage through to the vineyards of Blenheim, dripping with New Zealand’s premium crop. The Coastal Pacific takes you on an adventure along rugged coastlines, across remote beaches, between mountains and sea, on a timeless journey of breathtaking beauty.

Enjoy the journey and the destination

You will be booked in Scenic Class where you will enjoy spacious reclined seats with generous amounts of legroom and comfort, panoramic windows, glass shelves and skylights. And to heighten your comfort, state-of-the-art airbag suspension has been used to guarantee a smooth ride across our rugged New Zealand terrain.

While onboard, you might like a stroll to the Coastal Pacific Scenic Cafe carriage where you’ll find a great selection of hot and cold snacks, drinks and ice creams. Indulge in a freshly brewed specialty tea or barista coffee married with a sumptuous cake? Or perhaps toast your special journey with a bottle of bubbles or craft beer?

The open-air viewing carriage is also great place to get some fresh air and enjoy the great outdoors while on the move.. Capture the magical views on camera and let your short break begin!

Coastal Pacific Mountains and Sea
Heading to Kaikoura on the Coastal Pacific Train

For a detail itinerary, the Coastal Pacific timetable, departure days, and Coastal Pacific fare conditions, please see below.

Should you wish to add a night or two into your itinerary in Kaikoura, let us know at the time of booking. The Coastal Pacific Train Wildlife Encounter is fully flexible.

Click here for alternate South Island tours

Tour Inclusions

  • Coastal Pacific Train Journey
  • Kaikoura Sightseeing Tour
  • Packed Lunch
  • Choose from either Albatross Encounter half-day tour, Dolphin Discovery half-day tour or Whale Watch Kaikoura half-day tour
  • 1 night accommodation (twin share) in Kaikoura
  • Transfers
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees as specified in the itinerary

Pricing Notes

  • Advertised price based on per person, twin share
  • Non-refundable deposit of 20% per person is due at the time of booking
  • Full non-refundable balance of tour payment date will be advised at the time of booking
  • A single supplement is available or you can choose to match up with another single traveller
  • Price is subject to change unless paid in full
  • Full terms and conditions will be advised at the time of booking

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 | Christchurch - Coastal Pacific Train - Kaikoura (L)
Join the Coastal Pacific train in Christchurch for a spectacular journey across the Canterbury Plains. Begin your journey by heading north along the coast. Fly over viaducts and traverse through tunnels along the coastal cliff side as you snake between the mountains and the sea. Enjoy morning tea on board as you soak up the views from the comfort of your seat. On arrival into Kaikōura, you will receive a packed lunch before setting off on your sightseeing tour. Get acquainted with the local seal colonies, discover the dramatic effects of the 2016 earthquake on the Kaikōura coastline, and visit a spectacular viewpoint with views of the peninsular. After this exciting tour, the rest of the day is yours to explore. You might want to take to the skies with Wings over Whales to see more of the stunning scenery or a sneak peek of the whales from above. The Kaikōura Peninsula Walkway starts right in town if you’re looking to stretch your legs and work up an appetite before indulging in the culinary delicacies of Kaikōura. A haven for seafood lovers, you’ll find crayfish (lobster) that gave the town its name, as well as a host of fresh local specialities at many of the restaurants a stone’s throw from your accommodation.
This morning you'll enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet with cooked and continental selections at the hotel or nearby café before embarking on your wildlife experiences. Chose from a Dolphin Encounter Tour, Whale Watch Encounter or an Albatross Adventure. The afternoon is free for you to explore more of Kaikōura before transferring back to the station to return to Christchurch on the Coastal Pacific train and enjoy dinner onboard on your return journey.

For more information about this tour, price queries and updates on specials, please Enquire Now.