Luxury length-of-New-Zealand train travel potentially on the cards

New Zealand has some of the world’s most undisputedly stunning scenery – all plunging mountaintops, crystal clear glacial lakes and rolling greenery – and it looks like tourists may soon be able to enjoy it in all its glory on a single trip thanks to a luxury train ride.

The Antipodean Explorer is reportedly planning to buy 31 old train carriages from Auckland Transport and refurbish them into a luxury train which it will market as the “world’s best moving hotel”.

The journey would use the country’s existing rail network to take in the length of the New Zealand countryside, stopping for two to five hours every morning and afternoon to allow tourists to explore over 75 of the nation’s best locations.

The new proposal was recently presented to Kiwi mayors and Chinese guests at the New Zealand China Mayoral Forum and could be ready as soon as 2019 following refurbishment of the carriages.

Co-founder of Antipodean Explorer New Zealand, Amanda Johnston, explained that seeing such a wide range of beautiful destinations in New Zealand would currently only really be possible with an extensive road trip. This new rail adventure. however, would open up a whole new set of possibilities for those with limited time.

“It’s for visitors that don’t have four weeks or the information to drive around New Zealand. We will use the beauty and elegance of rail to show them all of New Zealand, tailored to their personal preferences,” she said.

The proposal also taps into the blossoming relationship between the country’s tourism industry and China, something which has been a major success story so far. Where 30 years ago New Zealand only had a few thousand Chinese visitors, it now has more than 400,000 per year.