Sunday, 05 May 2024 23:38

New TranzAlpine travel experience launched by Great Journeys NZ

Guests gathered at Addington Station last week to officially launch the travel experience Guests gathered at Addington Station last week to officially launch the travel experience

Great Journeys New Zealand has officially launched a brand-new immersive travel experience on the TranzAlpine Scenic Train Journey.

Local councillors, tourism representatives and special guests joined members of the Great Journeys and KiwiRail teams at Addington Station last week to officially launch the first-of-its-kind refurbished premium train carriage.

"The innovative carriage is the icing on the cake for this world-class rail experience,” says Adele Wilson, KiwiRail chief customer and growth officer.

“Its stylish interiors, comfortable seating configurations, and large panoramic windows enhance the experience of travelling through some of the world’s best scenery.”

The new carriage will provide Scenic Plus service passengers a rail experience which showcases New Zealand's landscapes, stories and paddock to plate flavours.

The journey will be brought to life with host storytelling combined with a new infotainment onboard digital app providing GPS-triggered storytelling.

“This is our first carriage to have internet onboard for our guests to also enjoy,” says Wilson. Wi-Fi will be rolled out across all services over the coming year.

The unique dining experience focuses on the ‘paddock to plate’ concept. “With an entire kitchen carriage dedicated to our Scenic Plus manuhiri (guests), our meals are prepared by our culinary experts and served in the new Plus dining carriage - truly one of the most unique dining experiences to be found in Aotearoa,” she says.

“Nowhere else can you enjoy a fine dining experience with spectacular scenery that changes by the minute, and food and wine sourced from the very land you are travelling through.”

Over three years have been invested in crafting the exquisite and meaningful interior of the new carriages. The coiling bird design is representative of the manuhiri (guests) onboard, and the ‘guardian’s eye' sculpture acts as a guardian for those on the journey.

“Part of our sustainability promise is to ensure benefits extend to regional New Zealand. Scenic Plus is part of a range of tourism offerings, including our popular packages and tours, which highlight regional tourism and off-the-beaten-track businesses.”

“Our expert KiwiRail team in our Hutt workshop have fully renovated our carriages to be the masterpieces they are today.”

The launch involved a mihi and acknowledgment by Ngāi Tahu, a speech by ChristchurchNZ GM Destination and Attraction Loren Aberhart, a walk-through of the new carriage by General Manager Great Journeys New Zealand and Commuter Tracey Goodall, and a special breakfast served at the station.

Aberhart says, “It is a fantastic commitment on behalf of Great Journeys New Zealand towards manuhiri and our local community. This innovative carriage and experience will showcase some of the world-class kai, wine and landscapes that have made Aotearoa and the South Island such an iconic destination.”

The new carriage is available on the TranzAlpine train journey and as further Scenic Plus carriages are completed, Great Journeys New Zealand will be adding this immersive sensory experience across all of its rail experiences.