Things to do in Punakaiki

Punakaiki Accommodation

Staying overnight in Punakaiki is a great way to transform your TranzAlpine train journey into a memorable short break. Explore our rail packages and discover how thrilling a journey to the West Coast can truly be. By staying overnight just 45 minutes north of the TranzAlpine train station, you will have the best opportunity to travel on the scenic coastal road and appreciate the beauty in the changing weather, sunrises, and sunsets. 

Accommodation is included in your rail package, however if you'd like to rent a car and see Punakaiki on your own, then there are a handful of great accommodation to choose from in the area. 

History of Punakaiki

The history of Punakaiki stretches along before the arrival of European explorers and settlers in the 18th century. 

The rugged coastline of the West Coast, which the TranzAlpine train journeys to today, has been a cherished resource of food, natural materials and even gold for many years. 

Translated from Māori, Punakāiki probably means “spring of food” and relates to the abundance of food in the area. However, there is a chance that Punakāiki is simply a phonetic representation of the English word “pancakes”. 

Getting to Punakaiki by train

Travel to Punakaiki by train aboard the heavenly TranzAlpine. You can choose one of our day experiences or book a short escape and discover the magic of Moana.