With the Scenic Plus dining experience returning to the Coastal Pacific journey, my husband and I were excited to join the train in Picton for a sneak peek of this new and improved service before its official relaunch late 2023.

In my view, among the three NZ rail trips, the Coastal Pacific stands out for its incredible and varied landscapes, all within just five and a half hours of travel. Just when the train starts lulling you into a snooze, the train turns a corner, revealing yet another breathtaking view.

What is Scenic Plus?

We first heard about Scenic Plus from a friend, and then read about it in a magazine. The words 'sourced locally' and 'regionally inspired' jumped off the page. As foodies, we just knew we had to head south aboard the Coastal Pacific train to try it! 

Great Journeys New Zealand describes the Scenic Plus dining experience as "a feast of scenery and seasonal dishes served to your seat'. All we needed to do, they said, was to sit back, relax, and savour the journey. 

This is our experience of this new dining service. 


The final verdict

Overall, this Scenic Plus Dining Experience was undoubtedly all I'd hoped it would be and more! 

We wined, we dined, we laughed. We made new friends, saw new places, and ticked a bucket-list item off. The food was exceptional, and we met such lovely people along the way between the crew, and other passengers in the carriage. I think the only thing we would have changed is that we would have worn stretchier clothes. We just about rolled from the train when leaving the Addington Railway Station in Christchurch. 

Next on the agenda...the TranzAlpine Scenic Plus experience! 


*As the menu is seasonal and Great Journeys New Zealand works with local farmers, the menu may vary from what was mentioned in this blog. 

Explore Scenic Plus

Authentic flavours of rural New Zealand, inspired by the lands you see through your window