The Best Ad in New Zealand History

TVC 2014 (60) Screengrab image - Kaikoura Coastline

The Coastal Pacific train travelling the Kaikoura Coastline.


The KiwiRail Scenic Journeys advertisement, featuring the duet from The Pearl Fishers.

What happens in the scenes on this train journey montage is exactly what happens on this kind of trip through New Zealand: you begin to look outward yet inward too, and it can be a real epiphany.

This advertisement reminds me of my late father, who loved both train journeys and Bizet.

Well done, KiwiRail.  You have class.

Watch the clip here.


  1. It is a good ad isn’t it? I was vaguely contemplating taking the train next time I needed to be in Wellington, though I’m sure that in reality it’s hours of staring at scrub punctuated with sheep, with short bursts of screaming children being dragged into the toilets by frazzled mothers.

    • Don’t forget the famous Raurimu Spiral, a wonder of the train track world. My dad took the train just for that once. Then he promptly came home and tried to make a replica of it using Space Invader to form the topography, and N Gauge. Super magical but a but like the effects department from Land of the Lost had made it.

      • It didn’t know about that, and I’ve driven by so many times…
        One can only hope that the experience is not as disappointing as the inter-island ferry. The advert shows a relaxing and sophisticated journey, slipping a glass of cheap plonk while discussing recent events with your fellow travelers. In reality it’s like being trapped in an ocean going septic tank.

        • I know! One time they decided to set sail and everyone but me was sick in their sick bags. Everyone. I was the only one drinking, and everyone stared at me in hatred.

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