Children of all ages can enjoy a free ride on the Peace Train in Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

The Peace Train is free to ride and runs every first and third Sunday of the month from September to April, between 10am and 2pm, weather permitting.

The Peace Train leaves from behind the kiosk in Christchurch Botanic Gardens and follows the loop pathway around the playground following the Avon / Ōtakaro River. 

The train can’t operate in wet weather so will be cancelled if it’s raining. Keep an eye on our Facebook page(external link) for cancellations.

The train is a Wattman mini express ACS train, made in Canada and includes a wheelchair-accessible carriage.

Each trip takes approximately 8 minutes. The last ride of the day will leave at approximately 1.45pm.

Operating dates in 2023

The train will take a break over winter and run again on the following 2023 dates:

  • Sunday 3 September
  • Sunday 17 September
  • Sunday 1 October
  • Sunday 15 October
  • Sunday 5 November
  • Sunday 19 November
  • Sunday 3 December
  • Sunday 17 December

Taking the bus

The nearest bus stops are on Riccarton Avenue; with routes 3, 5, 80 and 86 stopping here.

Metroinfo(external link) has up-to-date bus information.


The Botanic Gardens has three-hour parking at Armagh Street and Riccarton Avenue.

In early 2021, the Yusaf Islam Foundation offered to donate a model, ride-on train, to the people of Christchurch, in recognition of the extraordinary response of support and compassion that followed the terror attacks on March 15, 2019.

Yusuf’s gift (his “little chugger”) came because he saw the New Zealand response to the mosque attacks as a beautiful lesson, an example of the best side of humanity. Watch Yusuf's message to Christchurch.(external link)

This gift was conditional on the train being free to ride for the citizens of Ōtautahi Christchurch and run in a central location. 

The train itself is a Wattman mini express ACS train, made in Canada.

Volunteer to help run the Peace Train

Register your interest in helping create lifelong memories and experiences as a Station-Master and Driver of the Peace Train.

Volunteers need to have a current driver's licence and undertake a short training programme before driving the train. 

Training will occur in August each year, to bring on new volunteers and as a refresher for our existing volunteers.