Enjoy a 9-hour scenic TranzAlpine train tour through Arthur’s Pass National Park – a highlight of your South Island itinerary. I will be your personal guide and will pick you up from your accommodation in Christchurch and drive you across the Canterbury Plains to meet the TranzAlpine train in the foothills of the Southern Alps.
From here you will get on the TranzAlpine train, which will take you alongside the Waimakariri River. It takes you up through the scenic Arthur’s Pass National Park. Expect to see the amazing and unique New Zealand alpine scenery with snow-capped mountains year-round, as you climb into the Southern Alps.
Arthur’s Pass station is a unique place. If you ride the train to the West Coast and back, you only get a couple of minutes to view the scenery from the platform. You do so along with several hundred other people and then you are in a tunnel for the next 10 minutes, missing out on absolutely some of the best scenery along this route. They add on 3 engines here to lower the train down through the steep Otira tunnel, so everyone boards the train and sits down as they connect the other 3 trains. Viewing the train as it leaves the station and sweeps round the bend to enter the tunnel makes for a great photo opportunity.
I will then drive you to the lookout over the stunning Otira Gorge, where the native parrot – the Kea, often resides and are eager to entertain us. We can enjoy short walks in the Native Mountain Beech forest and many glorious photo opportunities to view Alpine plants, waterfalls and the birdlife.
Finally, we call into the Arthur’s Pass National Park Visitors centre to view many of their informative interpretations. From here, we will find a scenic location overlooking the national park and enjoy a 2-course homemade picnic lunch from my organic garden.
After lunch we will drive back towards Christchurch. Our journey takes us passing through scenery that gives a different perspective compared to your TranzAlpine train journey – the alpine scenery, high country sheep stations, lakes, limestone formations and river valleys. Again, there are opportunities to enjoy short walks on the Bealey Track or Cave Stream on the way home.
View my other tours to see a snippet of popular and unforgettable tour experiences in New Zealand.
• Enjoy an exhilarating jet boat ride on the Waimakariri River, priced at $50.
• Farm visit to see sheep shearing and sheepdog demonstration, priced at $35.
• You can hop onto the TranzAlpine train from Christchurch, at no additional cost, and I will meet you at the Arthur’s Pass station to begin our tour. Personally, I recommend that you take the journey with me instead. Truly, the most scenic part of the journey is from Springfield. It also gives me more time to explain the day and we can stop for photos along the way if you wish.
Highlights of the TranzAlpine Train Tour
• Arthurs Pass National Park
• Southern Alps with snow-capped mountains
• Waimakariri River
• Arthurs Pass Station
• Otira Gorge
• Native Mountain Beech Forest
• Devils Punchbowl Track (optional short walk)
• Cave Stream Tracks (optional short walk)
Best Time to book
• July to October
• 9-hour trip
07.45: Pick-up for your TranzAlpine Train Tour
09.15: Departure from Springfield Station of TranzAlpine Train
10.45: Train arrives Arthurs Pass Railway Station
10.45: +- 2-hour sightseeing and hiking on short walks in the Arthurs Pass National Park area, Otira Gorge and the Visitors Centre
13.00: Homemade 2-course Picnic Lunch amongst South Island Alpine Scenery
14.00: Drive back towards Christchurch via State Highway 73 (viewing classic New Zealand landscapes, South Island High Country Sheep Stations, Alpine Lakes and Limestone formations)
14.45: Option to join a Farm tour and / or Thrilling Jet Boat ride on the Waimakariri River.
17.00: Return to Christchurch
• An Experienced & Knowledgeable, local Tour Guide
• Transport from Christchurch to Arthurs Pass Otira Gorge
• Transport from Greymouth to Christchurch
• TranzAlpine train ticket from Springfield to Arthurs Pass.
• A 2-course picnic lunch hamper, made with natural ingredients
• Priced from $430 per person