Christchurch ATTRACTIONS See all

TranzAlpine Train

Praised as one of the most incredibly scenic train journeys in the world, the TranzAlpine chugs its way from Christchurch to Greymouth, via Arthur's Pass, daily. Making its way from one coast of New Zealand to the other, from the Pacific Ocean ... 

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Lori S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2016

I was in NZ on business and wanted to get a feel for the South Island in as little time as possible. This was the perfect tour! I hate to call it a tour because it is not your typical bus tour where you are with the same people the entire 5 days. You will be on 4 different buses. Don't let that throw you off! The tour company is well organised and provides all the details you need to get where you are going. I even had pre-booked taxis, all of which arrived on time, to take me to two of the bus pick-ups. On the final leg, the tour operator met me at the rail station and took me to my hotel. I felt like I had personalised treatment and enjoyed that I wasn't with the same people all 5 days. Make sure you call to confirm in advance. When I arrived at my Christchurch hotel, a packet was waiting for me at the desk with the detailed itinerary with times, hotels, etc.

Now about the itinerary. Perfect! The views! The bus drivers are as good as tour guides. They are knowledgeable on the area, the history and keep a running commentary throughout. There are scheduled comfort breaks and photo opportunities. The first day the main stop was Mount Cook. Wow! Don't doze off on the drive at any point in the 5 days or you will miss breathtaking views! The day ends in Queenstown which is your base for the next 3 nights. A taxi picks you up the next morning to catch the bus to Milford Sound. This is a long day, but amazing. Of course, it helped that the weather was incredible. I almost didn't get off the bus at Mirror Lake because there were so many people BUT DO IT! The mountains reflect into the water. Your photos will look like postcards! The hotels chosen by the tour company were great. Heritage in Queenstown pay the extra for breakfast and Scenic Hotel at Franz Josef where I was upgraded to their spa hotel. The scenic ride on the train was also amazing. I highly recommend this tour!

Doing what: 5-Day South Island Tour from Christchurch

Sharmila P

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2016

Overall it was great, itinerary could not be beat to cover in 5 days. Canterbury travels was very organized and responsive. There were few hiccups. The taxi ride to the bus on the last day in Queenstown did not show up, we had to call. We were last in the bus and seating was scattered. Hotel in Queenstown could have been better. We were not near the water or the City Center. Rooms were ok. Queenstown, Mt. Cook, Franz Josef Glacier, Tranzalpine rail trip were amazing, spectacular. The tour was a very good price and covered a lot in 5 days. Would do it again.

Doing what: 5-Day South Island Tour from Christchurch

Catherine P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2016

Excellent day out. Expensive but worth it. Even though the weather was overcast and it rained the scenery was amazing.Take the jet boat ride - best part of a good day.

Doing what: Arthur's Pass Day Tour including TranzAlpine Express Train from Christchurch

Harry Saputra

4 star rating: Recommended
April 2016

My tour leader: Chris Platt is very nice person. he is friendly and helpful.
I like the national park, amazing..

Doing what: Arthur's Pass National Park with TranzAlpine Train Small Group Tour from Christchurch

Anne B

4 star rating: Recommended
April 2016

The train was crowded and the viewing car packed, so that part of the journey failed to live up to expectations. The return trip by minibus was far better though as we were able to stop and enjoy the scenery.

Doing what: Arthur's Pass Day Tour including TranzAlpine Express Train from Christchurch

RICHARD S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2016

absolutely fabulous

Doing what: 5-Day South Island Tour from Christchurch

Dan O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2016

The scenery was beautiful on the train trip. It gave you a sense of what the country was about. Sue our driver did a great job of telling us about NZ and answered all our questions. I would recommend this trip to everyone and would do it again. Dan O'Neal

Doing what: Arthur's Pass Day Tour including TranzAlpine Express Train from Christchurch

Gordon R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2016

Brilliant day out.
We were picked up from our hotel for our adventure.
our driver was very good and gave us details about the areas we travelled through.
The 4WD experience was good and we were taken high enough to get some stunning views of the Canterbury plains.
We were then taken to the alpine Jet for a thrilling ride on the Waimakariri river. This included a number of 360 degree turns. Lunch was fresh and plentiful. A nice drive to Arthurs pass befor boarding the Tranzalpine train back to Christchurch. The train has two viewing coaches from which you can take photos of the stunning scenery before being collected by our driver and taken back to our hotels.
Would thoroughly recommend this tour

Doing what: Full-Day Alpine Safari 4WD tour including TranzAlpine Train from Christchurch

Larry

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2016

Nice train ride and great to have small group. Our driver/guide did a great job of taking care of us.

Doing what: Arthur's Pass National Park with TranzAlpine Train Small Group Tour from Christchurch

Ann H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2016

Excellent driver/guides with interesting and informative commentaries. Always on time and to schedule. Well organised and supported by the Tours staff. Lots of time on coach but worth it for incredible scenery. Lovely hotels with helpful staff.

Doing what: 5-Day South Island Tour from Christchurch

Gail O

4 star rating: Recommended
February 2016

Enjoyed the 5 day south island tour. The schedule was adhered to and timing was good. The commentaries were pretty good by the bus drivers. However the last 1 1/2 day to and from Franz Josef Glacier the commentary was weak. The bus on day 4/5 was less comfortable and airy than the previous days.

Doing what: 5-Day South Island Tour from Christchurch

Heejae L

4 star rating: Recommended
February 2016

This Tour was awesome! Except last 2 days!

Doing what: 5-Day South Island Tour from Christchurch

Jean-Pierre V

4 star rating: Recommended
February 2016

3 fantastic days, perfectly organized.
The scenery is fabulous particularly from the TransAlpine despite very mixed weather

Doing what: 3-Day Queenstown to Christchurch including West Coast Glaciers and the TranzAlpine Train

ellentoday

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
February 2016

It has been too much road trip and some overlapping routes. The cleanliness level of the hotel chosen for Queenstown stay is not satisfactory.

Doing what: 5-Day South Island Tour from Christchurch

griffjames2

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
February 2016

This did not live up to our expectations. We had expected four short walks up at Arthur's Pass and all we got was a drive through Otari which I would not show to anyone, two photo stops with no walks, and one walk on the way back at Castle Hill. Lunch was good and the guide/driver very pleasant. However there was no delicious morning or afternoon tea and no several short bush walks as youre guided along riverside paths in the forest.
We had expected to get out and enjoy the fresh air, but simply sat in a train and then in a van. The road trip back was in some ways more scenic than the rail trip but the weather had brightened up at that stage.
This trip was far too expensive for what it delivered and I would not recommend it.

Doing what: Arthur's Pass National Park with TranzAlpine Train Small Group Tour from Christchurch

Raymond D

4 star rating: Recommended
January 2016

Everything went off without a hitch. Accommodation was very good.

Doing what: 5-Day South Island Tour from Christchurch

Heather S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

This is an excellent way to see a good deal of sights in a short time. It fairly packs them in too! The timetabling works out well and all of the bus journeys are enjoyable and include commentary and photo stops when time allows too. The train journey was a highlight for me as were the Mount Cook / Lake Tekapo views. Hotel meals aren't included so be aware of that one.

Doing what: 5-Day South Island Tour from Christchurch

Jay B

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2015

Well organized tour provided through several local providers. Good inclusion of highlights of South Island. First hotel below expectations, second hotel above expectations. Timing for Glacier visit too tight.

Doing what: 5-Day South Island Tour from Christchurch

Olivia W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2015

Excellent trip, all pick-ups on time. Excellent hotels. A lot of hours on the bus - 8 hours there and back for a two-hour boat ride. Scenery and stops for lunch and tea made bus travel good. Sometimes drivers a little cranky, but usually because people late returning from stops. Overall trip went very smoothly, and scenery was truly amazing.

Doing what: 5-Day South Island Tour from Christchurch

Sunicha S

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
April 2015

We were disappointed. Your company made us feel ripped off and stupid !!! The details about the tour on the website and in email that you informed us before the tour start went wrong and made us confused and upset !!! First, you didnt provide hotel pick up and drop off as promised on the first and the last day !!! We just knew that we have to make our own way to bus station before the pick up time one hour !!! And we knew that because we called you !! Your staff told us over the phone that your company mailed by post us two days ago before the tour start to inform the changes !! But we didn't get any mail !!! We have asked the hotel staff ... nobody found any mail !!! I just don't understand why didnt't you call us or email us !!! You asked for those contact detail !!! And my phone was on international roaming service to stand by to get any urgent information from you !!! Second, on website you mentioned that tour will operated by coach. I think it's quite tricky !!! Because coach made us though that you would provide a coach for a specific group of people. But it turn out to be a inter-city bus that opened for the public !! After all, we did research about the cost of everything accommodation, activity, transportation cost and we found out that your company overcharged us 355 per person !!! I know and understand that the travel agent need to make profit from arrangement those kind of things for the customer. But don't you think that too much !!! How can you do that ??? At first I saw your company profile and I though you are a good one. We decided to buy more than one package from you. We bought another two packages Shotover River Extreme Jet Boat Ride from Queenstown Swimming with Dolphins in Akaroa from your company. They were good. And the price are reasonable !!!! However, after experience 3-Day Queenstown to Christchurch including West Coast Glaciers and the TranzAlpine Train
I decided not to recommend anyone to buy your services anymore !!!

Doing what: 3-Day Queenstown to Christchurch including West Coast Glaciers and the TranzAlpine Train

Daniel C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2015

The trip was everything we hoped it would be. However, it was different from what we expected. It was not a set tour with a constant group of people. Rather, it was a series of 4 1-day tours with different people joining and exiting. In addition, it was really a 4 days of touring with a day off in the middle. That's OK because we were exhausted after the second day. The tour guide from "Great Sights" was fantastic. The others were good, but not as good as he was. We especially appreciated the attention to details - that we were picked up and taken from location to location (drivers were waiting for us with our names on a sign.) The hotels were fine. In general, our expectations/hopes were met. This was an excellent introduction to the South Island of New Zealand. I feel comfortable considering Viator for our next adventure. THANKS!!!

Doing what: 5-Day South Island Tour from Christchurch

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