TranzAlpine Train Tours

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The TranzAlpine Train is New Zealand’s most spectacular train journey. It winds its way through the dramatic gorges and alpine forests of the Southern Alps, over staggering viaducts and dizzying mountain passes. From Christchurch on the East Coast to Greymouth on the West Coast, this almost 5-hour trip serves up endless photo opportunities as it runs through the heart of the South Island.

The Basics
It’s possible to complete the entire route from Christchurch to Greymouth on a full-day tour, while adventurous travelers can travel by train to Arthur's Pass National Park and then explore off-road on a 4WD safari or take a jet boat cruise along the Waimakariri River. For the best value, opt for a multi-day tour from Christchurch or Queenstown. This lets you combine a ride on the TranzAlpine with top New Zealand attractions such as Mount Cook, Milford Sound, the Fox Glacier, or the Franz Josef Glacier.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Large bags and suitcases must be checked into the baggage carriage, so pack a small day bag to take on board with you. 
  • Onboard facilities include restrooms, a café carriage, and an open-air viewing deck, as well as charging stations for laptops and phones.
  • There’s time to get off and take in the views at some stations, so dress according to the weather and bring warm clothing as it can get chilly in the mountains. 
  • Wheelchair access is available at all stations. 

How to Get There
You can ride the TranzAlpine Train in either direction, starting your journey at Christchurch or at Greymouth. Christchurch Railway Station is located in Addington, just west of downtown Christchurch or about six 6 miles (nine kilometers) southeast of Christchurch Airport. 

When to Get There
The TranzAlpine runs daily with morning departures from Christchurch and afternoon departures from Greymouth. Trains run year-round, but it’s best to book ahead for the summer season as tickets can sell out. 

Coast to Coast on the TranzAlpine Railway
Setting out from Christchurch, the TranzAlpine Train rolls through the Canterbury Plains and crosses the Waimakariri River Gorge toward Rolleston. After climbing into the Southern Alps, the railway crosses the famous “Staircase” viaduct, soars over Arthur’s Pass, and traverses the 5.3-mile (8.6-kilometer) Otira Tunnel. Finally, it chugs along the shores of Lake Brunner and through Moana to the final station in Greymouth.
Location
Address: Christchurch Railway Station, Troup Drive, Addington, Christchurch 8024, New Zealand
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Hours: Operates daily, 8:15am - 6:05pm
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Admission: Varies
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Arthur's Pass National Park with TranzAlpine Train Tour from Christchurch

Travel by TranzAlpine railway to Arthur's Pass National Park, riding across the Canterbury Plains, then winding through Waimakariri Gorge and into the heart of the Southern Alps on this day trip from Christchurch.  An informative guide takes you on a minivan tour of Arthur's Pass, including short rainforest walks past rivers to mountain vistas at Castle Hill. Enjoy a hotel lunch and light refreshments before the return trip via Waimak Gorge. Small-group tour is limited to eight participants, ensuring a more personalized experience.
  • Duration: 9 hours
From
$369.28 USD
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  • Duration: 9 hours
From
$369.28 USD

TranzAlpine Train Pass from Christchurch to Greymouth

Ride a train through the Southern Alps on a remarkable scenic journey aboard the TranzAlpine Train. Choose between three different segments of the TranzAlpine Train route, then enjoy views of native beech forest, the powerful Waimakariri River, and Arthur's Pass National Park from a comfortable carriage or open viewing deck. For getting the history and context of the landmarks along the railway, GPS-triggered audio commentary is available on headphones at every seat.
  • Duration: 2.5 to 4.5 hrs
From
$38.25 USD
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  • Duration: 2.5 to 4.5 hrs
From
$38.25 USD

Coastal Pacific - Christchurch to Picton by Train

Perhaps New Zealand’s most scenic railway, the Coastal Pacific follows the South Island’s rugged Kaikoura coastline, with dramatic windblown seascapes to the right and enormous, native bush-clad mountains to the left. The journey by train from Christchurch to Picton offers an unrivaled opportunity to enjoy this landscape’s rugged beauty in comfort and class.
  • Duration: 3.25 to 6.25 hrs
From
$53.03 USD
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  • Duration: 3.25 to 6.25 hrs
From
$53.03 USD

7-Day South Island Coastal Splendor Tour from Christchurch

Experience the coastal splendor of New Zealand’s South Island on this 7-day tour by coach and Taieri Gorge Railway from Christchurch. Hear live onboard commentary as you travel through the Canterbury Plains to the historic city of Dunedin, then head to Queenstown and Franz Josef Glacier via the rugged west coast before returning to Christchurch on the TranzAlpine. Your itinerary includes six nights’ accommodation, a Milford Sound cruise and a guided sightseeing tour of Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula with admission to the royal albatross colony.
  • Duration: 7 days
From
$1,512.59 USD
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  • Duration: 7 days
From
$1,512.59 USD

Private Tour: 8-Day South Island Tour from Christchurch Including Franz Josef, Wanaka and Queenstown

Visit multiple South Island highlights on this unforgettable 8-day private tour, round-trip from Christchurch. Make the journey from ‘The Garden City’ in a counter-clockwise direction, traveling with ease in your very own luxury vehicle with a private guide at the helm. The route covers Arthur’s Pass, west coast rainforests, Aoraki/Mount Cook and Queenstown, to name a few. Enjoy seven nights’ accommodation including breakfast, entry to the Franz Josef Glacier hot pools and a train ride on the TranzAlpine. Optional activities include helicopter rides and bungy jumps (own expense).
  • Duration: 8 days
From
$3,587.62 USD
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  • Duration: 8 days
From
$3,587.62 USD


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