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Arthur's Pass National Park with TranzAlpine Train Tour from Christchurch

Christchurch, New Zealand
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From US$384,66

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Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 9 hours (approx.)
  • Hotel pickup offered
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


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 rain forest walks past rivers to mountain vistas at Castle Hill. Enjoy a hotel lunch and light refreshments before the return trip via Waimak Gorge. This small-group tour is limited to eight participants, ensuring a more personalized experience.
  • Travel across the Canterbury Plains to the breathtaking Arthur's Pass National Park on this full-day tour from Christchurch
  • Scenic TranzAlpine train journey
  • Enjoy guided walks of Arthur's Pass National Park with many spectacular mountain vistas
  • Delicious morning and afternoon tea
  • Visit a country hotel for lunch
  • Fully escorted and informative commentary
  • Small-group tour with maximum eight passengers provides a more personalized experience with your guide
Operated by:

What's Included

  • Lunch at a country hotel
  • Guided walks of Arthur's Pass National Park
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off from centrally located Christchurch hotels
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Travel by TranzAlpine train
  • Light refreshments
  • Local guide
  • Cruise port pickup is not available
  • Gratuities

Meeting And Pickup

You can head directly to the meeting point, or request pickup

Meeting point

  • Christchurch Railway Station
    Addington, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand

    Your guide will be holding a sign displaying name for tour booking at check in area.

Pickup points

Select a pickup point

Start time

07:30 AM

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

Pickup details

We will pick from any Hotel, B&B, Home-stay within central Christchurch

What To Expect

You’re picked up at your hotel in Christchurch and transferred to the railway station to board the TranzAlpine for one of New Zealand’s most scenic train rides. Relax during the journey to Arthur's Pass.

Your independent rail trip crosses the flat farmlands of the Canterbury Plains before winding through Waimakariri Gorge and the high country’s tussock fields until you reach the magnificent Southern Alps. En route, pass multiple tunnels and viaducts including the 240-foot-long (73-meter) Staircase. 

On arrival at Arthur's Pass, you’re greeted by your guide for a small-group tour of the national park by minivan, following a former stagecoach route down Otira Gorge, a commonplace for the Maori to search for greenstone. Hop off the minivan for several short bushwalks as you’re guided along riverside paths in the forest. 

Back in your vehicle, drive through the South Island high country, stopping to view the craggy cliffs at the Cave Stream, which meanders underground. From the highway, get a glimpse of Castle Hill where weatherworn limestone outcrops form a unique mountain landscape. If you’ve got the energy, you can hike to the top for an encompassing view of the surrounding countryside.

Your full-day tour includes morning and afternoon tea along with lunch at a local hotel before you make the return trip to Christchurch by minivan, stopping in the sweeping Canterbury Plains to see Waimakariri Gorge.

TranzAlpine Train

Journey across the wide expanses of the Canterbury Plains into high country surrounded by rugged mountain ranges. After leaving the Canterbury Plains, the landscape dramatically changes into sub-alpine we head towards the spectacular Southern Alps. View the Waimakariri River and its unique braided riverbed system. Enter Arthur’s Pass National Park where short walks can be made to experience forests, rivers and mountains vistas.

2 hours 30 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

Arthur's Pass National Park Visitor Centre

Follow the old stage coach route and travel down the spectacular Otira Gorge, testament to the road builders of the 1860's and the route taken by the Maori in their quest for greenstone. View Cave Stream where it burrows underground in an area of limestone cliffs and gorges, craggy outcrops and a setting of mountains to the east and west. This area was also used as for the filming of C.J Lewis’ story – “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. The incredible Castle Hill rocks, unique weatherworn, rain smoothed outcrops of limestone are seen from the highway. Lunch at a country hotel, included in cost of tour.

4 hours Admission Ticket Included

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • A percentage of the tour price is used for the conservation of New Zealand's wildlife, environment and it's endangered species
  • Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 8 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

about cancellations.

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145 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 145 reviews
Superb Tour!
Robert_C, Feb 2023
Superb tour! Guide is very knowledgeable, prepared and friendly. Tour itinerary is excellent. The van is comfortable and the tour operator ensures that the van is not filled to fill capacity.
Response from Host, Feb 2023
Thank you. Your revies means a lot to us and we appreciate you taking the time.
Best tour of our holiday
meganjbrown, Jan 2023
A fantastic day out. Dave was our guide and really looked after us. From organising our train seats and taking us to out of the way places to telling us the local stories and history Dave was an interesting and knowledgeable guide.
Response from Host, Jan 2023
Thank you for your great review of your day with Dave in Arthurs Pass. It is our most popular tour and is a day with many contrasts. Not to be missed.
Do it, even in the rain
Guilford_P, Dec 2022
Our guide, Sue, was perfect - positive, down to earth, thoughtful, knowledgeable, responsive. She thought of everything to make it a great experience on a cold rainy day - umbrellas, rain jackets, hot tea, brownies - even pellets to feed the sheep on a break on the way home.
1 traveler found this review helpful
The train trip is very...
Roy_R, Dec 2022
The train trip is very interesting. The mini bus took us further and also to interesting places we would not have found/ stopped at if we had driven ourselves.
Would recommend!
Stephanie_G, Oct 2022
Cat was our tour guide and very knowledgeable. The Blue Mountains are spectacular, Scenic World is interesting and the zoo had several Aussie animals had not yet seen. Coach was comfortable. It was a great day!
1 traveler found this review helpful
Perfect day trip in Christchurch.
Norman_P, Jan 2020
The tour was excellent with our small group of 4 guests. Our tour guide, Peter was the best. TransAlpine Train is very unique as it goes thru the plains and southern Alps with very different scenery. After disembarking the train our short walking tours of Arthur’s Pass was quite enjoyable. Finishing with a pint of beer and tasty lunch at a quaint local hotel. Overall had a great day. Thanks again to Peter our tour guide making it feel very personable.
Response from Host, Jan 2020
Thank you for your lovely review. Glad to hear you enjoyed your day in the mountains with Peter. It is a spectacular spot!
Great train ride and hikes in the Park
John_K, Jan 2020
Just about everyone agrees the tranzalpine is a great train ride and this tour took in the best part leaving us at Arthur's Pass to explore the park with our guide. No long hikes but the short walks were very scenic and photogenic,
Response from Host, Jan 2020
Thank you for your review. We agree that the TranzAlpine train is a must do and a great way to access the Arthurs Pass National Park.
Awe inspiring
Jose_S, Mar 2019
Peter our friendly guide picked us up and customized our day, accommodating our preferences and the weather. Awe inspiring scenery, despite the incessant drizzle, tempered by Peter’s informed observations plus a comfortable train and minibus drive, made for an interesting day.
Should not be missed! Beautiful...
David_B, Mar 2018
Should not be missed! Beautiful views, comfortable train ride and great hiking after we were off the train with the group. Out tour guide, George, was terrific and knowledgable, taking us to a number of interesting places including the amazing Castle Hill.
Great tour guide - Train to pass was...
Barbara P, Mar 2018
Great tour guide - Train to pass was crowded, but commentary very educational with great views and vistas. Met our tour guide for a van trip into Arthur's Pass, walk through a forest area, that was a little more difficult than I anticipated. Tour guide was helpful in helping me complete the trail, which had several steps throughout both down and up with no handrails for support. She rewarded us with brownies, tea or coffee, which was nice Another stop for lunch and scenic views - Good lunch, though slow service. One more stop on way back to Christchurch. Overall a good experience with an interesting small group of 6 and our guide.
Awesome trip!! I was traveling alone...
nadiya, Dec 2017
Awesome trip!! I was traveling alone so it ended up being worth the money for me in terms of having a group to travel with. If you're already with a group already however it would way cheaper to just do the itinerary on your own if you are able. If you like comfort and convenience then this is definitely the way to go. You get to just sit back relax and enjoy while someone else handles all the logistics, which in and of itself it super valuable. The trip itself is just amazing, the natural beauty in NZ is astounding. Again, you could see all of it on your own with booking this tour, but it does have it's perks. I think it just depends on your circumstances. If you have the money and like convenience, it could be a good fit for you.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Started at 7.15 am with the prompt...
Peel, Jul 2017
Started at 7.15 am with the prompt arrival of Peter our guide for the day. He drove us to the Tranzalpine train station and organized our tickets and off we went on a 3 hour train ride in quiet comfort across the Canterbury Plains then ascending the mountains, pictures do not do justice to how spectacular and beautiful this area is. Upon arriving at Arthur's Pass. Peter met us and proceeded to take us around the area making a number of stops to take in stunning vistas, short walks and waterfalls. All the time imparting his knowledge and obvious passion and pride for the area. This was interspersed with picnic hamper morning tea/ coffee and delicious Choc brownie. Then on to a late lunch caught up in roadworks at the Bealey Hotel great food and large portions. Not to mention and another great view of the area. From here we went on to Pearson Lake, tranquility plus..... and last and by no means least a stop and walk at Kura Tawhiti, to see huge limestone boulders... Thanks Peter you made an awesome day so much more interesting, informative and fun....
Great Experience - beautiful scenery...
Rohan J, Jan 2017
Great Experience - beautiful scenery from the train going there, while there and while headed back. John was a great guide and a great host and company for the small group! The walks were intensive but uncomplicated and the scenery quite breathtaking. Thank you! Rohan
Great trip and the driver marina was so...
kongclara, Nov 2016
Great trip and the driver marina was so nice and experience light up the trip
My tour leader: Chris Platt is very...
Harry Saputra, Apr 2016
My tour leader: Chris Platt is very nice person. he is friendly and helpful. I like the national park, amazing..
Nice train ride and great to have...
Larry, Feb 2016
Nice train ride and great to have small group. Our driver/guide did a great job of taking care of us.
This did not live up to our...
griffjames2, Feb 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.
We were very fortunate to have an...
DAVID_F, Mar 2014
We were very fortunate to have an experienced , knowledgeable and professional guide for the day. Please pass on our many thanks to Michael
1 traveler found this review helpful
It was a beautiful day which would...
Bonnie G, Mar 2014
It was a beautiful day which would make any activity pretty great. Our guide Gavin was very knowledgeable and a excellent source of information about the natural environment surrounding us. One of the best things about this trip is you get to experience the train ride an d vistas, yet get off before it becomes boring. Commentary on the train was good. Scenery was awesome and the lunch was very good at Beally's hotel. It turned out to only be my husband and I in the tour, so we reaped the benefits of a very personalized tour. A great experience.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Our guide Chris was wonderful, it...
Amanda_J, Feb 2014
Our guide Chris was wonderful, it was just my husband and myself. Train trip was fantastic, Chris met us at Arthurs Pass station and showed us around the National Park, due to the Coast to Coast race being on we had a picnic lunch instead, which was a wonderful idea beside a beautiful lake. I would highly recommend this tour to family and friends, out of ten I would rate this a 10. Thank you Chris for a wonderful day.


Product code: 3290AP