Christchurch, New Zealand
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clock-o9 hours (Approx.)
TransportHotel pickup offered
ticket-oMobile ticket
commentOffered in: English

Overview

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.
  • 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
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 approximate 2.5-hour train 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, you’ll 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 stage coach route down Otira Gorge, a common place for the Maori to search for greenstone. Hop off the minivan for several short bush walks as you’re guided along riverside paths in the forest. 

Back in your vehicle, you’re driven 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.

Reviews

Viator Traveler's Reviews

4.5
33 Reviews
5 Star
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d
, 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.

B
, 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.

n
, 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.

P
, 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....

R
, 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

K
, Dec 2016

Great tour! Fiona is an excellent guide!!!

k
, Nov 2016

Great trip and the driver marina was so nice and experience light up the trip

H
, Apr 2016

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

g
, Mar 2016

Not worth our time.

L
, Feb 2016

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


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