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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

What You Can Expect

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

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

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.

Customer Reviews


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.

Jennifer F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2014

We were very fortunate to have an experienced , knowledgeable and professional guide for the day.
Please pass on our many thanks to Michael

Peter J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 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.

Eric M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2013

What a great day! We had guide Sally all to ourselves and boy did she know her stuff! We saw and learned all sorts of details we would never have found on our own. Thank you for a great day out!

Bettyann T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2011

The trip was superb. The tour in the van was better than the train.

Lynette K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2011

A great day out the train trip was great and the Guided tour through Arthurs Pass was fantastic. The tour guide was excellent.

Chris Hord Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2011

Fairly expensive tour compared to other tours we had joined at Viator However, the scenery that we have seen is very nice.

Janny P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2011

We saw some of the most breathtaking views of natural landforms we have ever experienced during this trip - well worth every cent. Advice - a DVD of the Trans Alpine trip is available on the train which is worth buying. The return from Arthur's Pass by small bus was also very good with more beautiful scenery.

Michael W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2011

Excelent trip higly recommend it! The train open view platform can be busy but you can see just as much from your seat. The guide was great with a fountain of knowledge on the area.

Daniel J USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2010

My tour guide was great, knowledgeable, accommodating and a fantastic tour guide. I would highly recommend this tour!!!!

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