Tranz Alpine Train Journey
The Tranz Alpine train crosses the Canterbury Plains, heading west and climbing through magnificent river valleys and gorges of the Waimakariri River as it travels towards the Southern Alps for a brief stop at the alpine village of Arthurs Pass. Then the train descends through the Otira Tunnel as it heads to West Coast, passing dense rain forests of alpine beech as it makes its way to Greymouth where travellers can launch trips to Punakaiki (Pancake Rock and Blowholes) and the ever-popular Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers.
Take in the scenery from inside the centrally heated and air conditioned carriages looking out through un-tinted, non-reflective wide-view side and roof windows, or in the open-air viewing carriage of the Tranz Alpine train, which features cutting-edge air bag suspension system, making train travel much quieter and smoother.
Listen to GPS-prompted commentary in five languages via headphones at your seat as you journey through the spectacular alpine landscape and lush forest scenery of the Southern Alps. Information displays are likewise available as well as overhead HD video.
Each carriage features spacious ‘2 Seat-Aisle-2 Seat’ seating arranged either as a ‘Table Group’ (for 4 people around a table) allowing you to interact with other travellers, or reclining forward-facing seats made more comfortable by head and foot rests. Washroom facilities are available onboard, including toilet facilities for passengers with disability.
The café carriage is well-stocked with a selection of refreshments ranging from alcoholic drinks to non-alcoholic beverages to snacks and light meals that you can enjoy in a viewing carriage as you soak up the fantastic views of the South Island’s west coast.
There are spaces for wheel chairs and designated public toilet for mobility-impaired passengers who can also access the café carriage from the track level using wheelchair hoists.
A hearing loop is installed in the serving area and café carriage saloon for passengers with hearing impairment.
The Tranz Alpine train offers a ‘One Class’ reserved seating, non-smoking service.
In addition to a short stop at Arthurs Pass, the Tranz Alpine train makes stops at Darfield, Rolleston, Springfield, Moana (Lake Brunner), Otira and Kokiri. Traveling from Christchurch, a day excursion to Arthurs Pass or Greymouth is possible on the Tanz Alpine train.
From Greymouth, you can travel down the west coast via connecting scenic buses/coaches to get to iconic destinations such as the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers, Queenstown, Wanaka and the majestic Milford Sound. You can also make your way up the west coast to Westport, Punakaiki and Nelson before heading back east to Christchurch via connecting buses/coaches.
You can also explore a range of travel options available for ‘Hop On/Hop Off’ bus pass travellers.
So sit back and experience an authentic Kiwi rail journey through the mesmerizing rugged landscape of the Southern Alps and the alpine forest scenery of the South Island.