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tranz alpine rail trip

Melbourne Australia
2 posts
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tranz alpine rail trip

we have limited time in Christchurch and wonder if the tranz alpine rail trip is worth the whole day it takes to travel both ways.

also, if you only go to Arthurs Pass .. a) do you miss much on the second leg and b) is there a bus to get you back to Christchurch rather than wait for the return of the train?

it appears that it will be damp weather when we are there so not sure how much we will see anyway.

if anyone has done it I would welcome their comment.


Lorna G

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11 posts
8 reviews
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1. Re: tranz alpine rail trip

We did this trip. It was good but not as good as the scenery we saw elsewhere in New Zealand. The train wasn't that comfortable and we wished we hadn't handed back our hire car in Greymouth.

Would suggest driving to Arthurs Pass and back as the timings are then in your control.

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2. Re: tranz alpine rail trip

hi, is it worth keeping the car to go on to the glaciers and Queensland?Theres also a lot of advice against driving over to milford Sound-are the roads really that bad?We're going in March.Ali

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6 posts
9 reviews
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3. Re: tranz alpine rail trip

They're not what you're used to. Highways don't exist outside of Auckland and Wellington cities, and the remaining roads tend to be single lane and windy with very few authorised passing lanes. Having said that, keep hold of your car and drive (there's really no suitable public transport, and I include the TransAlpine in that) but DO stay alert. If the roads don't kill you, the local drivers might.

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89 posts
50 reviews
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4. Re: tranz alpine rail trip

did it in 2001 on my honeymoon. didn't think much of it. scenary was not bad... but I don't think it was worth the time/effort. on a different but related note, earlier this yr in Jan, I took the trains again, but this time, from Auckland to Wellington. That was bad due to some issues with the hot weather, the trains weren't allowed to travel beyond 40km/hr! The journey took way longer than it was scheduled to - even the cows that we saw on the way were going faster than the train was! *sigh*