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“A great train ride”
Review of TranzAlpine Train

TranzAlpine Train
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TranzAlpine- Greymouth to Christchurch by Train
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TranzAlpine- Christchurch to Greymouth by Train
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and up
Arthur's Pass National Park with TranzAlpine Train Small Group Tour from...
Ranked #4 of 249 things to do in Christchurch
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The TranzAlpine is a long-distance train between Christchurch and Greymouth, from one coast of New Zealand to the other. Unlike normal passenger trains, the TranzAlpine is designed to provide a window to New Zealand's best scenery, with large reclined seating and huge panoramic windows. The spectacular TranzAlpine journey begins by roaming through the vast farmsteads of the Canterbury Plains to the spectacular gorges and valleys of the Waimakariri River. The TranzAlpine then ascends into the majestic Southern Alps to Arthurs Pass National Park, before descending through lush beech forest to the West Coast town of Greymouth - a great base for visits to Punakaiki and the always-popular glaciers. All services feature panoramic windows, reclined seating, GPS triggered at-seat commentary, a fully licensed cafe, toilets, and open air viewing decks. The TranzAlpine is operated by The Great Journeys of New Zealand, and runs daily throughout the year.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access
Reviewed April 27, 2013

We did this one way from Greymouth (where we returned the rental car at the station) to Christchurch and it was simply magnificent - over 4 hours of non-stop stunning scenery and the carriages themselves (new in Nov.2012) are very comfortable and excellent for viewing with part-glass roofs. Even so there are two open observation cars as well. Your bags are checked in and go separately, so you don't even have to bother about them.

Refreshment is available on board and an audio commentary is supplied via headphones. (However, one irritation is that this does get overridden by various announcements. You'd think that the announcements could be timed so that they're made when the commentary is quiet or they could even pause the commentary.)The staff were informative and helpful and on our journey the train was only about half full so you could cross from side to side of the carriage for the best views. Simply brilliant.

Be aware though that, as strangely seems to be the case in one or two places in NZ, you can be charged more if you're a visitor. If you book through the website from outside NZ you'll only be offered the most expensive ticket (NZ$189 fully flexible), but if you ring them up you'll have the choice of all 3 price bands, so NZ$149 & 119 as well, albeit with less and no flexibility respectively. If, as we did, you know when you want to travel then this is a no-brainer.
To echo a previous reviewer...DO IT

2  Thank Poconut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 21, 2013

Had been wanting to do the Tranzalpine for a long time and finally managed to achieve this, albeit in wet and miserable weather. We did the one day return from Christchurch to Greymouth.

The train itself is a lot more comfortable than I was expecting. The viewing car was rammed full at one point but if you stick around for long enough you will be able to get a good view. Unfortunately the wet windows make capturing a really good picture difficult so the viewing car is a must, it can be a bit chilly but the hot chocolate is good and will keep you warm.

The views themselves are amazing, the highlight being around Arthur's Pass on the high altitude peaks, although the rain clouds hampered the viewing distance a lot.

The audio commentary is cool although it has an annoying habbit of cutting out frequently for a few seconds at a time.

Yes it is very expensive but worth it in my opinion.

Thank James L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2013

This was a truly awesome journey, taking you from the Plains of Canterbury through the mountains to Greymouth on the west coast. Magnificent views throughout, enjoyed in true comfort. If you get the chance to do this journey, DO IT.

Thank Dave F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2013

We took a round-trip on the TranzAlpine in one day and it was a wonderful introduction to our three-week self-drive visit to South Island. The station is very conveniently located, with plenty of free parking, and the station staff very efficient. The train itself was quite new and very comfortable; plenty of side and top windows to enjoy the views and the ride was smooth and quiet. The only negative we would mention is that the town of Greymouth itself was very drab and uninspiring. We were glad we hadn't planned to spend any time there except for the 1-1/2 hour layover before we boarded the train again for its return to Christchurch.

Thank Poguelet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2013

We loved this trip from Christchurch to Greymouth. A fantastic introduction to the glories of New Zealand's Southern Alps and west coast.very friendly helpful staff.

Thank Lynette L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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