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“Alpine wonder” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of TranzAlpine Train

TranzAlpine Train
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$308.89*
and up
Full-Day Alpine Safari 4WD tour including TranzAlpine Train from Christchurch
Ranked #4 of 227 things to do in Christchurch
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The TranzAlpine scenic train journey travels between Christchurch and Greymouth, from one coast of New Zealand to the other. From the comfort of world class carriages you'll see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. Your train then climbs into the majestic Southern Alps to Arthurs Pass National Park, before descending through lush beech rainforest to the West Coast town of Greymouth - a great base for visits to Punakaiki and the always-popular glaciers. All services feature state award winning carriages including panoramic side and sky-view windows, GPS triggered at-seat commentary, a fully licensed cafe, and open air viewing decks. The TranzAlpine operates a daily return service throughout the year.
Tasmania, Australia
Level Contributor
115 reviews
82 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Alpine wonder”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2013

What a great trip. The views from the special viewing car were breath taking. Not just the mountains but also the valleys and huge rivers. Staff were great commentary very interesting. I did the same day return which gave me the chance to catch those photos I missed on the way up.
But it is a long day and make sure you go on a clear day or the peaks will be obscured by cloud. Also I didn't have heaps of money and the food is not cheap. So I brought my own lunch with me.
But the best way to experience the alps in comfort.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank chris w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
48 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Awesome views”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2013

We travelled from Christchurch - Greymouth - Christchurch in one day in November 2011. We were very lucky to see the snow-capped mountains as it unseasonally snowed 2 days before our trip. If I was to do the trip again, I would stop over in Greymouth and Arthur's Pass, it was a very long day. The train was very comfy with all amenities and food and drinks. We loved the informative and humourous commentary. The Otira tunnel is pretty cool - it's pretty long and very steep. The open air carriage is great for taking photos. Make sure you take your camera and a jacket and beanie as it can get quite cold from the wind in the open air carriage.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Vectra113
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Beautiful scenery.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2013

We recently took my Mum on this trip.
The train is spacious and comfortable with all amenities on board.
We had hoped to travel through the Otira tunnel, but it was shut.
However we did get to travel over the gorge by bus, and this was amazing scenery, and something we wouldn't have seen otherwise.
Well worth the trip!!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Deb H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level Contributor
67 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Beautiful journey”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2013

We traveled from Greymouth to Christchurch on this lovely train. Plenty of stunning scenery to enjoy, and it was nice to sit back and enjoy this part of the South Island in comfort. We also enjoyed the open carriage, which was great for taking photos from.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank travelrulesAustralia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
633 reviews
291 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 791 helpful votes
“Immaculate train with superb views”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2013 via mobile

Myself and a friend travelled from Christchurch ('garden city') on the east coast to Arthur's Pass ('South Island's highest settlement') and back, although the train continues to Greymouth ('proud riverside town') on the west coast. My journey was two hours each way. TranzAlpine celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2012.

Pros:
-Friendly and helpful staff. For example the conductor made sure everyone was sitting in their correct seats. He even advised when the mobile phone signal would be lost.
-We had a pair of forward-facing seats with a shared table. There was also twin charger sockets at foot level (don't forget your adapter). An 'Our New Zealand' magazine on our table had a competition to win KiwiRail Scenic travel vouchers for email submitted stories and/or photos of the route.
-Clean and well-maintained carriages.
-Air-conditioned.
-Seats recline and head support height can be adjusted.
-Plentiful storage under seat or in overhead shelf.
-Wheelchair ramp built into a carriage door.
-Audio English-language commentary (headphones provided) along the route
-Tracking on ceiling mounted monitors of route. Journey so far marked in red.
-Buffet carriage with seating serving all day breakfasts, sandwiches & rolls, pies & savouries, hot meals and sweet treats, plus a range of beverages. NB. 'Kai' is Maori for food.
-Observation carriage - open-sided - quite an experience. The carriage was behind the two engines at the front and it felt warmer when travelling through a tunnel!
-Toilet with electronic door
-Great views of the Canterbury Plains and the Southern Alps snow-capped mountains. The train passes over several viaducts, through several tunnels and alongside the 'ice-fed' Waimakariri River (means 'cold water' in Maori).

Cons:
-Not the cheapest experience, but worth the money in my opinion.

Notes:
There is a waiting room and toilets at Arthur's Pass station and more toilets once you've walked through the tunnel underpass. In Arthur's Pass village there's a National Park visitor centre with souvenir shop, a Youth Hostel, a chapel and two cafes (one with WiFi, an ATM and a petrol station). I had a midday latte and cake in The Wobbly Kea and lunch across the road in Arthur's Pass Store. I also did a one-hour return walk to the Devils Punchbowl Falls.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
7 Thank jonotennis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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