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Reviews (3,444)
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Traveler rating
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All reviews arthur's pass viewing carriage observation car south island open carriage buffet car southern alps large windows greymouth station open air new zealand audio commentary comfortable seats right hand side dining car return journey stunning scenery
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Reviewed March 9, 2019

We took this 2 and a half hour train ride from Christchurch to Arthur's Pass, spent about 5 hours there hiking and exploring, and then returned to Christchurch via the same train. This train ride also goes on the Greymouth, but we opted not to go that far.

The train ride itself was great! Very comfortable seating with tables to accommodate any meals or coffee you might purchase at the on board cafe. They offer headphones with commentary as you watch the landscape go by. I can't comment much on that as I didn't listen to it too much. But the scenery was absolutely beautiful! So stunning. There is one outdoor viewing platform where you can stand and take better photos and videos without the glare of the window glass. Unfortunately, this area did get a little crowded, but we were on the train so long that people kinda came and went, so sometimes it was really crowded and at other times there was plenty or walking room. Being out there is really only necessary for taking photos. If you'd rather sit and be more comfortable, the windows inside were huge so you wouldn't miss anything by being inside the train. All in all, a beautiful journey on a comfortable train and I'd highly recommend it!

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank Stephanie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robin H, Online Crew at TranzAlpine Train, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2019

Hi Stephanie H,

Thanks so much for the 5-star review! I'm happy to hear you had a relaxing journey with us, and thanks for the lovely feedback. The commentary is good for those who want to learn a little more about the journey and it's history - feel free to bring your own headphones too. I hope you enjoyed your time in Arthur's Pass!

All the best,
Emily | The Great Journeys of New Zealand

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Reviewed March 8, 2019

This was how we spent our second day in New Zealand after travelling from the UK, so we were both lulled to sleep at times in this very restful journay! The train was comfortable and there were cafe services available. The commentary was very interesting as an introduction to New Zealand and the varied landscape we travelled through. There was some very beautiful scenery, which looked different on the return journey, so a double whammy there! The train stops in Greymouth to offload onward travelling passengers. We had a bout an hour to grab a sandwich and sit int the sunshine to eat it near to the interesting monument to those who have died in mining disasters. The monument is very sobering.

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank wendy h
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robin H, Online Crew at TranzAlpine Train, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2019

Hi wendy h,

Thanks for travelling with us and taking the time to write us a wonderful review! A train journey is a great way to get over jet-lag :-) I'm glad you enjoyed your journey and I hope you enjoy the rest of your travels in NZ.

All the best,
Emily | The Great Journeys of New Zealand

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Reviewed March 7, 2019 via mobile

Went on The TransAlpine Train from Greymouth to Christchurch. The train was modern and comfortable with plenty of leg room. The food from the buffet car was good. The staff were all friendly and helpful. The viewings carriage was a bonus. The journey was not quite as scenic as I thought it would be, but that might have been weather related, as the clouds were low.

Date of experience: March 2019
Thank Nix28Nix
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robin H, Online Crew at TranzAlpine Train, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2019

Hi nicolae335,

Thanks for taking the time to write us a review. I'm happy to hear you had a nice journey with us, and I'm sorry to hear the weather didn't behave for you! Occasionally we experience some cloudy conditions but we normally say if it's cloudy on one side of the Southern Alps, it's sunny on the other :-) I hope you enjoyed the rest of your travels.

All the best,
Emily | The Great Journeys of New Zealand

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Reviewed March 7, 2019 via mobile

Husband and I had our second train ride in a few days - on this famous train. The views are as advertised and the crew very friendly. We were stuck at a table for 4, again. We like meeting people but this was less comfortable with no legroom.

Date of experience: March 2019
Thank Matthew S
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robin H, Online Crew at TranzAlpine Train, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2019

Hi Chi-charter_cruiser,

Thanks for taking the time to write us a review, I'm happy to hear you enjoyed the views! I'm sorry to hear about this experience, what I can recommend for next time is to add in a request in the comments section for the airline-style seats when you are booking. Other than that, you can ask the crew on-board to see if they have any other seats available.

All the best,
Emily | The Great Journeys of New Zealand

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Reviewed March 6, 2019

I loved every single aspect of this trip- the landscape is so pretty, and the carriage was comfy -with lots of glass so you cam have great views. There’s also a special viewing carriage with amazing breezes ...and a carriage that sells good food and drinks. Don’t expect the speeds of the TGV in France. This is better, slower. I have done to Rocky Mountaineer train trip in Canada which was so over -priced. This one is not. We saw seals amd gorgeous beaches and the repair of Kaikoura - this area was affected by an eathquake in 2016- and the train line through here I believe onky recently reopened. Can’t faukt anything, what a way to get from Picton to Christchurch in under seven hours, highly recommended.

Date of experience: February 2019
3  Thank Lou655
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robin H, Online Crew at TranzAlpine Train, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2019

Hi Lou655,

Thanks for the awesome 5-star review for our Coastal Pacific train! I'm so happy to hear you loved every part of your journey with us, the good thing about us travelling a little slower is you get more time to look at the views :-)

All the best,
Emily | The Great Journeys of New Zealand

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