The TranzAlpine Express is one of the worlds great train journeys and makes for a remarkable and memorable travel experience. From Christchurch, the train winds its way across lush prairies and farmland, climbs the pristine New Zealand Alpine Mountain Ranges and proceeds along rivers, through deep and long mountain tunnels before making the descent through the sub-tropical rain forest as the journey comes to an end on the island's west coast.
An interesting excursion on this popular train journey is a stop at Arthur's Pass, the south island's highest settlement. This is an area of stunning natural beauty and of course has many activities for nature lovers to enjoy. Skiing and snowboarding are popular on the high peaks of the region as is mountain climbing. There are also many inviting walks and pathways through the national park lands.
The journey from Christchurch to Greymouth on the south island's west coast takes about four and half hours. The train makes several stops on its journey and passengers may disembark along the way or continue all the way to Greymouth where overnight accommodation is available. This is the perfect place from where to explore the rugged west coast and the historic mining town that sits along the Grey River.
Train service departs Christchurch every morning with an early afternoon arrival at Greymouth. The return journey arrives back into Christchurch in the early evening. The train has an onboard cafe with light snacks, beverages and beer, wine and mixed drinks.