Timings : 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Time Required : 5-6 hours
Entry Fee : NZD 119
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The TranzAlpine train is an inter-city rail service that runs across New Zealand from the East coast to the West coast. This passenger train is known to be one of the world's most scenic and iconic train journeys. The journey starts from Christchurch and ends at Greymouth, across the South Island in New Zealand. It is operated by the Great Journeys of New Zealand, a project under Kiwirail, and covers around 223 kilometres. The TranzAlpine train is one journey visitors should take if they have several places on their list and not enough time.
The train journey is pre-booked and planned, stopping at each destination for a fixed time. There are reclining seats with a panorama view and ample leg room. The airbag suspension on the train enables comfortable and smooth rides. The train also has a cafe-bar selling reasonable rates of tea, coffee, wine, beer, and microwaveable meals. At the end of the train, there is an open-air viewing platform for those who wish to get a better view of the scene, allowing scenery suitable for photography and videography. As a result, TranzAlpine has become one of the most popular attractions with local and overseas tourists.
The entire journey takes around 5 hours to complete as it passes through 16 tunnels and 4 viaducts. It starts at around 8:15 AM from Christchurch Railway Station which is around 3 kilometres away from Christchurch city centre and ends at around 1:05 PM at Greymouth Station. The return train starts from Greymouth station at 2:05 PM.
The fee for the TranzAlpine train journey is as follows:
Starter fare costs NZD 119
Flexi Fare NZD 189
Flexi fare offers visitors with facilities such as:
Free unlimited stopovers
Fully flexible dates which are refundable up to 24 hours before departure
Fully changeable stops up to 24 hours before departure
Booking is available any time before departure.
Departure from Christchurch Station is at 8:15 AM
The train reaches Rolleston Station at 8:33 AM and departs from there at 8:34 AM.
The train reaches Darfield at 8:55 AM and leaves from there at 8:56 AM.
It then reaches Springfield at 9:29 AM and departs from there at 9:20 AM.
The train reaches its mid-way point at Arthur’s Pass at 10:51 AM and leaves from there at 10:52 AM.
The train reaches Otira at 11:26 AM but does not stop there.
It then reaches Moana at 12:05 PM and departs from there at 12:06 PM.
The train reaches its final destination at 1:05 PM at Greymouth station and the return journey starts at 2:05 PM.
At around 9:20 AM, the train starts its climb to the Southern Alps, creating a view of the Waimakariri Bridge on the right side.
In order to ensure a comfortable and hassle-free journey, visitors should aim at reaching the Christchurch station around 20 minutes before departure. The small modern rail terminal was opened in 1993 and visitors can check-in at the desk in the main entrance hall in order to get their seat numbers prior to departure.
As soon as the train starts, visitors get a view of the small wooden suburban bungalows and Addington cement works followed by the farmlands, Canterbury Plains and the Southern Alps.
The train reaches green and grassy plateau dotted with hills at around 9:40 AM.
At 10:15 AM, the train reaches Arthur’s Pass, creating a clearer view of snow-capped mountains.
At 12:00 PM, the train reaches the Old Brunner Mine, which is right across the valley next to the Grey River. This mine was a part of one of the most devastating mine disasters of New Zealand in 1896.
Visitors can feel free to order food and drinks from the cafe-bar at any point during the journey.
The train reaches Greymouth at around 1:05 PM and visitors should definitely try Cafe 124 which is on the main road just along with the station.
Carriage seating plan
Secure baggage carriage
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