TranzAlpine Rail Journey
Take an epic journey across New Zealand on the TranzAlpine.
Take in spectacular natural scenery on this world-famous rail journey. The TranzAlpine route is one of the great journeys of New Zealand which cuts across the South Island from Christchurch to Greymouth.
The trip passes through some of the country’s most stunning scenery and has been described as one of the best ways to see New Zealand. These are some of the places you can expect to see on board the famous TranzAlpine.
Your journey will either start or end in Christchurch, also known as the Garden City. The city is full of some of the most spectacular gardens in New Zealand. Don’t miss the Botanic Gardens, as well as the playful gardens at the Giant’s House. If you’re a foodie, you can’t miss the Christchurch Farmers Market, held at the historic Riccarton House every Saturday morning. You can sample fresh produce as well as meet artisan producers and brewers.
Arthur’s Pass National Park
Arthur’s Pass is located in the heart of the Southern Alps at an elevation of 920m. The National Park extends on either side of the pass, with each half having its own distinct character.
On the eastern side, there are wide riverbeds and swathes of beech forest. On the western side, you’ll find dense rainforest and deeply gorged rivers. If you’re lucky, you can spot the inquisitive alpine parrot, the kea. During the winter, Arthur’s Pass is a mecca for skiers and snowboarders. During summer, mountain climbers and trekkers flock to the park.
Moana (Lake Brunner)
Moana is a tiny settlement at the edge of Lake Brunner which has a camping ground and store. The lake is renowned for fishing and home to New Zealand’s brown trout. Open all year round, activities include swimming, water skiing, jet boating, walking and cycling tracks. There are also boats available for hire.
Finish your journey in Greymouth on the west coast. Check out the recreated gold-rush village at Shantytown Heritage Park, where there is a steam train, gold panning and more. Take a relaxing boat cruise around Lake Brunner, spotting wildlife along the way. You can then visit the Brunner Mine Site, dating back to the 1860s, to learn more about the area’s gold rush history.
If you are interested in booking a trip that includes the TranzAlpine rail journey, check out the 18-day New Zealand Panorama tour with Kirra Tours . This is one of Kirra tours most popular itineraries to travel the length of New Zealand. Visit RACQ Travel or phone 1300 096 166 for more information.