Duration: 7 Days
Price: From $1,195 NZD
Departure From: Christchurch
Departure Date: Check under Departures & Timetable
Tour Type: Independent Tour
Meal Plan: N/A
Physical Grading: 2ENQUIRE NOW
It’s time to enjoy the Top of the South Island train tour on this succinct 7 day independent journey that includes the breath-taking TranzAlpine and the wonderful Coastal Explorer scenic rail journeys.
The Top of the South Island train tour will take you from the Sea to the Mountains and back to the Sea, you begin your circle trip in Christchurch with the iconic TranzAlpine train to Greymouth. Discover the ‘Coasts’ untamed natural wilderness of rivers, rainforests, and geological treasures, along with its rich mining history as you drive up the West Coast.
A stop at Punakaiki enables you to marvel at the Pancake Rocks and watch as water shoots skyward from the blowholes at high tide. Maybe one of the West Coast’s stunning sunsets will also be on the cards!
Further along its a chance to get amongst the beautiful rainforest of Paparoa National Park onboard the Charleston Nile River Rainforest Train. A short interpretative train ride in open carriages through tranquil rain forest in to the magnificent Nile River Canyon. You pass through the film sites for the “The Lost World” and enjoy a short walk along the towering limestone cliffs to the Nile River Suspension Bridge.
Westport, is the oldest European town on the West Coast. Established during the gold mining era it is steeped in history from the bygone days through to its present day coal mining industry. Be sure to visit the museum which provides a glimpse of what it’s like to work underground.
Westport is a great base to seek out the hidden gems of the Buller District, such as Cape Foulwind, home to a seal colony, a lighthouse and a coastal walkway giving panoramic views of mountains and coastline.
The road to Nelson on your Top of the South island rail tour is scenic and interesting, beginning with the steep, bushclad, forbidding Buller Gorge. Its worth a stop at the Buller Gorge Swingbridge Adventure and Heritage Park – here is New Zealand’s longest swing bridge, standing a clear 17 metres above the Buller River and spans 110m.
In Nelson, your stay includes 2 nights so you can explore the city and its thriving arts and crafts scene. If you would like to add a scenic helicopter flight in the Abel Tasman to Awaroa Lodge where you can indulge in a delicious gourmet lunch, please contact Loco.
Lastly, your final leg of your journey is on the Coastal Pacific Scenic Train from Picton to Christchurch. Time to sit back and relax, enjoy a glass of wine or head into the open-air carriage as you head down the coast. You may even spot some dolphins frolicking in the bays.
Please contact LOCO for any pre/post travel arrangements we can help you with beyond your Top of the South Island train tour.
The TranzAlpine has recently brought in two distinct service levels to their train journey. Both classes are worthy of what you pay, and both a thoroughly enjoyable way to make the most of your TranzAlpine train experience.
Glide through the heart of New Zealand’s beautiful scenery in Scenic Class carriages, with epic landscape views filling your window while you relax in your seat.
In Scenic Class you’ll experience spacious reclined seats with generous amounts of legroom and comfort, panoramic windows, glass shelves and skylights. And to heighten your comfort, state-of-the-art airbag suspension has been used to guarantee a smooth ride across our rugged New Zealand terrain.
While onboard, you might like a stroll to the Scenic Cafe carriage where you’ll find a great selection of hot and cold snacks, drinks and ice creams. Indulge in a freshly brewed specialty tea or barista coffee married with a sumptuous cake? Or perhaps toast your special journey with a bottle of bubbles?
The Scenic Cafe opens for coffee and breakfast before the train departs and continues serving throughout the day. You can take a seat in the Scenic Cafe carriage and feast upon the views whilst eating. But you are also welcome to return to your seat to dine and drink if you would prefer. The day is yours to do as you choose!
During the hot summer months, the Open-air Viewing Carriage is a great place to get some fresh air and enjoy the great outdoors while on the move. You can whittle away the hours chatting and gazing out upon spectacular scenery and wildlife. It is also that perfect place for capturing those magical views on camera.
Learn the stories of our land while you travel by plugging into the Scenic Class Audio Commentary at your seat. The commentary provides a seamless stream of stories, narratives and facts about the places outside your window and is available on all three Scenic Class services, including the Northern Explorer, Coastal Pacific and TranzAlpine.
Inside the refined Scenic Plus Class carriages, it’s more than just a journey. You’ll be treated to fresh food, captivating commentary, great hosting and spectacular views, all delivered to your seat while you ease back and enjoy the journey. There really is no better way to discover New Zealand.
At the heart of the Scenic Plus experience is the refined Scenic Plus Class carriage, with huge panoramic windows, glass shelves and skylights, bathing you in those gorgeous coastal and mountain landscapes.
With freshly prepared food inspired by the fields that glide past your window and regional wines to match, you’ll be immersed in the flavours of our land. As you admire the views our Scenic Plus hosts will recount the stories and histories of the passing landscapes and landmarks.
When you step off the train, you will have experienced some of the best New Zealand has to offer.
Please note, Scenic Plus Class experience is currently suspended.
Your accommodation for the Top of the South self-drive tour has been based at high quality, comfortable motels and hotels.
For a detailed itinerary, the TranzAlpine and Coastal Pacific timetable, departure days, and fare conditions, please see below.
For more information about this tour, price queries and updates on specials, please Enquire Now.