The TranzAlpine

The fabled TranzAlpine is back on the rails and waiting for you to book your rail trip. Often referred to as one of THE Great New Zealand Rail Journeys, it is now time to find out why – from as little $109!

Travel from coast to coast between Christchurch and Greymouth and take in the wonders of the Canterbury Plains, the Southern Alps and the West Coast. This modern, luxury train has been traversing back and forth taking hundreds and thousands of international tourists through stunning scenery via Arthur’s Pass for countless years. Now it’s going to be just Kiwi’s, and you are welcome aboard.

The TranzAlpine’s Special is the perfect opportunity to enjoy this world class 5 hour, 119km journey. This train trip is completely flexible so if you want to hop off along the way, add selected activities, include pre or post accommodation or transfers, that is all possible – just let us know.

Tour Highlights

  • TranzAlpine One-Way Journey
  • Reserved Seating
  • Panoramic Windows
  • Licensed Cafe for snacks, hot drinks and meals
  • Terrific audio commentary telling the stories of what you can see
  • Air Conditioning and heating for those cooler days
  • Disability Accessible
  • Enjoy the open-air viewing carriage for that photo opportunity

TranzAlpine Booking Classes

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.

Scenic Class 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.

Scenic Plus Class Experience

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 and savour the flavours, 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. 

Duration: 1 Day

Price: From $109 NZD One-Way

Departure From: Christchurch or Greymouth

Departure Date: Long Weekends (Fri-Mon) until 29 March 2021 - plus daily during Spring School Holidays

Tour Type: Day Tour

Physical Grading: 1


Departure Dates & Timetable

  • The TranzAlpine is operate a limited edition ‘long weekend’ service, operating Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday until 29 March 2021.
  • A daily service will operate during the SEP/OCT school holidays
  • There is one departure each way on operating days.
  • The TranzAlpine departs Christchurch at 08.15 arriving into Greymouth at 13.05.
  • The TranzAlpine departs Greymouth at 14.05 arriving in Christchurch at 18.31.
  • You must be at the station at least 30 minutes prior to departure.

Pricing Notes

  • The TranzAlpine Springtime Special for a one-way journey from any point of origin to any destination.
  • Stop-off anywhere along the way, for as long as you want, for an extra $10 per stop
  • Free date changes outside of 24 hours.
  • Advertised Price is per person from $109 to $229 one-way
  • Child fare is available for 2-17 years. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Infants under 2 are free when sitting on an adults lap.

Tour Itinerary

Your TranzAlpine Journey
Starting at Christchurch on the east coast of the South Island, the TranzAlpine begins its journey by roaming across the vast patchwork plains of Canterbury - one of New Zealand's primary agricultural regions. On the far side of the plains, you will arrive at Springfield, where the Southern Alps rise from the plains like megalithic skyscrapers, creating a seemingly impenetrable barrier. For many years, Springfield was the end of the line with the Alps forming a formidable blockade. Eventually, a route to the West Coast through the Alps was agreed upon and construction began. This section, between Springfield and the township of Arthur's Pass, is considered a masterpiece of railway engineering and is the section for which the TranzAlpine is most famed. The route firstly heads north-east to join the Waimakariri River gorge. This aqua-blue river will appear and disappear out of your window several times as the TranzAlpine clings and climbs up the cliffs above it. During the ascent to the high plains of Craigieburn, there are 15 short tunnels and four dramatic viaducts, including the 72-metre high Staircase Viaduct. The most iconic views come at the far end of the Craigieburn Straight, where the high plains stretch out to give a stunning view of Mount Binser and the edges of Arthur's Pass National Park. Shortly after, the train meets again with the Waimakariri River and then crosses it to reach Arthur's Pass. This section is stunningly beautiful and is where the famous views of the TranzAlpine crossing the Waimakariri River are taken. From Arthur's Pass, the TranzAlpine descends through the 8.5km long Otira Tunnel. This landmark structure was the second longest tunnel in the world when it was completed in 1923. It's historic completion also marked the completion of the Midland Line and the opening of the railway line from Christchurch to Greymouth. The Otira Tunnel marks the transition from Canterbury to West Coast and the landscape becomes remarkably different on the far side. The weather is typically wetter and the scenery more green and vibrant. The TranzAlpine follows a series of river valleys as it descends to Greymouth, starting with the Otira River and the Taramakau River. During these stretches, you are nestled intimately between the mountainous hills, with the rugged, broad, riverbeds meandering alongside the tracks. At Inchbonnie the TranzAlpine loops back on itself to head around the lush lake valleys to Moana, on the banks of the spectacular Lake Brunner. The TranzAlpine then joins the Arnold River valley which spills out into the Grey River valley on its final stretch before finally pulling into Greymouth in perfect time for lunch. If you are undertaking a return journey, your train departs Greymouth in the early afternoon before returning to Christchurch by early evening.

For more information about this tour, price queries and updates on specials, please Enquire Now.