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TranzAlpine & Tranzcoastal Train | Addington City Motel - Christchurch
Log in to get trip updates and message other travellers. Log in Join Recently viewed Bookings Inbox. I've read somewhere that if booking online from a Ranked 12 of Attractions in Christchurch. Using Greymouth-Christchurch as an example, if you're outside NZ then you only see: Z next year Looking at purchasing tickets for TransAlpine train Is it See all questions Map updates are paused. At around 9am the train calls at Springfield, where fresh muffins are loaded aboard for the cafe-bar As it climbs, the train crosses a series of steel girder bridges over deep gorges and through a series of short tunnels.
The highest viaduct is the famous 'Staircase', 73 metres above the river. The scenery here is spectacular. Hills give way to more mountains, liberally hung with mist. Almost immediately after leaving Arthurs Pass the train enters the Otira Tunnel. It was only completed in , allowing direct train travel from east to west across the South Island. This section of line was once electrified, but now a door closes behind each train, allowing the train to act as a huge piston, forcing the diesel fumes out. Just the other side of the tunnel is Otira itself, where the TranzAlpine makes a very brief call.
Otira was a railway town, running the railway that kept the coal flowing from the west coast coalfields to Christchurch and the rest of New Zealand. The train now follows a deep valley containing a broad shallow river. It crosses that river on a low bridge several times. Ever more mist-laden mountains flank the valley, a wonderful part of the journey.
Watch out for waterfalls This was the site of New Zealand's worst mining disaster in An ancient suspension bridge links the railway side of the river with the mine. The train passes Dobson, an old coal-mining town though all the mines are now closed. The TranzAlpine reaches Greymouth, a small town even by New Zealand standards, but it's the west coast's main centre. Even if it was warm and sunny in Christchurch, don't be surprised if you need your umbrella in Greymouth! Greymouth's wooden station building now houses an extensive gift shop and travel centre.
Buses leave from just outside the station for destinations down the west coast, including Franz Josef Glacier. If you're returning to Christchurch the same day you have an hour to explore the town or find some food - try the Cafe , on the main road just along from the station.
The town clock is on the river bank, originally housed in the tower of the impressive colonial post office. The post office and its tower were demolished as they were thought to be an earthquake risk, and the clock now stands in its own short wooden tower. Next to it on the river bank is a sign which warns against eating fish caught next to the nearby sewer outlet. These photos show the old TranzAlpine train which used rebuilt coaches until You'll now see the same wonderful scenery, from a far nicer more modern train, see the new train photos above!
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After leaving Christchurch the train stops briefly at Springfield in the Canterbury Plain. The Southern Alps lie dead ahead The Tranz-Alpine train ascends into the Southern Alps over a series of girder bridges and tunnels The river is now in a gorge way below the railway The train reaches a plateau, crossing and re-crossing a board shallow river Enjoying a Devonshire cream tea from the cafe-bar. Fabulous scenery in New Zealand's Southern Alps More fabulous views in the Southern Alps Yet more beautiful scenery The open-air viewing car allows you to get up close and personal with the outdoors, great for photography The train is still alongside a river, now with thick green bush on either bank.
The town clock at Greymouth. The sign on the right warns you not to eat fish caught next to the sewer outlet!
New Zealand all over
A ride on the Tranzalpine This video gives an excellent idea of just how good the TranzAlpine train ride can be! If you're going to travel on all 3 trains from Auckland to Wellington, across on the ferry and down to Christchurch and on to Greymouth, the 7-day pass will save money and give flexibility. To buy online see www. Railpasses are temporarily unavailable, at least while the Coastal Pacific train is out of action. Custom-made train tour specialist Railbookers www. UK call , www. US call free , www. Canada call free , www. Australia call toll-free , www. New Zealand call toll-free or see website.
So you have 2 pleasant and interesting hours crossing the mountains and reaching 2, ft at Arthur's Pass. When we arrived in Christchurch we had had enough of this bumpy ride, and were glad we had not booked a day return, as some people do. Frankly, I've been on more interesting train journeys in Switzerland, though it wasn't too bad, certainly not the highlight of our holiday.
Dependending upon when you book you may or may not be in a position to take advantage of any specials being offered. Booking airline tickets is a case in point.
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- Beware Tranzalpine train fares - Greymouth Forum.
If you book early you may miss out on later specials, but you are booked and confirmed. I have travelled the Tranzalpine on a number of occasions and always on a day return from Christchurch. This is the only way one can do a day return as the train doesnt leave Greymouth for CHCH until around 1.
TranzAlpine & Tranzcoastal Train
We have found that the travel from East to West is much more pleasant and picturesque as you experience the climb up into the Southern Alps , the difference in scenery and changes in scenery until you reach Arthurs Pass. Once you leave Arthurs Pass and head down through the Otira tunnel the topography and scenery changes dramatically as you cross under the great divide into some of the dampest parts of NZ. Coming from West to East you arrive at the highest point coming out of the Otira tunnel and the mountains are behind you all the way into CHCH. If travelling in winter a significant part of the evening travel across the Canterbury plains is in darkness arriving in CHCH at around 6.
From a positive aspect Tranzscenic refunded you the fares and allowed you to take advantage of the specials on offer. Many travel organisations wont do that. Still you appeared to have enjoyed your trip and I hope you enjoyed or are enjoying the rest of your stay in NZ. I recently contacted Tranzalpine via email to inquire as to whether not their tickets were refundable - I received prompt and helpful email responses, but was told that since we had looked at the website from the US, only one expensive fare was available, but they could book us on a cheaper fare - also Senior discounts are available.
There are apparently quite a few difference prices. We booked by phone and paid full price.