The TranzAlpine is a scenic tourist train that travels from Christchurch to Greymouth.
The journey is 223 kilometres (139 miles) one way and travels across the Canterbury plains, alongside the Waimakariri River and through the Southern Alps. It is regarded as one of the top scenic train rides in the world.
There are 3 passenger cars A, B, D. The C car is a café car serving meals, snacks and beverages. KiwiRail Scenic Journeys currently serves prepackaged meals from catering company Wishbone. Staff can heat up meals. The meals are reasonably priced but many passengers seem to bring their own snacks as it is only a four-and-half-hour trip one way.
An open viewing car was located at the front of the train, offering the best opportunity for photos and a breath of fresh air.
The train departs Christchurch at 8:15 am and travels across the Canterbury plains with stops at Rolleston, Darfield, Springfield and Cass.
The train stops at Arthur’s Pass for approximately 20 minutes, which is a good opportunity to get off have some fresh air, take some photos, throw a snowball or two.
After Arthur’s Pass train stops at Otira, Jacksons, Moana (Lake Brunner), Kokiri before a scheduled arrival in Greymouth at 12:45 pm.
The train returns from Greymouth at 1:45 pm arriving in Christchurch at 6:05 pm. It is possible to do the TranzAlpine as a day trip or have an overnight stay in Greymouth.