Connecting Your Journey
The TranzAlpine is best known as a magnificent day-out from Christchurch. However, this epic journey can also fit perfectly into a tour or circuit of the South Island.
Connecting with New Zealand on the TranzAlpine
Whether you are travelling around New Zealand on public transport or hiring a car or campervan, the TranzAlpine is the best way to soak up the stunning sights of the Southern Alps.
Connecting by train
If you are using public transport to see New Zealand, then our passenger services will connect you from Auckland to Greymouth in epic style. Your route will start with the Northern Explorer in Auckland, followed by sailing the Interislander from Wellington to Picton, and then cruising down the east coast on the Coastal Pacific before arriving in Christchurch.
Your onward route is then across the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine to Greymouth where you can connect with the southern tip of the South Island by coach. We sell Throughfares that include the interconnecting InterCity coach journey to Fox , Franz Joseph or Queenstown to help get you on your way. This loop will bring you back to Christchurch, where you can fly back to Auckland to complete your tour.
Connecting with the TranzAlpine by car
If you are touring New Zealand by car or campervan, then you deserve to book yourself a day off from driving! So why not park up in Christchurch or Greymouth and let us show you the spectacular Southern Alps while you sit back and relax.
From Christchurch, you can do the return journey in a day. The TranzAlpine stops in Greymouth for an hour, which is plenty of time for lunch before climbing back on-board. Or, you can hop off at Arthur's Pass for a few hours to explore the Southern Alps before catching the train back again mid-afternoon.
Alternatively, the train is far less busy from Greymouth and the TranzAlpine makes for a very relaxing afternoon travelling through the Alps. You will then arrive in Christchurch in perfect time for dinner out in the city. Then return back the next day or a couple of days later, however the mood takes you.
Perhaps the best option though is to leave your hire car behind and then pick up another from the other end. Both Christchurch and Greymouth have plenty of car rental firms for you to choose from. This enables you to complete your circuit without doubling back.
Take your time, add a Stopover
Why cruise straight through that beautiful landscape and leave it all behind? There are a number of stops along the TranzAlpine route that are worth exploring and taking a couple of days to complete the journey makes it an invigorating journey.
With a Flexi or Flexi Plus ticket, you can stop off along the journey for a day, a week, or a month, for no extra charge. This allows you to explore New Zealand fully, whilst returning to the relaxing calm of the Northern Explorer at any time to continue your journey onwards.
From Christchurch, the first major stop is Springfield. The landscape here is phenomenal. The town sits on the vast, flat, Canterbury Plains, but just a couple of miles to the west, the Southern Alps ascend from the ground like primordial skyscrapers. Activities in the area include serene walks and horse trekking into the foothills of the mountains.
At the middle of the TranzAlpine's journey, the train ascends to Arthur's Pass - a very popular stop for exploring the mountains. The township of Arthur's Pass has plenty of accommodation and is the perfect base camp for exploring Arthur's Pass National Park.
Lastly comes Moana, a sleepy fishing town set on the banks of Lake Brunner. At Moana you can connect with your inner peace as you wander around the walking tracks or fish on the idyllic lake surrounded by greenery and tranquillity.
Connect with the West Coast
At the end of the line is Greymouth, where you can connect with New Zealand's rugged West Coast. This region of New Zealand is famous for its chiselled landscapes and the pure glaciers of Fox and Franz Joseph. A touch further south and you will enter the adventure playground of Queenstown, where bungy jumping, white water rafting, jet boating and skiing are just a few of the dangerous activities you can put yourself through. InterCity operate coaches along this route and you can buy them as part of you TranzAlpine ticket.