If you’ve been on my blog before, you may have noticed my love of trains and mountains. When I realized I could take a train through the mountains in New Zealand I knew I had to do it! And so start my quest to take the TranzAlpine train.
It was actually the easiest way I could find to get from where I was on the West Coast to Christchurch where I would be flying out of at the end of my time in New Zealand. I took the bus up from Franz Josef to Greymouth and boarded the TranzAlpine Train to Christchurch.
Even though it was a dreary, rainy day as we departed Greymouth, I was still able to enjoy some of the scenery. I spent most of the journey in my seat, with a hot chocolate in hand, listening to the audio commentary. The audio commentary was actually one of the most enjoyable things about the ride. They gave informative and entertaining stories about the area as you passed through. I noticed a lot of the passengers didn’t bother with the commentary and just chatted with each other. But travelling by myself, I took advantage of it and would definitely recommend you do the same at least for part of the trip. It’s a great way to learn something new.
I did get up out of my seat and went to the open air cart at the back of the train for a little bit. There is one part of the journey where you are going through tunnel after tunnel. I felt like that was a good time to view the scenery without the rain drop covered windows. It’s the most exciting part of the trip. It was like a less thrilling, IRL version of Thunder Mountain at Disney World.
Now, you’re probably wondering how much this journey cost. I was pleasantly surprise that the TranzAlpine ticket was only $119 NZD. While that may seem like a lot for a one-way train ticket, I was expecting it to be more expensive. It’s marketed like a luxury trip and knowing how expensive mountain train travel can be in Canada, I jumped at the opportunity to only pay $119. I would say it’s definitely worth it too – that is if you enjoy trains and want to get some great views of New Zealand’s South Island scenery.
Have you taken the TranzAlpine train? What was your experience like?