Showcasing the very best of the upper South Island including the award-winning vineyards of Marlborough, the majestic West Coast and the stunning scenery of Nelson. Includes Tranz Scenic Train Journey from/to Christchurch.
Depart the city of Christchurch for your first unique experience on the Tranz Alpine scenic train, which travels from one coast of New Zealand to the other. You’ll have great views of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River.
The train climbs into the Southern Alps before descending through lush beech rain forest to the West Coast town of Greymouth. This rail ride is 224 kilometres long and takes just four and a half hours. There are 19 tunnels and 4 viaducts, the highest being ‘The Staircase’ at 73 metres.
At Greymouth you will be met by a specialist guide and driven north to a stunning viewpoint to enjoy a gourmet lunch.
The drive continues on what Lonely Planet describes as one of the top coastal highways in the world – through luxuriant coastal forest, limestone cliffs and canyons, and an absolutely spectacular coastline, all packed into one tiny national park – Paparoa, which is most famous for the Pancake Rocks and blowholes of Dolomite Point, beside the little settlement of Punakaiki.
We visit the hidden gem of Charleston, a place rich in gold mining history that features rugged coastline, impressive sea cliffs and numerous small inlets, all shaped by the relentless sea.
We pass through the spectacular Buller Gorge, Kawatiri Junction and alongside the Kahurangi National Park on the
way to your accommodation in Nelson.
Spend two or three days based in Nelson – a city with a village feel, experiencing Abel Tasman National Park, exploring Golden Bay, wine, beer or food tasting or maybe an art tour.
The journey continues alongside the beautiful Marlborough Sounds before arriving in Picton to board the Coastal Pacific train for the stunning scenic journey back to Christchurch.
This journey is a scenic feast of New Zealand, with the Kaikoura mountain ranges on one side of your train and the rugged Pacific Ocean coastline on the other. Passing though the village of Kaikoura and some of New Zealand’s finest horticultural and farmland areas, you may see wildlife such as dolphins, seals and penguins from the comfort of your train carriage. One of the world’smost scenic train journeys, your Coastal Pacific train features an open air viewing carriage where all your senses are awakened with the clean, fresh, sea air. This service also includes a fully licensed café car and professional Train Managers who provide informative commentary to ensure a totally unique experience.
NOTE this tour can be done in reverse and can originate in Christchurch, Picton or Nelson.