The Tranz Alpine







About the journey

The TranzAlpine train operates between Christchurch, Arthurs Pass and Greymouth - from the east coast to the west coast of New Zealand's South Island. 

Travelling west crossing the Canterbury Plains, the train slowly ascends through spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River towards the Southern Alps to the alpine village of Arthurs Pass for a short break before descending through the Otira Tunnel to the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island, through lush alpine beech rain forests to Greymouth - a great base for visits to Punakaiki and the always popular glaciers at Franz Josef and Fox Glacier.

Scenic Plus Experience

When you take your Scenic Plus seat, in the exclusive carriage, you'll enjoy an enhanced dining experience where both hot and cold dishes are freshly made in the custom built kitchen carriage. The locally inspired, seasonal dishes are served at your seat, while you sit back and enjoy the sensational scenery. The complimentary drinks menu is carefully selected to match the sumptuous lunch and afternoon tea. Enjoy New Zealand's world famous Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir wines or sit back with a cold beer or freshly made coffee and tea.  Scenic Plus dedicated hosts are on hand to answer questions, add local knowledge and ensure you have the best journey possible. We recommend you travel the full traverse between Christchurch and Greymouth or Greymouth to Christchurch to enjoy the complete "Scenic Plus" experience.


The Carriages

The train's carriages have an advanced air bag suspension system for quieter and smoother travel, un-tinted, non-reflective, panoramic side and roof windows to capture the beauty of the Southern Alps and alpine forest landscape views of the central South Island, GPS-triggered journey commentary in five languages at your seat via headphones, plus information displays and overhead HD video and are centrally heated/air conditioned for passenger comfort.

Each carriage has onboard washroom/toilet facilities, with '2 Seat-Aisle-2 Seat' seating either as reclining forward facing seats with head and foot rests or 'Table Group' (4 people around a table) seating allowing you to experience the amazing views of the magnificent South Island, through the panoramic side and roof windows, while enjoying the company of other passengers.

This train has a café carriage offering a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, snacks, and light meals and an open viewing carriage for views of the Southern Alps and alpine rainforest landscape of the South Island's west coast.

The Tranz Alpine train is a non-smoking, reserved seating service.


For mobility-impaired passengers, there are spaces for wheelchairs and a disabled public toilet. Wheelchair hoists provide access to the café carriage from track level. 

For hearing-impaired passengers - a hearing loop covers all of the café carriage saloon and serving area.


Operating Days

22 SEP 23 – 06 MAY 24 7 days a week

07 MAY 24 – 19 SEP 24 Friday to Monday

20 SEP 24 – 05 MAY 25 7 days a week

06 MAY 25 – 30 JUN 25 Friday to Monday


 The TranzAlpine does not operate on Christmas Day.


Stops along the route include Rolleston, Darfield, Springfield, Arthur's Pass, and Moana (Lake Brunner).


Scheduled Track Maintenance

  • 25-27 May 2024 FULL CANCELLATION No busreplacements
  • 15-17 June 2024 FULL CANCELLATION No bus replacements
  • 27-29 July 2024 FULL CANCELLATION No bus replacements
  • 17-19 August 2024* FULL CANCELLATION No bus replacements
  • 26-28 October 2024 FULL CANCELLATION No bus replacements
  • 14-16 December 2024 FULL CANCELLATION No bus replacements
  • 17-22 May 2025* FULL CANCELLATION No bus replacements



More Details

You can travel from Greymouth by bus along the west coast down to Franz Josef, Fox Glacier, Wanaka, Queenstown, and Milford Sound or up to Punakaiki, Westport, and Nelson and then back to Christchurch.

You can take a day excursion from Christchurch to either Arthurs Pass or Greymouth travelling on the Tranz Alpine train.

So, sit back and enjoy a genuine Kiwi rail experience through the rugged Southern Alps and alpine rainforests of the South Island.