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Arthur's Pass National Park with TranzAlpine Train Tour from Christchurch

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Christchurch, New Zealand
Arthur's Pass National Park with TranzAlpine Train Tour from Christchurch

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon9 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds


Travel by TranzAlpine railway to Arthur's Pass National Park, riding across the Canterbury Plains, then winding through Waimakariri Gorge and into the heart of the Southern Alps on this day trip from Christchurch.  An informative guide takes you on a minivan tour of Arthur's Pass, including short rain forest walks past rivers to mountain vistas at Castle Hill. Enjoy a hotel lunch and light refreshments before the return trip via Waimak Gorge. This small-group tour is limited to eight participants, ensuring a more personalized experience.
  • Travel across the Canterbury Plains to the breathtaking Arthur's Pass National Park on this full-day tour from Christchurch
  • Scenic TranzAlpine train journey
  • Enjoy guided walks of Arthur's Pass National Park with many spectacular mountain vistas
  • Delicious morning and afternoon tea
  • Visit a country hotel for lunch
  • Fully escorted and informative commentary
  • Small-group tour with maximum eight passengers provides a more personalized experience with your guide
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Lunch at a country hotel
Guided walks of Arthur's Pass National Park
Hotel pickup and drop-off from centrally located Christchurch hotels
Air-conditioned vehicle
Travel by TranzAlpine train
Light refreshments
Local guide
Cruise port pickup is not available

Departure Point

Addington, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand

Your guide will be holding a sign displaying name for tour booking at check in area.

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
You’re picked up at your hotel in Christchurch and transferred to the railway station to board the TranzAlpine for one of New Zealand’s most scenic train rides. Relax during the journey to Arthur's Pass.

Your independent rail trip crosses the flat farmlands of the Canterbury Plains before winding through Waimakariri Gorge and the high country’s tussock fields until you reach the magnificent Southern Alps. En route, pass multiple tunnels and viaducts including the 240-foot-long (73-meter) Staircase. 

On arrival at Arthur's Pass, you’re greeted by your guide for a small-group tour of the national park by minivan, following a former stagecoach route down Otira Gorge, a commonplace for the Maori to search for greenstone. Hop off the minivan for several short bushwalks as you’re guided along riverside paths in the forest. 

Back in your vehicle, drive through the South Island high country, stopping to view the craggy cliffs at the Cave Stream, which meanders underground. From the highway, get a glimpse of Castle Hill where weatherworn limestone outcrops form a unique mountain landscape. If you’ve got the energy, you can hike to the top for an encompassing view of the surrounding countryside.

Your full-day tour includes morning and afternoon tea along with lunch at a local hotel before you make the return trip to Christchurch by minivan, stopping in the sweeping Canterbury Plains to see Waimakariri Gorge.
Stop At:  
TranzAlpine Train
Journey across the wide expanses of the Canterbury Plains into high country surrounded by rugged mountain ranges. After leaving the Canterbury Plains, the landscape dramatically changes into sub-alpine we head towards the spectacular Southern Alps. View the Waimakariri River and its unique braided riverbed system. Enter Arthur’s Pass National Park where short walks can be made to experience forests, rivers and mountains vistas.
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Arthur's Pass National Park Visitor Centre
Follow the old stage coach route and travel down the spectacular Otira Gorge, testament to the road builders of the 1860's and the route taken by the Maori in their quest for greenstone. View Cave Stream where it burrows underground in an area of limestone cliffs and gorges, craggy outcrops and a setting of mountains to the east and west. This area was also used as for the filming of C.J Lewis’ story – “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. The incredible Castle Hill rocks, unique weatherworn, rain smoothed outcrops of limestone are seen from the highway. Lunch at a country hotel, included in cost of tour.
Duration: 4 hours 
Admission Ticket Included
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • A percentage of the tour price is used for the conservation of New Zealand's wildlife, environment and it's endangered species
  • Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 8 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Canterbury Trails
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on sanitization during Arthur's Pass National Park with TranzAlpine Train Tour from Christchurch?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Arthur's Pass National Park with TranzAlpine Train Tour from Christchurch.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Arthur's Pass National Park with TranzAlpine Train Tour from Christchurch?
A:The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
See all safety measures taken by Arthur's Pass National Park with TranzAlpine Train Tour from Christchurch.

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123 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 123 reviews
Perfect day trip in Christchurch.
, Jan 2020
The tour was excellent with our small group of 4 guests. Our tour guide, Peter was the best. TransAlpine Train is very unique as it goes thru the plains and southern Alps with very different scenery. After disembarking the train our short walking tours of Arthur’s Pass was quite enjoyable. Finishing with a pint of beer and tasty lunch at a quaint local hotel. Overall had a great day. Thanks again to Peter our tour guide making it feel very personable.
icon Response from Host , Jan 2020
Thank you for your lovely review. Glad to hear you enjoyed your day in the mountains with Peter. It is a spectacular spot!
Great train ride and hikes in the Park
, Jan 2020
Just about everyone agrees the tranzalpine is a great train ride and this tour took in the best part leaving us at Arthur's Pass to explore the park with our guide. No long hikes but the short walks were very scenic and photogenic,
icon Response from Host , Jan 2020
Thank you for your review. We agree that the TranzAlpine train is a must do and a great way to access the Arthurs Pass National Park.
Awe inspiring
, Mar 2019
Peter our friendly guide picked us up and customized our day, accommodating our preferences and the weather. Awe inspiring scenery, despite the incessant drizzle, tempered by Peter’s informed observations plus a comfortable train and minibus drive, made for an interesting day.
Should not be missed! Beautiful...
, Mar 2018
Should not be missed! Beautiful views, comfortable train ride and great hiking after we were off the train with the group. Out tour guide, George, was terrific and knowledgable, taking us to a number of interesting places including the amazing Castle Hill.
Great tour guide - Train to pass was...
Barbara P
, Mar 2018
Great tour guide - Train to pass was crowded, but commentary very educational with great views and vistas. Met our tour guide for a van trip into Arthur's Pass, walk through a forest area, that was a little more difficult than I anticipated. Tour guide was helpful in helping me complete the trail, which had several steps throughout both down and up with no handrails for support. She rewarded us with brownies, tea or coffee, which was nice Another stop for lunch and scenic views - Good lunch, though slow service. One more stop on way back to Christchurch. Overall a good experience with an interesting small group of 6 and our guide.
Awesome trip!! I was traveling alone...
, Dec 2017
Awesome trip!! I was traveling alone so it ended up being worth the money for me in terms of having a group to travel with. If you're already with a group already however it would way cheaper to just do the itinerary on your own if you are able. If you like comfort and convenience then this is definitely the way to go. You get to just sit back relax and enjoy while someone else handles all the logistics, which in and of itself it super valuable. The trip itself is just amazing, the natural beauty in NZ is astounding. Again, you could see all of it on your own with booking this tour, but it does have it's perks. I think it just depends on your circumstances. If you have the money and like convenience, it could be a good fit for you.
Started at 7.15 am with the prompt...
, Jul 2017
Started at 7.15 am with the prompt arrival of Peter our guide for the day. He drove us to the Tranzalpine train station and organized our tickets and off we went on a 3 hour train ride in quiet comfort across the Canterbury Plains then ascending the mountains, pictures do not do justice to how spectacular and beautiful this area is. Upon arriving at Arthur's Pass. Peter met us and proceeded to take us around the area making a number of stops to take in stunning vistas, short walks and waterfalls. All the time imparting his knowledge and obvious passion and pride for the area. This was interspersed with picnic hamper morning tea/ coffee and delicious Choc brownie. Then on to a late lunch caught up in roadworks at the Bealey Hotel great food and large portions. Not to mention and another great view of the area. From here we went on to Pearson Lake, tranquility plus..... and last and by no means least a stop and walk at Kura Tawhiti, to see huge limestone boulders... Thanks Peter you made an awesome day so much more interesting, informative and fun....
Great Experience - beautiful scenery...
Rohan J
, Jan 2017
Great Experience - beautiful scenery from the train going there, while there and while headed back. John was a great guide and a great host and company for the small group! The walks were intensive but uncomplicated and the scenery quite breathtaking. Thank you! Rohan
Great trip and the driver marina was so...
, Nov 2016
Great trip and the driver marina was so nice and experience light up the trip
My tour leader: Chris Platt is very...
Harry Saputra
, Apr 2016
My tour leader: Chris Platt is very nice person. he is friendly and helpful. I like the national park, amazing..

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