Southern Alps Experience

8 hours | Christchurch (Lyttelton) | C H C - 1 0 0
Average Guest Rating
$ 359.95
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Points of Interest

  • Tranz Alpine Railway
Includes meal; Includes snack, Moderate activity


Be sure to read the Special Notes further down this page for important requirements and restriction.

Your easy, full day adventure begins with a motorcoach journey across scenic Canterbury Plains, a patchwork quilt of pastoral countryside that lies serenely between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Sit back and soak up the sights as your driver/guide shares expert narration on the history and culture of Canterbury and the flora and fauna of the ever-changing landscape. As flat as a billiard table, the plains host a wide array of agricultural activities from grazing grass and wheat to herbs and sunflowers. In fact, the area produces more than 80 percent of New Zealand's grains, crops and seeds.

Soon you'll be arriving at Homebush Stables in Darfield. Originally built in the 1850's for the Deans Family, it is a property rich in history and beauty. Enjoy a lovely morning/afternoon tea with your engaging hosts before continuing on your journey.

Arriving at the highest pass in the Southern Alps, you'll disembark the motorcoach and, if time permits, enjoy free time at the Arthur's Pass Visitor Centre. The diamond-cut crags and peaks of the Southern Alps include so many natural wonders that four national parks have been set aside to preserve and protect them.
You can learn about the Maori hunting parties that traveled here in ages past and about the road that converges here with the railway line. Built to service the gold fields of West Canterbury in Hokitika and credited with opening up the west coast of New Zealand to settlement, these engineering accomplishments offer contemporary travellers an unforgettable way to explore the landscape.

You'll board the Southern Alps Express and watch in awe as the rail belt descends through the misty mountains, your route crosses a series of steel girder bridges over deep gorges and crosses through a series of short tunnels. The highest viaduct is the famous 'Staircase' which hovers 246 feet above the river below.

Enjoy a relaxing train ride onboard carriages that include both one way seating and tabled group seating. Along the way, soak up the amazing views and savour a picnic-style box lunch and beverage. Be sure to bring your camera as there are many opportunities to capture great memories of your favorite spots.

Arriving at the railway junction of Rolleston, you will transfer back to a motor coach for the memory-filled return drive back to Akaroa and the pier.

Special Notes:

Tour order may vary
Travel by train is one-way (2 hour journey) with some narration and the other way is by motorcoach (Approximately 5 Hours) with driver/guide offering a full narration
Be prepared for changeable weather at Arthur's Pass
No room to store wheelchairs on the train & Guests must be able to climb the 3 steps into the train


Tour timeline may vary to avoid overcrowding, etc.

Depart Wharf for Homebush Stables

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Morning/Afternoon tea at Homebush

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Depart Homebush for Arthurs Pass

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Arrive Arthurs Pass

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Depart on Southern Alps Express train and travel to Rolleston Station

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Depart Rolleston to wharf via short city sights time permitting

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