While we were in New Zealand we did a day trip on the TransAlpine Train across the Southern Alps in the South Island from Christchurch on the east coast to Moana close to the west coast. It is touted as one of the best train trips in the world.
Years ago we drove around the North and South Islands but this time we were going to do some train trips and visit different places.
The train leaves Christchurch early in the morning and crosses the Canterbury plains and then ascends into the alps. It winds along river courses teetering on the edge of cliffs and.................
crosses many trestle bridges on the way.
There is an open air carriage from which to take photos but naturally it was crowded and difficult to get good shots. The sky was dull too. Looking down into the gorges was breathtaking.
As we climbed higher the weather became misty and showery.
We stopped at Arthurs Pass, a little town half way across the island, high in the mountains. It is a great place for mountain hiking.We got out to stretch our legs but is was very cold and wet. In winter the alps are covered in snow but this is summer.
The train pulls into the little station of Moana. A small town on the edge of picturesque Lake Brunner. We and a few others chose to get off here to have lunch and a walk along the lake edge. The train continues onto Greymouth on the coast. Then it returns and picks us up for our trip back to Christchurch.We walked over pedestrian overpass to get to the cafe.
The view from the overpass was lovely despite the bad weather.
The cafe is perched on a small hill overlooking the station and the lake. It is a beautiful place to relax and drink in the serene views.
The view from our lunch table.
After lunch we tried to walk around part of the lake but the rain worsened and we took shelter in the station but popped out for a wee walk (as the New Zealanders say) when the rain eased.
After 2 hours the train returned.
I took these shots through the window as it was too wet to stand outside. But the scenery was still beautiful.
As we rolled over to the eastern side of the alps the weather brightened.
We crossed the rivers and clung to the ridges and finally snaked out of the alps and back onto the plains and headed home to Christchurch. Wow! What a great trip!