New Farm Park, Brisbane

Friday, March 11, 2016

TRANZALPINE TRAIN NEW ZEALAND

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!

25 comments:

  1. just riding on that train would be an adventure and add all that beauty and it is a double WOW train ride.. love the crashing waves shot..and that gorge is just stunning.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Must have been a beautiful trip despite the bad weather. It always find it so funny that the same towns or village names exist in New Zeeland or Australia, the immigrants took their towns with them ! Christchurch and Canterburry, lol !
    I had once a blogger his Blogs name was "Live in Waterloo" it was not the original Waterloo, but one in .... Mexico !!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks so much for sharing this virtual tour. Pity about the rain but it looks a magnificent trip. Have a good weekend t'other Diane

    ReplyDelete
  4. How brilliant! So it was a day trip Diane? You have got me all enthused now, I haven't taken a day train trip for such a long time.. actually I can't ever remember taking one here :) The scenery here is just spectacular despite the rain. You guys sure know how to enjoy retirement!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fantastic! Incredible scenery out there in New Zealand. I always enjoy my trips with you Diane and thank you for taking us along.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello, Diane! Your train ride was amazing. The scenery is gorgeous. I like the shots of the gorge, the views of the mountains and the lake. Sorry about the rain! Thanks for sharing your trip! Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Beautiful scenery despite the rain.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It is a trip I have always wanted to do. While NZ is not very wide, I am surprised it is only a day trip. The scenery is just breathtaking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems the train runs through the winter too. Snow clearing at Arthurs Pass https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6acPX_00M9Q

      Delete
    2. Yes it goes all year round. I believe it is even more beautiful when the alps are covered in snow.

      Delete
    3. It takes 4 hours to Greymouth and 4 hours back. It stays 2hrs so you can have lunch then returns. From 8:30am to 6:30pm.

      Delete
  9. Yes,you had a fantastic trip into the alps. Your photos are beautiful, the area spectacular. Love the photo of the river. Glacier colour like the River Rhein in the Swiss Mountains. I have been to the North Island but would love to see the South. NZ has every day earthquakes, did you feel any?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, We felt 2 shakes while in our hotel in Christchurch. Our friends showed us a website that records the tremors. There are over 20 a day but many are small, you only feel the bigger ones.

      Delete
  10. What a spectacular train trip. The scenery is gorgeous. I'm glad you enjoyed it in spite of the rain.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a fabulous train trip Diane - cold and wet on higher ground but you've still captured the moments. It's something I would love to do one day!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Fabulous photos Diane! The scenery is so magnificent. We went on that train one June...it was freezing and only a few braved the observation carriage. I wasn't one but DH was there taking photos though.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great trip with beautiful views. Sad you had bad weather, but that is why NZ is so green I think.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wonderful scenery of hills and mountains.
    Have no desire to travel to NZ..

    ReplyDelete
  15. Awesome day-trip... I'd love to take that ride since, like Bill, I LOVE trains.. Even with the rain, you got some great pictures... I'd love to go back and see it in WINTER.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great photos! I've done that train trip too, back in about August 1998 I think. The snow topped view of the Alps certainly is spectacular, and well worth going all the way to Greymouth for.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The lanndscape is great and it reminds me European Alps in Austria or Swiss

    ReplyDelete
  18. That sounds like a great train trip. I'm going to tell my best friend who is in NZ for 4 months with her husband. I love your photos of the magnificent NZ landscape.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Fabulous train journey! There is really something magical about a rail journey. (Maybe it's just that the driver in the family gets to see it all too...that's probably what Bill would think. I get to watch when we RV too.). But scenery such as you show us here usually isn't accessible by car ... Majestic! We would have opted for the walk and eat break in the charming little village too!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Incredible scenery. Too bad you didn't have prettier weather, but still it looks like it was enjoyable.

    ReplyDelete