Taking the scenic route to Greymouth
Travelling around New Zealand’s scenic South Island is now both convenient and exciting because of the TranzAlpine rail service. South Island is the larger of the two islands that make up the land mass of New Zealand, despite being smaller in terms of population. This has meant that South Island has large expanses of unexplored, uninhabited land that is a haven for adventure tourists. Though North Island is better known for its cultural and urban attractions, South Island in stark contrast is known for adventure tourism, hiking and camping.
The TranzAlpine train service presents a captivating tour by not only offering unending wonderful vistas to travellers on their journey but also providing safe, comfortable transport. The journey starts in the historic city of Christchurch, which is also the second largest city in New Zealand. Following a four hour journey that covers 223 kilometres, one could arrive at the final stop on the journey: Greymouth which is known for its mining, forestry and above all eco-tourism.
Between the two cities, there are nine intermediate stops and travellers can choose to get down at any of these stations and continue on their journey later. Though the stops on the way are great places to explore on, the train journey itself is an amazing experience and is rated as one of the most picturesque in the world. Tourists are offered breathtaking views of the mountainous pristine countryside from the comfort of their carriage. The best place to experience these views is from the open-deck viewing van. Though the service was interrupted briefly following the Christchurch earthquake, it soon resumed services exemplifying the gutsy attitude of the Kiwis.
The TranzAlpine service runs between Christchurch and Greymouth daily and special tourist passes can be purchased online. Upon reaching the destination: Greymouth visitors can either choose to engage in the many adventure sports that the town is famous for or just laze around at a Greymouth hotel
. The town is also within easy access of some of the finest hiking trails on South Island. The alpine environment just begs to be explored and Greymouth accommodation
such as the Kingsgate Hotel Greymouth serves as the ideal base for this.