For your TranzAlpine Train & Guided Nature Walk in Arthur’s Pass National Park Tour you will be picked up from your Christchurch hotel and taken to board the world-famous TranzAlpine Train.
Leaving the suburban bungalows of Christchurch behind, you will travel across the flat open farmland of the Canterbury Plain. As you look out of the carriage windows, the first glimpses of the Southern Alps will soon appear. When you reach the broad, braided Waimakariri River, the climb into the mountains begins.
The train stops at Springfield, the area where scenes from films like “Lord of the Rings” and “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” were shot. Brown tussock grasslands give way to lush rainforest and misty mountains as you approach Arthur’s Pass. At 737 metres above sea level, this is the highest altitude settlement in New Zealand. Here you leave the train and will be met by your Arthur’s Park National Park guide.
Led by your guide, you will explore the National Park and enjoy short walks to experience forests, rivers and mountain vistas. The length of the walks varies with the weather and the interests and fitness of the group. The usual schedule is 2 or 3 short walks ranging from 10 minutes to 45 minutes. These can be adjusted for the needs of your group.
Next, you will board a de luxe mini coach and follow an old stage coach route down the spectacular Otira Gorge. Departing Arthur's Pass, you will travel through the high country and a stop can be made to view Cave Stream where it burrows underground amid craggy outcrops and a setting of dramatic mountains. The incredible Castle Hill rocks, unique weatherworn limestone outcrops, are seen from the highway and the more adventurous may wish to walk to the top of the rocks for magnificent views of the surrounding countryside.
The return journey to Christchurch will include a visit to the Waimak Gorge where the Waimakariri River enters the vast Canterbury Plains.
At the end of the tour you will be dropped off back at your hotel in Christchurch.