Last year we spent a couple of weeks on the South Island of New Zealand.
As a train enthusiast one part of the holiday which was a must was a trip on the Tranz Alpine train.
Kiwi Rail runs a daily return trip across the top of the island from Christchurch on the East Coast, to Greymouth on the West Coast; taking five hours each way.
The train is very comfortable with huge windows, a buffet area, and an open air viewing carriage.
The scenery really lived up to the publicity as one of the worlds great railway journeys; as you can see from the photographs.
Although many people do the return journey in a day we decided to break the trip with an overnight stay in Greymouth as an 11 hour day seemed a bit too long.
Greymouth itself was a little disappointing as it is a port town, well past its heyday.
If you like a beer the Monteith’s Brewhouse in the town is well worth a visit to sample the beers and have a tasty meal.
My recommendation would be to use the train for one way travel only, and drive back to Christchurch over the mountains, or do some touring on the West Coast.