Since our previous European trip, we have been loving the idea of taking day trips. It is very interesting to take a trip from a major city to an exciting destination & coming back on the same day. If you have been following our blog for a long time, then you will also understand our love for trains! On this trip to New Zealand, we got a real nice combo in the form of TranzAlpine train journey.
We had read about TranzAlpine in many articles on the internet where it was mentioned under ‘best train journeys in the world’. Fortunately, when we were planning about New Zealand, TranzAlpine was functional & we got to experience this magnificent journey.
Cost of TranzAlpine’s Tickets
TranzAlpine is truly a luxurious journey. The cost of its tickets is usually available in 3 categories – Starter, Flexi & Flexi Plus. Tickets under starter are restricted & in limited numbers which get sold out very quickly.
We got our ticket under Flexi category & it cost us $179 one way per person. The total cost of this day trip (Christchurch – Greymouth – Christchurch) was $358 per person. The benefit of booking under Flexi was that it was 50% refundable in case of cancellation & it gave us one free date change. Flexi Plus gives a full refund in case of cancellation & offers unlimited date changes, so if you are unsure of your itinerary, go for Flexi Plus.
The cost may look a bit high & trust me, this journey is totally worth the price. The landscapes that we saw from the train were truly breathtaking.
How Punctual Is TranzAlpine?
TranzAlpine was extremely punctual throughout the entire journey. The timings that they mention on their website regarding the itinerary are very accurate. You can truly compare TranzAlpine’s punctuality to the Swiss Transport System.
This also means that you need to be very careful while planning your TranzAlpine adventure. To get done with the check-in process quickly, reach the station at least 15 minutes in advance. If you are late, you might miss the train.
How Comfortable Is TranzAlpine?
The good thing about TranzAlpine is that everyone gets a designated seat on the train & every window is panoramic. The windows were without any scratches so the view throughout our journey was fascinating! This journey is around 5 hours one-way & we were taking a day trip which meant that we were spending 10 hours on a train itself. This was concerning initially as trains usually don’t have so much of legroom & comfort but luckily, we were proved wrong by TranzAlpine. The seats were very comfortable & this entire journey was simply relaxing.
What Are The Services On Board?
The real star of TranzAlpine is its open-air carriage though. This single carriage is truly open. It is very safe to go out there & click lots of pictures. For them, the safety of the passengers is paramount & it shows in their open-air carriage’s design. If you are going there during Winter or Spring, make sure you are wearing your jackets while venturing in this part of the train. The panoramic views that we got from this carriage were simply outstanding!
The café of TranzAlpine is another good thing about the train. Since the journey is relatively long, the café is a savior. They do have an elaborate menu ranging from basic chips & chocolates to sandwiches & heavy food like lasagna, Thai curry, etc. Guests are not allowed to consume alcohol on board & the only exception being café-purchased alcohol. Also, they don’t overcharge like many luxurious trains around the world & we felt their café food was very decently priced.
If you prefer eating your own food, you can bring that on board. But they do advice (and we agree) to not bring anything that has a strong odor so that your fellow passengers don’t get uneasy with the smell.
What Should I Do With My Heavy Baggage?
If you are traveling one-way, you might be having a significant amount of luggage, but don’t worry! TranzAlpine has a dedicated space for big bags. Just check-in those big bags & they will be put in the dedicated carriage. This will help you explore the train & enjoy the scenic New Zealand landscapes freely.
TranzAlpine offers a fantastic train journey in the South Island of New Zealand at a reasonable cost. The long journey doesn’t feel long because of its comfortable seats, dedicated café on-board & separate space for baggage. We enjoyed our day trip with TranzAlpine & we highly recommend it.
Pictures: Awara Diaries
Book TranzAlpine directly from The Great Journeys of New Zealand’s Website.