Following a morning pickup by air-conditioned coach from your Christchurch hotel, travel by road through the rural pastoral scenes of the Canterbury Plains to Springfield where you will board the TranzAlpine train. This has been rated as one of the top 10 train journeys in the world.
View the Alpine Scenery through panoramic windows as the train winds its way through the stunning Waimakariri Gorge into the mighty Southern Alps and on arrival into the small alpine village of Arthur’s Pass your driver will once again meet you off the train and explore the alpine Village.
Time for lunch at a local cafe before viewing and driving down the 440 meter long Otira Viaduct a major NZ engineering project - the viaduct is one the most earthquake prone regions in New Zealand and it has been designed to withstand seismic forces 40 percent higher than the usual maximum for such structures. In the late summer months the bright flowers of red rata (metrosideros umbellata) add to the beauty of the Otira Gorge. This tree is not found on the eastern side of the Southern Alps but blooms only in the moist western valleys, you will also encounter the NZ Kea rated as one of the most intelligent birds in the world they have very inquisitive natures and found in most South Island alpine environments.
On leaving Arthur’s Pass you will travel by road through the foothill ranges of the Southern Alps, in the basins with winter snow there are several small ski fields and with unique limestone rocks surrounding the area this is also popular for rock climbers.
We then join an exhilarating jet boat ride through the spectacular gorges of the Waimakariri River then visit a local Sheep farm with sheep shearing, a sheep mustering demonstration and a late afternoon tea.
In the late-afternoon, hop back aboard your coach for the drive back to your Christchurch hotel, where your tour will come to an end.