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Is it worth the coach journey to/from Franz Joseph?

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Is it worth the coach journey to/from Franz Joseph?

Looking to come to NZ for just a week and have already planned to meet friends in queens town for three days.. so what do we do with the four ?

As I'm getting more into the detail I'm appreciating the distances involved !! Therefore my plan of heading to Franz Joseph and taking the Tranzalpine railway is panning out like this.. what do you think ?

From Queenstown to FJ it's about a 5 hr coach journey we then plan to Heli Hike the next day on the glacier. It's then about 4 Hours upto Greymouth the morning after that to catch the train. Unfortunately the first day of train engineering works starts on the day we want to catch the train and we will be coaching it from Greymouth to Arthurs pass (about 2 hrs).

With accom Hike etc it will cost around 1200 NZD.

My questions are:

Is it worth the 11 hours on the coach over the three days?

If we are seeing such beautiful scenery but can't stop along the way does it still give you the feeling of 'seeing' the place.

Whats the best bit of the train journey - is it from CHCH to Arthurs pass - are we missing out on a lot from Arthurs pass to Greymouth (I understand this is the side of the longest tunnel so have a feeling we might actually see more on the coach but wanted to get your thoughts.

Our other alternative is to stay longer in Queenstown or longer in Christ Church or longer in Sydney but then don't feel we have really done NZ any justice

Sorry It's such a long one !

Greymouth, New...
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1. Re: Is it worth the coach journey to/from Franz Joseph?

The road from Greymouth to Arthur's pass i better than the train journey, as the train misses out the otira gorge, with its roack protection, the water fall goine over the road and the viaduct which extends up the valley.

the train travels through the Otira tunnel at this point, and the view from inside any tunnel isnt that great.

Greyouth to Otira, the train follows through Moana, the alternative road transport may use the road which is almost besid ethe track all the way , or it may travel via Kumara, then meets up with the railway line at Jacksons.

New Zealand
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2. Re: Is it worth the coach journey to/from Franz Joseph?

Welcome to the forum BJ :)

The bus Queenstown to Franz takes about 8 hours. Is it worth it? Only you can answer that. You will certainly find plenty in Queenstown to fill your days.

When do you plan to travel?

You could head to Chch via Aoraki/Mt Cook - a stunning drive and less mileage than the West Coast glaciers.

So you could;

1 bus to Aoraki/Mt Cook

2 explore http://www.glacierexplorers.com/

3 bus to Chch

3. Re: Is it worth the coach journey to/from Franz Joseph?

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