After experiencing various aspects of Christchurch (one, two, three, and four), it’s time to make the journey over to the muchly-anticipated Westland on the South Island of New Zealand.
KiwiRail’s TranzAlpine train departs Christchurch at 815am, and arrives in Greymouth at 1245pm. The return trip leaves Greymouth an hour later for Christchurch.
The Google map below shows the route of the train up and over the Southern Alps; the red and green markers indicate scheduled stops at Springfield and Arthur’s Pass, respectively. At an altitude of 920 metres (3020 feet), Arthur’s Pass is the highest pass to traverse the Southern Alps. Arthur’s Pass was well known to the Maori as an east-west route, long before surveyor Arthur Dudley Dobson found his way over the pass in 1864.
It’s interesting to note that this is my first of four crossings over the Southern Alps. The view from the train proves to be an “appetizer” for what was to come. During my three weeks on the South Island, I crossed the mountains once by train, twice on coach, and one time from the air.
+5C/40F, at 745am: gonna be a brisk winter morning through the Southern Alps
Covered open-air observation car
Canterbury region, from TranzAlpine train
Hills of the Torlesse, Canterbury
Scheduled stop in Springfield
Through the Torlesse Range: big fields, big peaks, big skies
Gated entry and huge tracts of land
Upstream, Waimakariri River
Headwaters of the Waimakariri River
Just below Arthur’s Pass
Scheduled stop at Arthur’s Pass
The adjacent train
Down into Westland from Otira
Grey River (Mawheranui), Greymouth
Click on the arrow-window icon at the upper-left corner of the map below for the legend.
You can also check previous gallery-posts about traveling on the South Island:
• Interislander ferry from Wellington to Picton.
• KiwiRail Coastal Pacific train from Picton to Christchurch.
: No Connection, Unpaid, My Own Opinions. I have not received compensation for this post, and I have no material connection to Kiwi Rail or Tourism New Zealand. I made the photos above on 18 July 2012. This post is published on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-274