Train is the Best Way to See New Zealand

New Zealand truly is a beautiful place to visit. And one of the best ways to see it is by train.

The TranzAlpine whisks passengers from Christchurch and takes them through a rugged but scenic mountain landscape. The open-air viewing car is the best “seat” in the house — except when they close it for an 8-plus kilometer tunnel.

The Northern Explorer goes through the North Island from Wellington to Auckland, and it’s a great way to see both the mountains and the coast.

The Coastal Pacific connects Picton and Christchurch on the northern end of the South Island. The route travels through the Marlborough wine region and then along the coast, where travelers will see whales, sea lions, birds, and beauty everywhere. Many people get off the train in Kaikoura to go whale watching.

The TranzAlpine is the New Zealand train journey most often written about. The route travels through the Canterbury plains, one of the country’s richest agricultural regions, and then on through the start of the Southern Alps.

It’s a stunning ride, and travelers likely won’t find better scenery anywhere. Many people take it from Christchurch to Greymouth (the two ends), then go from Greymouth to the glaciers (Franz Josef being the most famous), and then onto Queenstown.

Greymouth is a cute little town for anyone wanting to experience a smaller New Zealand destination. While there is not much to do there, it is a beautiful location that showcases the country’s landscapes.

Visitors staying in Greymouth should visit Monteith’s brewery. It is a craft brewery with delicious food; visitors will find their beer across New Zealand.

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