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The TranzAlpine is one of the world’s great train journeys, traversing the Southern Alps between Christchurch and Greymouth, from the Pacific Ocean to the Tasman Sea, passing through Arthur's Pass National Park. En route is a sequence of dramatic landscapes, from the flat, alluvial Canterbury Plains to narrow alpine gorges, an 8.5km tunnel, beech-forested river valleys, and a lake fringed with cabbage trees.

The 4½-hour journey is unforgettable, even in bad weather (if it’s raining on one coast, it’s probably fine on the other). The train departs Christchurch at 8.15am and Greymouth at 2.05pm.