TranzAlpine Train Journey

Day Trip

One of the world’s most scenic train journeys also makes for a brilliant day out, however it won’t be running till we’re at Alert Level 1. Departing Christchurch at 8.15am, the TranzAlpine quickly traverses the Canterbury Plains to travel across dramatic viaducts spanning the braided Waimakariri river. Wrap up warmly if you’re in the open-air…

Castle Hill


In the Waimakariri Basin, about an 80-minute drive towards the mountains on SH73 from Christchurch, is a scattering of hundreds of weathered limestone tors that erupt from golden tussock hills. Officially called a karst landscape, these ancient rocks are smooth, sculpted, spectacular, and irresistibly photogenic. Named by Ngai Tahu Kura Tāwhiti, or “treasure from afar”…

Washpen Falls


We can’t wait to show you the hidden gem that is Washpen Falls. Described as ‘a pocket of paradise where moa once roamed’, Washpen Falls is a conservation project that started 80 million years ago with a major volcanic blow. Absolutely amazing place to walk, has a mixture of high farmland mountain where you can…

Peel Forest


Two hours south-west of Christchurch and concealed in the foothills of the Southern Alps near the rushing Rangitata river, Peel Forest is a compact reminder of the indigenous conifer forests that once blanketed this part of the South Island. Forest walking trails from 30 minutes to two hours duration lead to waterfalls and 1000-year-old trees,…

Hanmer Springs

Framed by mountains and with a town centre studded with soaring pine trees, pretty Hanmer Springs has an easy-going, almost European vibe. The biggest game in town are the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools, a versatile spot where visitors can enjoy exciting attractions, including the new Conical Thrill hydro slide, or just take it easy in…



Akaroa has been one of New Zealand’s most popular destinations for cruise ships across recent years and the country’s first French settlement has plenty to offer day trip visitors. Look forward to brilliant views as you crest the hilltop to descend to Akaroa; the name translates to “Long Harbour” from the local Ngāi Tahu dialect….

Lyttelton & Diamond Harbour Ferry


While some developments in Christchurch like the new Riverside Market showcase a modern sheen, the nearby harbour town of Lyttleton continues to celebrate its bohemian and arty roots. The best time to visit is on a Saturday morning when the heritage shopfronts along London St host the weekly farmers market. A great option for coffee…