NZ Travel Alternatives
February 8, 2017 1:32 PM   Subscribe

Let's go to Christchurch and take the Coastal Pacific Train! Oh, closed due to earthquake damage...Ok, let's fly to Christchurch from Picton and take the TranzAlpine to Greymouth! Oh, closed due to brush fires now...What should we do instead?

We arrive in Picton in early March, stay overnight, and were planning to fly to Christchurch, take the TranzAlpine to Greymouth, hop in a car and meander down to Queenstown via a night in Franz Joseph. With the cross-country train out, are there other super awesome, scenic, can't-miss travel options to bridge our gap?
posted by undercoverhuwaaah to Travel & Transportation around New Zealand (5 answers total)
We really enjoyed taking a whale watching boat in Kaikoura. I'm guessing you already took the ferry from Wellington and did all the fun stuff there.
posted by Grumpy old geek at 2:27 PM on February 8, 2017

Be mindful of anything involving KaikĊura, as in, do your due diligence in researching your options. I think they are doing ok post-quake but not all businesses are back up and running yet.

Is there any reason you wouldn't want to hire a car and drive between Christchurch and Greymouth? I agree it's not the same but it's still beautiful, some even say it's more scenic plus you can get out at Arthur's Pass and stretch your legs. If you aren't comfortable with driving on the left, or bad weather (summer doesn't always mean much here, especially in the South Island) you might consider the West Coast Shuttle service. Doesn't stop at all but it's comfy and takes about 4 hours all up, might be a nicer option than an Intercity Bus.
posted by BeeJiddy at 3:44 PM on February 8, 2017

Agree with hiring a car & driving. It only takes ~2hrs to drive coast-to-coast non-stop, so you'll have plenty of time to stop along the way.
posted by HiroProtagonist at 5:16 PM on February 8, 2017

The top of the south island is pretty great too. If you tell us how long you have and what your interests are, we can probably help more.
posted by superfish at 11:59 PM on February 8, 2017

Good surfing around Westport and on the west coast. The springs at Hanmer are nice. The mountain passes are beautiful throughout. Heard good things about Abel Tasman but never made it there myself.
Fair warning though - my experiences are about 8 years old at this point. The whole south island was really friendly for cycling in my book.
posted by LegallyBread at 9:07 AM on February 10, 2017

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