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Thursday 12 Nov 2009
Christchurch, New Zealand

Transalpine Train Christchurch to Greyson

Quite a scenic day.  The train ride from Christchurch to Greymouth was about 4.5hrs in each direction with a few stops along the way to pick up additional passengers.  Mostly old coal mining towns - one town population 40 !  The train had an observation car that was completely open (rail guards of course) with a chilly wind blowing  but proved to be exhilarating and had some great photo opportunities.

One town, Otira, has a hotel and about 6 little cabins that can be rented for $110.00 per week during the summer.  Not quite sure what you'd do for a week in Otira but....   Apparently years back an Auckland couple drove through Otira and fell in love with the hotel.  They returned a few months later and put an offer on the hotel and their offer was accepted - $75,000.  Quite a bargain but little did they know that for $75,000 they not only bought the hotel, the bought the entire town !   They recently received an offer of $1,000,000 and they turned it down.... Go figure....  Arthur's Pass, another whistle stop along the journey, is South Island's first National Park (established 75 years ago). 

Anyway... the journey took us across the expansive patchwork of Canterbury's Plains' farmland, winding through spectacular gorges of the Waimakariri River through the Southern Alps of New Zealand's South Island.  We only had about 45 minutes in Greymouth, time enough to stroll the main drag (only about 4 blocks) and grab some lunch for the return train ride.  Even picked up a gluten-free cookie for dessert (just for you-Maven !).

Our butts are recovering from 9hrs (seats could have had a bit more cushion) but we're none the worse for wear.  We ended our day with a great dinner at Dux de Lux, and a night cap at  Mad Cow (just for you P & JT !)... Check out the photos.... No bar stools here... saddles only !

We leave Christchurch and head north to Nelson Friday...

When viewing pictures for today - filter by -  New Zealand then - Christchurch (a 1/2 dozen or so new ones), Arthurs Pass, Otira, Greyson.  Narrows it down so you don't have to sift through all of the pictures every time.

3 Comments for this Travel blog entry

lola Says:

12 November 2009

OK - now I am jealous of the couple who bought the town! Those alps are beautiful, just beautiful....

BC Says:

13 November 2009

Yeeha! Ride 'em cowboy! Gotta love those saddles for barstools. Sounds like a wonderful day finished off at The Mad Cow, who could ask for anything more?

P Says:

13 November 2009

have to say, ur doing a great job on the narrative! How 'bout writing travel books?

Tony and Ellie's Adventure

Travel blog by tonyandellie

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Photo Album

  • Mad Cow sign

    Christchurch

    New Zealand

    Mad Cow sign
  • Disco lights...

    Christchurch

    New Zealand

    Disco lights on bar we were bellied up to
  • Disco lights

    Christchurch

    New Zealand

    Disco lights
  • Giddy Up Lil'...

    Christchurch

    New Zealand

    Giddy Up Lil' Pony !