Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or have been meaning to explore more of the South Island, you’ll find ease, comfort and excitement is all part of the journey on the TranzAlpine train. And while it’s one thing deciding where to go, it’s another choosing where to bunker down. So we’ve hand-picked a stack of unique places to stay in New Zealand – from Christchurch, all the way to the West Coast. Enjoy.
Designed around environmental sustainability and minimalist luxury, Pure Pods are the perfect place for partners, friends, or if it’s a solo trip – just you. Operating fully off the grid and overlooking dramatic landscapes, you’ll step into tranquillity. Each pod is safe, and warm, with a flushing toilet, sleek shower and fully equipped kitchen. The Pōhue PurePod is one of the best Christchurch accommodation options around, just an hours drive from Christchurch train station it will have you feeling miles away but close enough to your destination.
SiloStay lies in Little River, just 30 minutes from Akaroa and 45 minutes from Christchurch. As the name suggests, the accommodation is located in Silos, with quirky interiors, eco-friendly systems, Wi-Fi and a garden. There are even different packages, like the eBiking adventures – a luxury, guided e-bike adventure. Just hop off the TranzAlpine, hire a car and enjoy the scenic drive there.
If you’re yet to visit Arthur’s Pass, you’re missing out. Being just over two hours from Christchurch and just over an hour from Greymouth, it’s a great halfway point between the TranzAlpine’s bordering destinations. Geoff and Renee's homestay is what you might call quintessentially Kiwi. With views of the surrounding forest and peaks of Arthur's Pass National Park, it’s the place to recharge your batteries and enjoy a home-cooked meal paired with good company. Bliss.
Want to step back in time? Try the Otira Stagecoach hotel. Soak in the breathtaking views, get cosy in the Victorian-like four poster beds and exhale. After a day of exploring and sight-seeing, it might be just what you’re after. There’s also a restaurant, free Wi-Fi and coffee/tea on tap. And don’t forget a camera, you might spot a horse-drawn carriage.
Greymouth and West Coast
If riding the TranzAlpine train isn’t enough, you might like the idea of getting cosy in Te Pahika – a unique train carriage built in the 1900s. Having a fully equipped kitchen, as well as a bathroom and outside deck to wine and dine, it’s a quirky, fun way to spice up your usual accommodation. Better still, it’s completely self-contained and private, but the hosts are on hand should you need anything. And being just 15 minutes from the Greymouth centre, it’s a great Greymouth accommodation choice
Te Nikau Retreat has all the comforts of home, with character cabins, stunning nature and all round fantastic hospitality. It’s also a stone’s throw from the always scenic wild West Coast. Bunker down on a crisp winter’s night, enjoy some freshly baked goods and unwind. Or, if you want something thrilling, catch a wave in Tauranga Bay, saddle up for a horse trek, or get ‘On Yer Bike!’ for a 4WD adventure like no other.
Woodpecker Bay Batch is life on the edge, literally. Built on solid rock, this iconic bach has been braving the elements since the 1900s. Expect total privacy, views of a white sandy beach and, if you’re lucky, a penguin or two. There’s even Wi-Fi available, should you need it. But keep in mind that the nearest shops are thirty minutes away, so it’s well worth stocking up on supplies beforehand. The nearest TranzAlpine train stop to Woodpecker bach is in Greymouth, which is just a 45-minute drive.
Another must-see town on the West Coast is Hokitika – think untamed wilderness historic sites and friendly faces. If you’re after total comfort and relaxation, Teichelmann’s bach could be just right. After a day of exploring – there’s the Hokitika Gorge, art galleries, historic sites and more – you’ll be welcomed with open arms. Each room is quaint and cosy, with crisp linen, tea and coffee facilities, an ensuite and more. Hosts, Ben and Francis, are on hand to help with anything you need, but if you’d rather stick to yourselves, you’ll be left in peace.
If the ocean’s calling your name, Breakers Boutique has the perfect recipe. Hosts Jan and Stephen will make you feel right at home, with incredible sea view rooms, their cosy guest lounge, a delicious breakfast and more. The accommodation isn’t the only reason to settle here, though. It’s also the perfect base for hiking, biking, fishing, photography and all round outdoor adventure. Your hosts will be happy to share everything they know about this incredible slice of paradise.
Getting there on the TranzAlpine train
And there you have it – a stack of top places to stay in New Zealand and along the TranzAlpine train. But as they say, it’s just as much about the journey as it is the destination. And that’s exactly what you can expect on board the TranzAlpine train. Stretching from the East to West Coast and back, you’ll experience the majestic Canterbury Plains, mighty Southern Alps and more – all through panoramic windows from your comfy seat. Feeling peckish? Our café carriage has everything from a roast dinner, to cheese platters, to fresh seasonal fruit. Top it off with something from the sweet treats section – we’d recommend the Kapiti ice cream or caramel slice.
Once you’ve filled your bellies, it’s well worth checking out the open air carriage. It’s the best way to get closer to the outdoors – we’re talking uninterrupted views of coastlines, mountains and native forest. So don’t forget your camera – and a coat.
All in all, the TranzAlpine train has all the right ingredients for the trip of a lifetime. Forget overseas travel book your New Zealand holiday with us and escape to paradise.