Christchurch to Franz Josef Tour via Hokitika with TranzAlpine Train

Christchurch to Franz Josef with TranzAlpine

Take an unforgettable day trip from Christchurch to Franz Josef with Cheeky Kiwi Travel for the ultimate West Coast adventure. This iconic journey takes you on a bucket list adventure along the ever-changing coastline, passing through hidden gems and quaint towns, offering spectacular opportunities to stop and explore.

Your journey begins with the world-renowned TranzAlpine train ride towards Arthur’s Pass, offering panoramic views of the majestic Southern Alps. Upon disembarking, you’ll be warmly greeted by a Cheeky Kiwi guide who will lead you through to Franz Josef, showing you the most spectacular sites along the way.

 Complete your West Coast adventure with Cheeky Kiwi by adding an onward journey from Franz Josef to Queenstown via Wānaka.

TranzAlpine Train Journey
Franz Josef to Christchurch Tour - Otira Lookout
Though through Arthur's Pass
Hokitika Gorge
Franz Josef Tours

Key details

Tour overview

Destination Highlights: TranzAlpine Train Journey, Arthur’s Pass, Otira Gorge Lookout, Hokitika, Hokitika Gorge.

Tour starts icon
Ends Franz Joseph
Tour Duration Icon
12 hours approx
Tour Inclusions Icon
Lunch & snacks included
Train Icon
All Ages Tour


$489 / adult

$387 / child

  • Fully-guided tour led by an experienced guide
  • TranzAlpine train tickets included
  • Small group size for a more interactive experience
  • Modern, comfortable minibus equipped with WiFi and USB charging ports
  • Thoughtfully planned itinerary featuring stops at listed destinations
  • Lunch included – please specify any dietary requirements when booking
  • Free snacks and bottled water
  • Free cancellation with a minimum of 24 hours’ notice
Cheeky Kiwi Travel Tour Bus

Tour itinerary

1. Railway Station/Christchurch

We start our journey towards the wild West Coast by picking you up from our hotel pick-up locations and dropping you off at Tower Junction to catch the TranzAlpine train to Arthur’s Pass. This journey offers open viewing carriages, allowing you to enjoy the stunning scenery through panoramic windows.

2. Arthur's Pass

Our guide will be waiting to greet you as you arrive at Arthur’s Pass, with the majestic Southern Alps providing a stunning backdrop. Once collected, our guide will go over the available activities, which include a walk to Devil’s Punchbowl or exploring the local shops nearby.

Devil’s Punchbowl – This walking track takes approximately one hour and includes a gradual incline with steps leading to a spectacular 131-meter-tall waterfall. The walk is of low to moderate difficulty, winding through lush bush and forest.

Arthur’s Pass Village – Grab a bite to eat, a coffee, and shop for some local goodies! This village offers a great opportunity to get to know the area. Please note that the train service is operated by a third party, and delays of up to 30 minutes may occur, potentially affecting the time available for the walk. We appreciate your patience if this happens.

3. Otira Gorge Lookout

Known as Death’s Corner, the Otira Viaduct Lookout offers an amazing view of the national park. This impressive 440-metre-long bridge makes driving Arthur’s Pass possible and is an excellent spot for photos of the bridge and surrounding landscape. You might even spot a cheeky kea, New Zealand’s alpine parrot! We then head towards the charming town of Hokitika.

4. Hokitika

Experience the laid-back atmosphere of Hokitika, where nostalgia and natural beauty converge. Enjoy lunch and a stroll along Hokitika’s wild beach, where black sand meets the rugged coastline. Our guides allow ample time to explore this “cool town” and its many offerings.

5. Hokitika Gorge

After lunch, we head to the hidden gem of Hokitika Gorge, known for its striking turquoise waters and lush native bush. This enchanting gorge is a favorite among nature enthusiasts and photographers for its unique beauty and unforgettable vistas. After capturing some Instagram-worthy shots, we proceed to our final destination for the day, Franz Josef.

6. Franz Josef

We arrive in the tranquil town of Franz Josef, a treasured gem in New Zealand. Here, you can embark on thrilling hikes with awe-inspiring views and experience the majestic glaciers up close, whether on foot or from the air. Our guide will check you into your accommodation, marking the beginning of your Franz Josef adventure.

Want to book an onward journey from Franz Josef? Check out our day tours from Franz Josef to Christchurch.

Why book with Cheeky Kiwi Travel?

TripAdisor Traveler's Choice

Top rated tours

1,500+ five star reviews on TripAdvisor

Tour Group

Small group size

Enjoy a more interactive & personalised tour experience

Famously Passionate Guides

Famously passionate tour guides

Our authentic & knowledgeable guides go the extra mile to make you smile

Comfortable tour buses

Complete with air conditioning, USB charging ports and good vibes!

Extra Surprises on Tour

Extra surprises

Surprise stops, wildlife viewings & other little delights along the journey truly set our tours apart

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Customisable NZ tour packages

Explore our full-range of tours and add-ons to customise your New Zealand adventure

About Our Guides

About our guides

At Cheeky Kiwi Travel, our famously passionate guides are the heart of your adventure. Each guide is an engaging host who brings rich knowledge, enthusiasm and a personal touch to every tour. All Cheeky Kiwi guides have clean, passenger-endorsed driver licenses, are trained in first aid and receive comprehensive training before they hit the road with you. Whether it’s revealing hidden gems, sharing fascinating stories, or ensuring your comfort and safety, our guides go the extra mile to make your journey truly unforgettable.

Guest reviews

“This was one of the highlights of my trip to New Zealand. I’m glad I specifically went with this tour as it is smaller and more intimate. Driver Ben was hilarious, informative and enthusiastic throughout the entire day.” – Ryan F

“Such a great tour guide, extremely knowledgeable and very passionate about his country, people and culture. Absolute champion.” – Fiona S

“We had a fantastic day trip with Cheeky Kiwi. From pick up to drop off we never felt rushed. We enjoyed sitting back and relaxing while our trusted driver took us on our very long journey.” – Leanne C

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