A very special train ride was on the cards today; the Tranz-Alpine Express, starting from Christchurch Railway Station. The seats are comfortable and all have panoramic views but in spite of that I opted, as soon as possible, to make my way to the open-air observation platform, where it was standing only. After crossing the Canterbury Plains we passed through the Waimakariri River and the Gorge before reaching Arthur’s Pass, where we alighted.
We rejoined our coach at Arthur’s Pass and continued south on Highway 6, along the western coast. A stop for lunch in Hokitika allowed me to try the local speciality, whitebait pattie. It is probably what we would call an omelette and the whitebait was quite different from the British variety. We were now in sandfly territory.
Our final destination of the day was a fern lined walk to a viewing point near the foot of the Franz Josef Glacier.