The drive from Christchurch to Greymouth is one of the best drives in New Zealand. It’s a trip I’ve taken hundreds of times, having grown up on the West Coast, making frequently runs across the Southern Alps to Christchurch on the East Coast. It’s a magnificent drive, through the Arthur’s Pass at around 900 metres above sea level. Three hours well spent.

Coming from Christchurch, the Canterbury plains lay green in winter, yellow and dry in summer.

Christchurch to Greymouth Drive, Southern Alps, New Zealand

 

The road side paddocks are home to sheep and cows.

Christchurch to Greymouth Drive, Southern Alps, New Zealand, Sheep

 

The rocky outcrops of Castle Hill signal the start of the ascent into the Alps.

 

The Alps moving ever closer with every kilometre.

Southern Alps, Drive from Christchurch to Greymouth, New Zealand

Christchurch to Greymouth Drive, Southern Alps, New Zealand

Christchurch to Greymouth Drive, Southern Alps, New Zealand

 

Long one way bridges slice over dry riverbeds. 

Christchurch to Greymouth Drive, New Zealand

Christchurch to Greymouth Drive, Southern Alps, New Zealand

 

The ascent begins. The surrounding bush thickens.

Arthur's Pass, Christchurch to Greymouth Drive, New Zealand

 

The viaduct gorge cuts dangerously through the eroding mountains. A waterfall is skillfully diverted above the road.

Christchurch to Greymouth Drive, Southern Alps, New Zealand

Christchurch to Greymouth Drive, Southern Alps, New Zealand

 

The descent is quick. Welcome to the wet and wild West Coast.

Christchurch to Greymouth Drive, Southern Alps, New Zealand

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Showing 12 comments
  • Amy
    Reply

    Great pictures – my bf and I are starting our travels in NZ on March 3rd. We’ll be renting a car and spending a month driving around both islands, these pictures have made me even more excited about what’s to come!

    • Bethaney
      Reply

      Excellent! Letting me know if you’re coming through Chch and we can arrange a blogger meet up. 🙂

  • Helen
    Reply

    Cannot wait to see this!

  • Henry | @fotoeins
    Reply

    Bethaney, I took the train from Christchurch to Greymouth (July 2012), and even with under partly overcast skies and a very cold stiff breeze blowing through the observation car, the views were absolutely glorious. I would definitely love to drive around the South Island the next time I’m there. 🙂

  • Mel
    Reply

    Thanks Bethaney,
    Just found out today that the TransAlpine train is canceled until April 3 and we (my wife and I) had train tickets. So,, now driving I guess and was checking out the route and your pictures. Lvg CC on March 6. Should be nice weather that time of year. Thanks for the pics.

  • Amit Bhowmick
    Reply

    Want to take train to Greymouth and then see the glaciers and go to Queenstown. Do not plan to drive what is the best alternative.

    • Bethaney Davies
      Reply

      Hi Amit. You can take the Intercity bus from Greymouth to Franz Josef and then Franz Josef to Queenstown.

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