Food & Drink

Drink Like a Local New Zealander on This Cross-Country Train

A trip to New Zealand is the ultimate escape. A diverse landscape of snowy peaks, winding rivers, forests, wineries and lush greenery is packed into the 100,000 square-miles of islands. If you make the journey out there, you want to see and taste it all, and there’s no better way to do that than the TranzAlpine train.

The TranzAlpine is run by KiwiRail, and ferries tourists and locals from Christchurch on the east coast of the south island to Greymouth on the rugged and wild western coast. The 140-mile, 5-hour journey traverses sub-tropical rainforests, glacier-fed rivers and towering white-capped mountains. For 30 years, the path has been the most popular and leisurely way to see the most beautiful parts of the island.

There are panoramic windows and skylights, but an open-air viewing deck at the back of the train ensures that you capture the best photos of Lake Sarah, Cass and Arthur’s Pass. GPS-triggered, at-seat commentary guides each traveler on their adventure like an all-knowing Kiwi Alexa.

TranzAlpine isn’t all about local looks, though. It’s also about local tastes. The drinks menu onboard TranzAlpine is filled with New Zealand standbys. The most popular is a beer from the Monteith’s Brewery on the west coast near Greymouth. The family brewery focuses on traditional Bohemian pilsners and lagers, and also has a stout and an ale available onboard for $8. Brancott Estate Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot are available for $8.50, and bottles of beloved Oyster Bay sell for $36.

Tickets start at just $119. If you’ve been looking for a break from the real world—and want to drink as much of New Zealand as you see of it—what are you waiting for?