I had a hard choice to make - Should I drive or should I take the TranzAlpine - rated one of 10 great train journeys in the world for amazing scenery?
If I were to do the latter, it would mean that I'd have to stop at Greymouth and then rent a car there. After doing some research, I felt that I do not want to be at Greymouth and that by renting a car, though the view may not be as nice as the TranzAlpine, it would still be a mouth-watering sight.
If you choose to try out the TranzAlpine, Darfield is one of the stops that you can catch the train from.
Darfield (45km west of Christchurch) is a town that lies between Christchurch and the beautiful west coast of the South island.
This was the first township we arrived at as my wife and I were heading towards the west coast. Leaving our fast-paced home country of Singapore, the first view of nature was totally electrifying. We did not have to do much here. Stepped out of the car, stretched out our hands and just breathe in the fresh air. That was just estatic!