Have you ever been on a train with no windows?

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April 6, 2010
Is your heart ALL BLACK?
April 7, 2010

Have you ever been on a train with no windows?

No window. Terrified? a little!


Tranz Alpine. What a sense!

Look at the name of this train! I just love this sense of naming. How creative.

Start of my backpacking through south island of New Zealand was Christ Church. I flew to Christ church from Auckland. (And ferry + bus back to Auckland)  I didn’t really have any plan for my route. Every time if I had one, it changes according to the situation I was in or people I met on the road. That’s a good thing. I really enjoyed the flexible itinerary of backpacking. .

Anyhow I had two options. One was start from Christ Church, go south and round to clockwise and up to Wellington, like Christ church – Dunedin – Invercargill and up to Queenztown. Or cross the land and go round the other way around and cross the land to Christ Church. According to the map and Lonely planet there’s a train to cross the land called Tranz Alpine. Apparently this is one of the most scenic trains in the world.

I still am not sure why I picked first option but I did anyway. Maybe the weather? I don’t know.

It was little hard to take a train. Due to free shuttle leaves at 7:20 AM and I am not a morning person, so I was really worried ‘what if I couldn’t get up?’ and it happened. I fell asleep again through all the alarms! It happened every time! I had to wake up at least 6:30 AM to pack last of my stuff but I woke up 7:00 instead. You can imagine I was in super panic! So I just grabbed all my stuff, shoved it in my backpack and just ran to the station. Then I found out 7:20 AM is not the exact time of shuttle, it just came around the time. Well, I got to have a time to organize, that’s a good thing.

After many complications I finally was on the Tranz Alpine. Look at the design of the ticket!


No window. Terrified? a little!


First room of train is a viewer deck even without the window. I was pretty much out of this room the whole time because I didn’t want to miss any good view.  Weather was really gray though.

. .

Houses under the Southern Alps.


After a while later we could see amazing Southern Alps. I’ve never seen this kind of view before. Really wonderful thing is there’s a house under the Alps. People live in those houses and have Southern Alps as their background view. How does it feel like live here? Appreciate to Mother earth every day? Or get sick of it eventually? Couldn’t imagine it.



Southern Alps.

Tranz Alpine stops at few rest places for pictures and bathroom break. Train is really fast so it’s hard to take a good photo from viewer deck of train.



All the water near here is colored deep blue or emerald green because of the Glaciers.

It was quite a long ride. Surprisingly, I had plenty of nap and enjoyed the best view ever. Yes, it was long enough me to enjoy a little nap. However it never felt long because of the excitement. ‘The best view in the world’ phrase is a little bluffed but I can understand it. It certainly on my list of ‘the best view’ right now.


Amazing Southern Alps.


.Tranz Alpine is for Christ Church – Greymouth. Greymouth is a small town, for just one day rest stop for travelers. So I stay Graymouth one day. It was certainly great way to start a backpacking through south island of amazing New Zealand. .


PS. It was such a hard job pick the right picture for this article. because all the pictures are just amazing (this camera wasn’t that great!). I tried, but I have to say, these photos might not the best picture for this trip. Imagine it more beautiful!


Runaway Juno supports #Blog4NZ

Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, a happiness-seeking storyteller. Photographer, writer, and trained mechanical engineer. Life-long nerd. I left the cubic farm to follow my true love: the world. A firm believer of serendipity, astronomy enthusiaster, and living by passion and love in life. Currently, on a quest to discover stories and find the place where I can call 'home'. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Google+ .


  1. ciki says:

    its beautiful my dear! when u said no windows, i thought ALL WALLS.. not “no glass can fall out!” sort of no windows 🙂 LOL. the scenery is breathtakingly beautiful!

    • Juno says:


      Thanks Ciki 🙂 Sorry for misunderstading… haha That was quire terrifying though! Strong winter wind with that speed… Crazy!

      Yes, sometimes I couldn’t believe I went a place like that. Gotta love Mother Earth, right? 🙂


  2. A train with no window! DAMN. But then again, with such scenery to gaze at, it wouldn’t make much sense to have your view blocked now would it? Good pictures but really, this post makes me travel on that train and feel the winter chill up my spine!

    • Juno says:

      @Nishant Singh

      Not to mention terrifying! but yes. you are right. such scenery to gaze it with out wall blocking it! 🙂 Good thing I make you want to travel! Thanks for sharing!


  3. Lilian says:

    love the snow-capped mountains! Hope to experience this in future!

  4. Marnie says:

    Same as Ciki, I thought the train was all walls! I was feeling claustrophobic and dizzy imagining a closed train for a long journey haha! Good I checked out your blog! =) Wow amazing sights! I would go for no windows train anytime if the scenery is as awesome as that!

    • Juno says:


      haha Sorry for causing misunderstanding 🙂 there are two reactions so far. one is similar with you and Ciki, saying “all walls!? that’s insane!” and the other one is “no windows? isn’t that too dangerous?” 🙂 funny!! Thanks for checking out my article Marnie! pheww we are passing through misunderstanding 🙂


  5. Marnie says:

    Actually, the ‘misunderstanding’ made your blog entry even more interesting =) keep up the good work! Hope to bump into you in one of your travels =)

    • Juno says:


      I sure hope so! that’s the best part of traveling and twitting 🙂

      Thanks for kind word and support Marnie. Happy #traveltuesday 🙂


  6. Ted Nelson says:

    I think people that live in such beautiful places never get sick of the view. Some types of beauty never get old.

  7. Jeremy B says:

    Love the views from this train! Really love the mountains here!

  8. Nick Walz says:

    Great Photos ! I would love to ski in the Alps some day

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