There is the famous Trans Alpine Railway that is a must for rail enthusiasts. The scenery and the rail construction and rail track are both something to behold.
The railway closely follows the Alpine Highway that is one of the greatest motorized vehicle traverses one can hope to take. The road begins the journey in Christchurch and ends at Kamura Junction on the NZ west coast or vice versa.
From the plateau the town of Arthur's Pass is passed through and then Otira Pass is entered. After that the Jackson's settlement is passed and then other route options can be considered.
This three hour drive is magnificent and for the most part relatively stress less. From the motor car the views are breathtaking.
After the scenic drive at the bottom of the hill the historic Jacksons Hotel awaited the thirsty or fear driven traveler. But that has now changed.
There was a time the Jacksons Hotel was a unique and entertaining meeting place. The Hotel was once considered to be a front cover of the Bustout publication. No more. The Jacksons Hotel is now a corporate tavern offer that can be found any where. This is a real shame.