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Full-Day Wellington to Auckland Scenic Train Ride

  • Ride one segment or take the whole spectacular journey
  • Indoor and outdoor spaces are great for sightseeing
  • GPS-triggered audio helps you explore the landscape
Full-Day Wellington to Auckland Scenic Train Ride
From US$79.12
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  • Overview
  • What to Expect
  • Important Information
  • Reviews
  • Q&A
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Wellington to AucklandMost Popular
10.5 hour train journey from Wellington to Auckland
From US$130.11
National Park to Auckland
5.5 hour train journey from National Park to Auckland
From US$79.12
Wellington to National Park
5.25 hour train journey from Wellington to National Park
From US$79.12
Travel from Wellington to Tongariro National Park or Auckland by train for a scenic ride that passes through the Kapiti Coast, the Waikato countryside, and the Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu mountains. With well-appointed carriages and outdoor viewing decks, the train from Wellington to Auckland is a beautiful way to see the North Island, and GPS-triggered audio commentary is available through headsets at every seat.
What to Expect
Make your way to the Wellington Railway Station or the train station in Tongariro National Park, where you’ll board a train heading north. The journey passes through a mix of farmland, rural towns, and coastline, but the three volcanoes of Tongariro National Park are a scenic highlight; rail enthusiasts will be love the Raurimu Spiral that helps the train climb the dramatic slope.
You’ll see lava flows, snow fields, and forests of beech trees while the GPS-triggered audio commentary fills you in on the passing landmarks. The trains are equipped with dining carriages that have drinks, snacks, and light meals available for purchase, and by the time you arrive at Tongariro National Park or the Auckland Railway Station, you’ll have covered some of the North Island’s most remarkable scenery.
Reviews (276)
1 - 5 of 276 reviews
Reviewed 5 days ago
Great scenery, interesting ride, but poor management makes a very uncomfortable experience.

Having cruised around the south and east coasts of the two islands for almost two weeks, we decided to ride the Northern Explorer afterwards in part to get a better sense of the interior of the North Island. The day was bright, the temperature was...More

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank Thorgils
Robin H, Online Crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

Hi Thorgils, Thank you very much for taking the time to write us a review. Our current booking system has been around for a little while and doesn't allow for passengers to select seating. We've identified this as a problem and are in the process...More

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
bucket list train journey

My husband & I love long railway journeys, & this had been on our bucket list for some time. After a week with a friend in Auckland we all travelled on Northern Explorer down to Wellington for a long weekend. Fabulous journey, comfortable seating (we...More

Date of experience: March 2018
1  Thank mitsy58
Robin H, Online Crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Hi mitsy58, Thanks so much for taking the time to write us a review! I'm so glad to hear that you've finally ticked the Northern Explorer off your bucket list - sounds like you had a good time! Thanks for the feedback on the baggage...More

Reviewed 15 February 2019
Long day but worth it.

The Northern Explorer Train from Auckland to Wellington. The only negative thing I would say it was a VERY long day due to the heat on the tracks! If you had the choice of what side of the train to be on - pick the...More

Date of experience: February 2019
1  Thank Suscou123
Robin H, Online Crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Hi Soucou123, Thanks for writing us a review! I'm happy to hear that the journey was worth it, the open air viewing carriage absolutely is a blast and a great way to get some fresh air throughout the day! All the best, Emily H |...More

Reviewed 20 January 2019
Beautiful scenery and saves 2 days of driving by doing this train trip.

The staff were very helpful and friendly from the baggage handlers to the women in charge of the ticket office and train ride itself. Everyone tried hard to make the trip memorable, but the infrastructure does not exist to make it work well. Our trip...More

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank Ron1733
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 28 January 2019

Hi Ron1733, Thank-you for choosing to travel with us and for leaving a great four-star rating. For a family or group, it is nice to be gathered around a table - even if it means two people have to face backwards and the legroom is...More

Reviewed 11 January 2019 via mobile
Too hot

The trip started off great. Staff all very friendly and the views were well worth the trip. After about an hour things started to deterate. Unless you were seated on the first 2 rows of seats by the door the air conditioning just couldn't cope....More

Thank RobynB1718
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 28 January 2019

HI RobynB1718, Thank you for travelling with us and we are pleased that you found the views exceptional. Occasionally, on extremely hot days, the demands of the air conditioning units have exceeded the train's generator capacity. The good news is that we have new carriages...More

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Questions & Answers
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Anita T
19 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from David L | Reviewed this property |
Yes you would need to catch a flight from Auckland to Wellington. There isva fairly rough map on NZ Rail web site but not a lot of detail