Tours and Tickets

Full-Day Wellington to Auckland Scenic Train Ride provided by Northern Explorer Train

Full-Day Wellington to Auckland Scenic Train Ride

Full-Day Wellington to Auckland Scenic Train Ride
4.5
Book in advance
from $185.00 per adult
Free Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
Travel safe during COVID-19
Last updated: 27 Jul 2020
A note from Full-Day Wellington to Auckland Scenic Train Ride
The safety and wellbeing of our passengers and staff is always a top priority. Aligning with expert advice, we have increased the focus on hygiene. Our trains are cleaned everyday with additional cleaning/sanitising equipment and respiratory illness response kit carried onboard.
What you can expect during your visit
Gear/equipment sanitised between use
Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
What you can expect during your visit
Gear/equipment sanitised between use
Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
About
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.
Know before you go
  • Duration: 11h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Available languages
Chinese, English, Chinese
Know before you go
  • Duration: 11h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
Available languages
Chinese, English, Chinese
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Highlights
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
Disembark at Tongariro National Park or Auckland
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.
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 59907P2
Call +1 855 275 5071
Important information
Inclusions
One Way Rail Journey • GPS triggered audio commentary • All taxes, fees and handling charges
Exclusions
Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase) • Food and drinks (available to purchase) • Hotel pickup and drop-off • Excess luggage charges (where applicable)
Duration
11h
Departure details
Wellington Station, District of Freedom#8573311~!#, Bunny Street, Pipitea, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Auckland Strand, Parnell, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Other:
Wellington Station, District of Freedom#8573311~!#, Bunny Street, Pipitea, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Inclusions
One Way Rail Journey • GPS triggered audio commentary • All taxes, fees and handling charges
Exclusions
Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase) • Food and drinks (available to purchase) • Hotel pickup and drop-off • Excess luggage charges (where applicable)
Departure details
Wellington Station, District of Freedom#8573311~!#, Bunny Street, Pipitea, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Auckland Strand, Parnell, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Other:
Wellington Station, District of Freedom#8573311~!#, Bunny Street, Pipitea, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Duration
11h
Return details
Auckland Strand, Parnell, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Additional information
Infants must sit on laps
Wheelchair accessible
Wheelchair accessible, please advise at time of booking if travelling with a wheelchair.
Children must be accompanied by an adult
Please arrive at least 20 minutes prior to scheduled departure and check in at the station to receive your boarding pass. Please have your Viator Voucher ready for inspection.
Stroller accessible
Service animals allowed
Near public transportation
Transportation is wheelchair accessible
Most travellers can participate
This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travellers
Popular mentions

4.5
361 reviews
Excellent
193
Very good
108
Average
34
Poor
14
Terrible
12

KiwiKerry53
Wellington, New Zealand4,287 contributions
Fabulous day
Feb 2021
On the bucket list for a while, the only upside of Covid-19 is that we are doing those things in our backyard that were on hold for a time when we may not be as fit as we are now!
At a guess I would say the explorer was somewhere around 40-50% capacity. The upshot of that for travellers was that a lot of couples had the 4 seater tables to themselves.
Travelling from Wellington, there was no apparent requirement to wear masks - no signage or requests and most people didn't. The dining carriage is stocked with Wishbone refreshment, so sandwiches, salads and prepackaged meals that could be heated. Wine and beer was very reasonably priced compared to bars.
The scenery was stunning from start to finish. We were lucky enough to have the viewing car immediately behind us and the dining car immediately at the front, so life was good.
I found the last 2-3 hours a struggle. No scenery, industrial areas on the outskirts of Auckland - I have never seen so many containers in my life. Over the course of the day we were an hour behind schedule and arrival in Auckland was very welcome.
There is a well organised luggage drop off/pick up that felt very safe.
It is important to note that NZ was at it's lowest alert level, so minimal Covid requirements are in place. All staff on the explorer work masks at all times.
We also did the return trip and I think the Auckland to Wellington journey is easier - you have nice scenery coming into Wellington, having got the boring stuff out the way at the beginning of the journey.
Written 18 February 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Kirsten_GJNZ
Kia Ora KiwiKerry53, Thank you so much for taking the time to write this great review of your recent Northern Explorer trip – it’s much appreciated! We are so pleased to hear you had a fabulous day out with us - now is a great time for New Zealanders to experience their own country. Due to the length of the journey you really do get to experience and travel through a wide range of landscapes. We hope to see you again soon either on the Northern Explorer or on our other services, the Coastal Pacific and the TranzAlpine Best Wishes, Kirsten | The Great Journeys of New Zealand
Written 21 February 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mark C
Auckland93 contributions
Best train trip ever!
Jan 2021
Spent almost all day in the Outdoor Observation Carriage, at the back of the train.
Enjoyed Lea, Simone and Justin's exceptional running commentaries and announcements.
They combined to make our trip a fantastic learning experience and a humbling one as they obviously knew far more about this land we call Aotearoa than we ever could.
If you like trains and being in the warm sunshine and seeing NZ from the tracks, then do this! it is truly a great time had by all as far as we were concerned.
Special thanks to our wonderful travel expert Lady and her team for making sure we got this done this year.
Can't recommend this trip and Inspired Escapes enough, thanks guys.
Written 31 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Karen_GJNZ
Kia Ora Mark! Thank you for leaving your review on your recent Northern Explorer journey! We are very pleased you had a fantastic trip and enjoyed our lovely attendant’s service. The outdoor observation carriage is so great to view the sceneries whilst getting some fresh air! We hope to welcome you back again one day. Best Wishes, Karen | The Great Journeys of New Zealand
Written 21 February 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Wendy Allen
Rotorua, New Zealand43 contributions
Amazing trip on the Northern Explorer train with beautiful scenery
Jan 2021
A wonderful day trip on the northern explorer train from Wellington to Auckland. Beautiful scenery, great service from welcoming friendly staff. good coffee and food in the cafe car.The driver pointed out all the little picturesque towns, viaducts, amazing scenery, tunnels, and the famous Raurimu Spiral, The outside viewing platform is a bit windy and chilly but good fun to ride on and great for photography. You also see so much more when you sit back and relax just looking out of the big viewing widows from your comfy chair. There are also included with your seat a audio guide available on your own personal headsets to give interesting information on all the towns and points of interest and a real time map of the trip on a screen.
Written 21 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Karen_GJNZ
Kia Ora! Thanks so much for taking the time to provide us with your great feedback on your recent Northern Explorer journey. We are incredibly pleased to hear you had a great journey with us. Our professional staff are excellent at their jobs and make travelling through the array of stunning scenery that much more enjoyable! Glad to hear you made it to the outside decks for some fresh air and photography too. We hope you will join us again very soon! Best Wishes, Karen | The Great Journeys of New Zealand
Written 26 January 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Gwen008
Perth, Australia293 contributions
Great train, great scenery, great day
Mar 2020
This an another great train journey in NZ and an excellent way to travel from Wellington to Auckland. It is a long day but there is plenty to see along the way and the scenery changes constantly.
Check in at Wellington issimple and it's easy to find your allocated seat. Staff are on hand to assist if needed.
The onboard cafe is open shorty after leaving Wellington and remains open most of the way. It's wise to prebook food as it can run out or you can take your own. We had sandwiches for lunch which were excellent.
Seating is very comfortable. The onboard announcemens are not always clear and impossible to hear in the open air viewing carriage.
This carriage is a terrific idea as you can see clearly on both sides of the train without having to look through the windows which do get a bit grubby throughout the day.
Luggage collection in Auckland is chaotic as passengers don't heed the requests to wait until all the luggage is unloaded before trying to collect their case.
Written 7 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

WoodlandsMike
The Woodlands, TX205 contributions
Long Train Ride
Of the four great New Zealand journeys, this was our least favorite. You see some amazing gorges and volcanic hills sides, viaducts and spiral descents but the Coastal, TranzAlpine and Interislander were are more interesting in our view. The last 3 hours entering Auckland seemed to really drag
Written 24 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tidgney
3 contributions
Was alright, think I'd fly next time unless its Sunny!
Feb 2020
I went from Wellington to Auckland, as a journey it's a loooooong journey so be prepared for that. Scenery was nice for the most part as it was fairly foggy/misty so unfortunately didn't see any of the volcanoes. I got quite confused with the staff interrupting the audio to say the same thing? Could do with making it clear with paying by card as I was really unsure about this (Maybe put announcements through the headsets to).

Friendly staff all the same, organisation at the train station was fine to.
Written 20 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Hardys607
Feilding, New Zealand102 contributions
Day trip from Auckland to Palmerston North
Feb 2020
We flew up to Auckland and decided to take the train trip back. The station staff were excellent, we were in carriage A and found the seats comfortable, we enjoyed the trip, loved the scenery, the toilets clean, the outside carriage good to view from. The cafe had a good selection, initially my husband was told to come back later as they were serving the tour groups. My coffee was good as was the sandwiches. Later I went into the cafe and decided on a cheeseboard with 2 small bottles on wine. Unfortunately at the cafe attendant preferred to talk to another staff member than look at me while she was serving me. I asked loudly if I was invisible and this really irritated her. When getting off the train once again great staff taking off the bags and wishing us well. So we enjoyed the trip but the customer service at the cafe really needs addressing!!!!
Written 15 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Fred L
Melbourne, Australia24 contributions
Very very disappointed don’t recommend
After viewing a travel show in Australia that highlighted nz rail journey, we decided to give it a go.
The train was comfortable and staff courteous. A small kitchen cart enable food and beverages to be purchased.
This is all good until the train arrival times blew out to just over 2 hours late arriving in Wellington- yes 2 hours late! We missed our next connection and had to get accomodation for the night and rebook.
You might imagine our extreme angst for most of the journey knowing we risked missing our connection.
Well never again! I think Australian trains are unreliable- but not like this.
Written 10 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Pat D
Burton upon Trent, UK8 contributions
Underwhelming!
Jan 2020
Travelled from Wellington to Auckland on the Northern Explorer. Took 11hrs. Having stayed in Wellington with family and 'done' that area, we were hoping to see some new and spectacular variety of New Zealand terrain. Yes, we did see a couple of gorges and a brief passage along the Kapiti coast, however the rest of the journey was laborious with very little change in the type of scenery. Flat plateau or grassy hillocks. Lots of pampas grass and greenery, but nothing particularly interesting and certainly nothing spectacular! Didn't get to see the volcano as it was misty at that point. On a positive note, the organization of getting on the train and the facilities on board were good and clean. Would only recommend this journey as a means to get from Wellington to Auckland without flying, but would advise anyone to just get on a plane for hour and spend the rest of your time in Auckland. Just another tip.......check with your hotel how much you can expect to pay for a taxi from Auckland Strand to them, as we were unfortunately 'fleeced' by the taxi driver who charged us 20 dollars for a journey of less than 5 minutes. Was so despondent and tired from the journey we didn't fight back! Fed up that we took this option.
Written 3 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mardi205
Auckland, New Zealand11 contributions
Heading north from Wellington
Jan 2020 • Couples
Another one of the great train journeys of the world. Along the way one passes through many of the wonderful landmarks of the North NZ Island. Not quite up to the standard of Rocky Mountaineer but nevertheless an excellent experience- especially passing through the Tongariro National Park and seeing the three volcanoes.
Very comfortable seating and train well appointed, food of good quality and well priced for snack style eating. A great experience and one for the Bucket List along with the sister experience on the Coast Explorer from Christchurch to Picton.
Written 19 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 356
About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: Northern Explorer Train
SarahS3976
SarahS3976
00
Sit back and relax!
Travelled today with my son for his 18th birthday as he's wanted to do this trip for years. Really enjoyed it. We
BellaG9711HQ
BellaG9711HQ
00
A great family trip
We went from Auckland to National Park - two young children and 3 adults. The staff were incredibly helpful and the
296juanitab
296juanitab
00
Trippy Train Travel!
What a fun and enjoyable trip - Auckland to Wellington with great company. We had packed some nibbles for the trip
sarahsY953UD
sarahsY953UD
00
Beautiful Scenery & Exceptional Service
Absolutely loved the experience on the Northern Explorer from Hamilton to Wellington. A wonderful reminder of the b
nzski2014
nzski2014
00
Awesome
Train left Wellington on time but was delayed at Pukerua Bay for 30 minutes due to a signal fault. Thoroughly enjoy
MTAnderson
MTAnderson
00
Wonderful Whirlwind There and Back Again
Decided as we hadn’t done this trip since we were first married we would give it an updated crack. Arrived at the W
809glennm
809glennm
00
Awesome experience
Great scenery, informative commentary, professional and helpful staff. Highly recommended. Relaxing and enjoyable
Christopher S
Christopher S
00
Don't take the plane!
Relax in a large comfortable seat. Look through the huge windows to see North Island's spectacular scenery flash by
793kerrys
793kerrys
00
Mrs
Must do train trip. Ask for Karen’s cabin she was the best. Fantastic train trip and would do it again
bluediamond89
bluediamond89
00
Scenery is stunning!
The train was by half an hour late but otherwise the ambience inside the train is great. We liked particularly the
RH9GTR
RH9GTR
00
You just can't beat rail travel
No annoying airport security checks, no luggage restrictions, no stress........trains are just great if you want to
BellsNZ
BellsNZ
00
Outstanding!
This must be one of the best rail journeys anywhere. Travelling by train is a very low stress mode of transport - t
Tania and Pete M
Tania and Pete M
00
Ravines- check
From the urban decay of Auckland to stunning ravines and rolling hills. Doesn't really pick up till below Hamilton,
velvonalmeida
velvonalmeida
00
Scenic ride of 11 hours
We did Auckland to Wellington on Northern Explorer. Departed at 7:45am and reached 7:10pm. The train was clean and
Johncobham
Johncobham
00
Great journey spoilt by the poor sound system.
The journey down the north island is spectacular. There’s an outdoor viewing platform that gives uninterrupted view
Frequently Asked Questions about Full-Day Wellington to Auckland Scenic Train Ride

Full-Day Wellington to Auckland Scenic Train Ride will start at 7:55 AM. Discover and book Full-Day Wellington to Auckland Scenic Train Ride on Tripadvisor


Full-Day Wellington to Auckland Scenic Train Ride price starts from $188.34. Discover and book Full-Day Wellington to Auckland Scenic Train Ride on Tripadvisor

Full-Day Wellington to Auckland Scenic Train Ride cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Full-Day Wellington to Auckland Scenic Train Ride on Tripadvisor