We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
TripAdvisor
Wellington
Post
Inbox
Search

Full-Day Wellington to Auckland Scenic Train Ride

Save
Share
Select Date and Travellers
From
US$89.73
Date
2 travellers
Options
Select tour language
Overview
New Zealand's longest running passenger service, the Northern Explorer is a long distance scenic train service running between Wellington and Auckland.  Experience the extremes of New Zealand's scenery, from the fertile farmlands of Waikato to the volcanic peaks of the Central Plateau and the sparkling Kapiti Coast.
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.
Show More
Important Information
Departure Point
Wellington Railway Station, Bunny Street, Pipitea, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Duration
5h 15m
Return Details
Auckland Strand Station, Auckland 1010, 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)
Show More
Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Not 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.
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers
Cancellation Policy
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
354Reviews2Q&A
Traveller rating
  • 189
  • 107
  • 33
  • 13
  • 11
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More
Selected filters
  • Filter
  • English
Popular mentions
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
Read more
Personally we found it over long because we'd been on the Greymoth to Christchurch Trans Alpine train, as well as a five day coach tour of the south island, so in retrospect, a flight to Auckland from Wellington would have been better for us. The scenery, although beautiful for
Read more
I agree with much of the Roampup04 review. I traveled with my brother who is visiting NZ. We thought the train ride from Auckland to Wellington would have tourists in mind but this was embarrassing. It was no better than an ordinary train trip apart from the big windows and
Read more
Fantastic view of the north island from the railway line.... viewing iconic volcanoes from the other side (not state.highway 1)
Read more
We had read about this trip and decided it was a good way to get to Auckland from Wellington via Waitomo Caves. We weren't disappointed. Three seating carriages, a dining carriage and an open-air viewing carriage. Seats were airline-style, some set opposite each other with a
Read more
Previous
About the operator
By: Northern Explorer Train
580 reviews
Certificate of Excellence
Mardi205
Auckland, New Zealand
80
Heading north from Wellington
Another one of the great train journeys of the world. Along the way one passes through many of the wonderful
Read more
Jed4710
Inverness, United Kingdom
101
Up to Arthur's Pass
Great service,easy to book. The train has great views and would definitely recommend to all travellers!
Read more
Interestedinfood2013
Preston, United Kingdom
21
Wellington to Auckland on the Northern Explorer
Personally we found it over long because we'd been on the Greymoth to Christchurch Trans Alpine train, as well as
Read more
Robyn B
Auckland Central, New Zealand
2411
Very disappointed
I agree with much of the Roampup04 review. I traveled with my brother who is visiting NZ. We thought the train
Read more
Modd2014
Long Preston, United Kingdom
275
Trip to Kaikoura.
A lovely journey through gorgeous countryside before hitting the Pacific coast. Easy to board our luggage was
Read more
velvonalmeida
Auckland, New Zealand
9438
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
Read more
Johncobham
Guildford, United Kingdom
323109
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
Read more
Louichan
Tokyo
137120
A leisurely way to see the North Island
The last time I took the train from Wellington to Auckland was 21 years ago, with two little kids. It has improved
Read more
JohnH0506
10
NZ off the road trip
Fantastic view of the north island from the railway line.... viewing iconic volcanoes from the other side (not
Read more
Seehomefirst
40
Northern Explorer Train Hamilton to Paraparaumu
I was really worried I would be bored 30 minutes in or worse I would fall asleep however I should not have
Read more
David C
5518
Comfortable, scenic trip with Waitomo Caves stop.
We had read about this trip and decided it was a good way to get to Auckland from Wellington via Waitomo Caves. We
Read more
Riz9999
Suva, Fiji
357
Train journey at its Best
If you wanna see the proper sights and sounds of NZ Northern island, there isn’t a much better or relaxed way than
Read more
SuePowell2013
London, United Kingdom
225
Disappointed
This was meant to be a Very special journey for us which we booked months in advance. Unfortunately shortly before
Read more
ludortravel
Iasi, Romania
813104
Great way to see the New Zealand's North Island
The views from the windows are spectacular and an open viewing carriage is available, allowing for clear pictures
Read more
bevdup
20
Enjoyable trip
Help on the station was awesome. It was a very informative trip. Seating is comfortable. Food was good. The train
Read more
Key Details
Why Book on TripAdvisor?
  • Free Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
  • Low Price Guarantee
  • No Booking Fees
  • Secure Payments
  • 24/7 SupportCall:+1 855 275 5071