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Certificate of Excellence
Traveller Overview
  • Excellent66%
  • Very good25%
  • Average7%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“national park”(10 reviews)
“open carriage”(8 reviews)
The Great Journeys of New Zealand operate a network of long distance passenger trains and inter-island ferries. We take passengers across New Zealand in comfort and style through some of the most scenic areas of the North and South Islands. The...more
Suggested duration: More than 3 hours
Wellington Railway Station | Bunny Street, Wellington, New Zealand
+64 4-495 0775
Ways to Experience Northern Explorer Train
from US$83.90
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Reviews (470)
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1 - 10 of 455 reviews
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

My wife and I visited NZ specifically to travel on this train and were very pleased we did. We went from Auckland to Wellington which was a full days travel in utmost comfort. Smooth riding, great scenery, well stocked buffet car and an observation car...More

Thank Schlepper1939
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

Perfect timing, we left Wellington in drizzle but the ethereal views along the way were still stunning.Weather cleared into glorious sunshine along the way. Luggage and ticket handling was well organised. We were advised to take our own food but in all honesty was not...More

Thank Judith F
Reviewed 1 week ago

This trip is amazing we travelled Wellington to Auckland the train staff were more than helpful the trIn so clean Views were fabulous. Canteen had a good menu. Commentary was excellent and we learnt a lot. A very relaxing way to travel and see sights...More

1  Thank Barbara P
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

It's definitely not the fastest and cheapest way to get around the Northern Island but nevertheless worth it. The whole journey from Auckland to Wellington takes about 11 hrs, passing by many scenic and beautiful places. There's an audio guide available explaining special places along...More

1  Thank viedad
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Amazing journey... Great way to see country.. Excellent service... Did run out of champagne but properly just as wellMore

Thank carol041165
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Hi carol041165, Were you on your way to World of WearableArt? As sponsors of the event, we were giving away bottles of bubbly to all ticket holders. We had over 100 WOW passengers on board - which was amazing - but did leave us short...More

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We travelled on northern explorer from Wellington to Auckland. This trip is a must to do in the north island. The train was spotlessly clean. Seats comfortable. Staff excellent. Canteen much to offer. Far better than the Australian inter state trains. The scenery was just...More

2  Thank Barbara P
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

HI Barbara P, Thanks for the great feedback and five-star review. When it comes to seeing the North Island, we have it covered! There is also the option of stopping in Tongariro Nation Park, Otorohanga (Waitomo Caves) and Ohakune en-route. These are all great destinations...More

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

This scenic train is one of the real pleasures of New Zealand. Undoubtedly this is one of the best ways to enjoy North Island's awe-inspiring landscapes. My partner and I were on board the Auckland bound Northern Explorer last Sunday. It was an unforgettable experience...More

1  Thank LJan76
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Hi LJan76, Thanks for the fantastic review. We are really pleased you enjoyed the magnificence and theatre of our great train journey and the spectacular views it provides. I haven't seen the Peter Jackson quote before and it is very fitting. We do travel through...More

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Fantastic way to explore this fabulous land of ours. A definite 'must do' for all NZers and visitors as well. A luxury train ride (about 10 1/2 hours) from Auckland to Wellington- arriving on sunset over the Kapiti Coastline. Commentary is given through out the...More

1  Thank Jeanne N
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Hi Jeanna N, Thanks for the fabulous review and we are incredibly happy to hear that you made some great new friends along the way! One of the great advantages of such a magnificent long journey is having time to meet and enjoy new company...More

Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Did this rail trip today with my cousin. We left from Auckland and got greeted by very friendly staff. What a great trip. Comfy seats with ample leg room. A warm carriage, delicious food from the cafe and best of all....amazing views. We got to...More

1  Thank Michelle T
Robin H, Online Crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Hi Michelle T, Many thanks for taking the time to review your experience on the Northern Explorer. We're pleased to hear that the staff, facilities and scenery all contributed to create a memorable experience for you and your cousin. We hope to have you guys...More

Reviewed 3 September 2018 via mobile

Travelled to wellington for my 50th. Had a great time on the train. My partner spoilt me. The staff were great. The views along the way were awesome. Recommended trip to anyone who wants to experience the old way to travel. Second time I have...More

1  Thank Wayne M
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 10 September 2018

Hi Wayne M, Thanks for travelling with us on your 50th birthday! We are really pleased to hear you had such a great time - and please do recommend us. We hope to see you on the TranzAlpine for you 60th! All the best, Robin...More

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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
2 September 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from JaneW3063 | Reviewed this property |
You can split the trip by getting of in the middle of the North Island - staying at Chateau Tongariro or many of the options at Ohakune.
19 July 2018|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Tekakariki | Reviewed this property |
It will all depend on the weather. I’ve seen everything from just mist to spectacular views. I’d say stay a night in National Park or nearby and then you can at least go for a walk. Good luck!
Lovely S
24 May 2018|
AnswerShow all 8 answers
Response from Raj_Josh | Reviewed this property |
I don't remember names of places but first three hours journey, starting from Wellington side is quite outstanding, rest is nothing. Pl. read my review.