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Northern Explorer Train

Wellington Railway Station | Bunny Street, Wellington, New Zealand
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Tours from Northern Explorer Train tend to sell out - travellers recommend booking in advance!
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US$75.39*
and up
Northern Explorer- Auckland to Wellington By Train
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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 Northern Explorer is The Great Journeys of New Zealand's Auckland to Wellington train. This epic journey roams through the heart of the North Island, through an array of changing landscapes of sea coasts, farmlands, river viaducts and the volcanic Central Plateau. The service operates a 6 day timetable. The Auckland to Wellington train departs on Monday, Thursday and Saturday and the Wellington to Auckland train departs on Tuesday, Friday & Sunday.
  • Excellent63%
  • Very good27%
  • Average7%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“national park” (11 reviews)
“open carriage” (8 reviews)
Suggested Duration: More than 3 hours
LOCATION
Wellington Railway Station | Bunny Street, Wellington, New Zealand
Ways to Experience Northern Explorer Train
Write a ReviewReviews (440)
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All reviews
"national park"
in 11 reviews
"viewing carriage"
in 10 reviews
"open carriage"
in 8 reviews
"kiwi rail"
in 7 reviews
"train journey"
in 7 reviews
"palmerston north"
in 7 reviews
"observation car"
in 6 reviews
"stretch your legs"
in 5 reviews
"buffet car"
in 3 reviews
"dining car"
in 3 reviews
"passenger cars"
in 2 reviews
"britomart station"
in 2 reviews
"rural landscape"
in 2 reviews
"wonderful journey"
in 3 reviews
"excellent commentary"
in 3 reviews
"uncomfortable seats"
in 2 reviews
"running commentary"
in 3 reviews
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1 - 10 of 425 reviews

Reviewed 3 days ago

What better way to see the North Island?- luxury and ease of travel on this train, finding it all relaxing and yet informative with the guided audio available at certain points of interest.

Thank John Phillip D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

Took this trip from Auckland to Wellington, the train was clean and tidy. Had a good food selection and friendly staff. The carriages were kept at comfortable tea shirt temperature which was pleasant . The only fault was the seating was tired and as a...More

Thank kyladave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 5 days ago

Hi kyladave, Thanks for the great review. We'll pass on the feedback about the seating to the operations team. I believe they are already working on future improvements and new carriages. Thanks for joining us! All the best, Robin | The Great Journeys of New...More

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Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I’ve taken this trip several times and still love it. Seats are comfortable, the licenced dining car serves nice food and a good range - eg gluten free and vegetarian, and the observation carriage gives you an unfettered view. My last trip had rain most...More

Thank Tekakariki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 5 days ago

Hi Tekakariki, Thanks for the amazing review and we are so pleased that you keep coming back! Yes, the train is absolutely a tourist experience combined with comfortable travel - making it the ideal way for Kiwi's and international visitors to travel between the North...More

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Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We joined the southbound trip in Hamilton. The PA announcements were difficult to here but staff were helpful. The train was on time. Our 4 seats and table were clean and comfortable. The window could have been cleaner. We ordered our meals early as we...More

Thank Rikadoda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 5 days ago

Hi Rikadoda, Thanks for the five-star rating! We'll get in touch with the operations team about the windows. The windows are cleaned after each journey. However in Auckland the windows are cleaned by hand, whereas in Wellington the are cleaned in a big automated "car-wash"....More

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Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 5 days ago

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Reviewed 6 May 2018 via mobile

This was a really great experience and journey from Auckland to Wellington Departing from the strand station The seating were quite comfortable with a table Great little cafe on board though we didn't buy much as we had our own packed lunch and snacks The...More

Thank S p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robin H, Online Crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 9 May 2018

Dear S p, Thanks for the kind review. I'm glad you had a great experience on your journey with us. It sure is a nice change and you get to see the countryside while you're at it! The open viewing carriage is very popular, especially...More

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Reviewed 5 May 2018

I found this experience somewhat disappointing The highlight was supposed to be the view of the spectacular volcanic mountains. It was a dull day but not overly cloudy but no mountains were to be seen The views of the rolling countryside, sheep and cattle were...More

Thank Michael W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robin H, Online Crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 9 May 2018

Hi Michael W, Thank you very much for taking the time to write us a review. I'm very sorry to hear you had dull weather. Our commentary is done by a historian who works with us at KiwiRail - he will be delighted to hear...More

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Reviewed 1 May 2018 via mobile

Talked about doing this trip to Wellington for several years and finally did it. It is a great way to travel if you are not in a hurry and want to see parts of the country you have not seen. The train is very comfortable,...More

Thank tekohiwi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robin H, Online Crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 8 May 2018

Dear tekohiwi, Thank you very much for your review. I'm so glad you and the family finally got to tick this one off the bucket list! Sounds like it was well worth it. All the best, Robin | Great Journeys of New Zealand

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Reviewed 28 April 2018 via mobile

Wow what can I say, apart from don’t miss out on this! We got on at National Park and got off in Wellington. The cabins were comfortable, just a little stuffy so I opted to stand out on the viewing carriage for the whole 5...More

Thank Thecookstravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robin H, Online Crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 8 May 2018

Dear Thecookstravel, Wow, thanks for the amazing review! We're amazed that you spent nearly the whole time on the viewing carriage - but I bet you got some great photos. We're really glad you think we set a good example of good kiwi hospitality :)...More

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Reviewed 27 April 2018

Loved the idea of taking the train from Auckland to Wellington. Check in was seamless and lovely journey to Otorohonga where we disembarked for two days to explore the King Country and Waitomo caves which were great. The trip to Otorohonga was perfect in every...More

Thank TrishyAuckland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robin H, Online Crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 8 May 2018

Dear TrishyAuckland, Thank you so much for your review! I'm glad you got to split up the journey and see the Waitomo Caves. Apart from a few disruptions, it sounds like you had a pleasant journey overall and I hope you managed to get some...More

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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
Lovely S
24 May 2018|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Changi11 | Reviewed this property |
No best bit it’s a great trip with plenty of scenic bits, the train slows for these
0
Votes
jackieshols
16 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from pandd1946 | Reviewed this property |
We booked in June 2017 for February 2018 trip through our local travel agent,have a good trip.
1
Vote
Ann P
10 January 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Sandra S | Reviewed this property |
Unfortunately I was part of a tour group so I dont know baggage charges, as it was included in tour price. I had one piece of hold luggage
0
Votes
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