Tours and Tickets

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

Full-Day Wellington to Auckland Scenic Train Ride

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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.
  • 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.
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Important Information
Departure Point
Wellington Station, District of Freedom#8573311~!#, Bunny Street, Pipitea, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
315–630 minutes
Return Details
Auckland Strand, Parnell, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
  • One Way Rail Journey
  • GPS triggered audio commentary
  • All taxes, fees and handling charges
  • Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase)
  • Food and drinks (available to purchase)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Excess luggage charges (where applicable)
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Additional Info
  • 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.
Traveler rating
  • 190
  • 109
  • 34
  • 14
  • 12
Traveler type
Time of year
Popular mentions
Gwen008 wrote a review Apr 2020
Perth, Australia287 contributions74 helpful votes
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.
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Date of experience: March 2020
WoodlandsMike wrote a review Feb 2020
The Woodlands, Texas209 contributions34 helpful votes
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
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Tidgney wrote a review Feb 2020
3 contributions
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
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Date of experience: February 2020
Hardys607 wrote a review Feb 2020
Feilding, New Zealand97 contributions25 helpful votes
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
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Date of experience: February 2020
Fred L wrote a review Feb 2020
Melbourne, Australia23 contributions8 helpful votes
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
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2 Helpful votes
About the operator

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

By: Northern Explorer Train
Breathtaking views and a relaxing journey
Used this trip to transfer across to the west coast where we were picking up a rental car. What an amazing introduc
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Must do train trip. Ask for Karen’s cabin she was the best. Fantastic train trip and would do it again
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Scenery is stunning!
The train was by half an hour late but otherwise the ambience inside the train is great. We liked particularly the
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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
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This must be one of the best rail journeys anywhere. Travelling by train is a very low stress mode of transport - t
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Tania and Pete M
Ravines- check
From the urban decay of Auckland to stunning ravines and rolling hills. Doesn't really pick up till below Hamilton,
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Up to Arthur's Pass
Great service,easy to book. The train has great views and would definitely recommend to all travellers!
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Trip to Kaikoura.
A lovely journey through gorgeous countryside before hitting the Pacific coast. Easy to board our luggage was taken
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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
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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
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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
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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 worried.
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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
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This was meant to be a Very special journey for us which we booked months in advance. Unfortunately shortly before
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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 a
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Key Details
  • Duration: 315–630 minutes
  • Mobile Ticket Accepted
  • Free Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
  • Languages Offered: English, Chinese, Chinese
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