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Northern Explorer Train

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Address: Wellington Railway Station | Bunny Street, Wellington, New Zealand (Formerly Overlander)
Phone Number:
+64 4-495 0775

KiwiRail Scenic is New Zealand's only long distance passenger train...

KiwiRail Scenic is New Zealand's only long distance passenger train network. We take passengers across New Zealand in comfort and style through some of the most scenic areas of the North and South Islands. It is an experience not just a journey. The Northern Explorer between Auckland & Wellington is a unique journey through the heart of the North Island, through an array of changing landscapes of sea coasts, farmlands, river viaducts and the central volcanic plateau. The service operates a 6 day timetable, departing Auckland on Monday, Thursday and Saturday and Wellington on Tuesday, Friday & Sunday.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 355 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 207
  • 87
    Very good
  • 32
  • 10
  • 8
Great way to see the country

Our Wellington to Auckland train journey in early May was a real treat. It's a great way to see the part of the North Island from a different view than the highway. Our seats... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Linda S
Wellington, New Zealand

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355 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 344: English reviews
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
210 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

Our Wellington to Auckland train journey in early May was a real treat. It's a great way to see the part of the North Island from a different view than the highway. Our seats were very comfortable with a table in front so we could spread out and relax. Huge Windows gave us fabulous views of the countryside. It would... More 

Thank Linda S
Cromwell, New Zealand
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Northern explorer train journey has bee on my bucket list for a long time. Amazing day. Comfortable carriages great food and drink. The crew on the train were really good,nothing was a problem to them. Can really recommend this trip. Views great.

1 Thank Keith C
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I had booked to travel on the 6th of May as part of a 3 week roadtrip with my mum who had flown from the UK. However late night on the 4th I had to cancel the rest of our trip and fly back to the UK with my mum. After contacting the company and explaining the situation to them... More 

Thank Laura C
Level Contributor
75 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This is one of the most beautiful rail rides in the world and a wonderful way to see New Zealand's North Island! We purchased the on-off ticket from Wellington to Auckland, stopping in Hamilton to see their world-famous gardens and take the city bus to see Rotorua thermal geysers. The service was wonderful, the cars clean and comfortable, and the... More 

Thank SFTheaterDistrict
Greater Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The day was perfect and the trip was as expected, the staff were great, heaps of information about the various destinations. The seats were comfortable and it was very easy to get around. The cafe had a good selection of food and drinks and I really enjoyed the viewing carriage. Would recommend this to anyone who wishes to have a... More 

Thank Allan M
Pukekohe, New Zealand
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Wellington to Auckland by train on the Northern Explorer was a great trip. Left Wellington at 8am, bought some snacks at the super market at the station as wasn't sure what would be served. The buffet car had plenty of everything. Lunch with a couple of wines from the buffet car through parts of NZ you would not get to... More 

Thank Hart1598
Yorktown, Virginia
Level Contributor
36 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The train was delightful. passenger cars are a bit crowded, but if it's a good day that doesn't matter, as you will want to spend all your time in the outdoor viewing car. The scenery is amazing. You can see well inside as well -- large windows-- and there is a good narrative on headphones, so you can listen without... More 

Thank annbarbieaim
Ascot, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
105 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Take this trip for the scenery which is excellent but if you are in a hurry to get from Auckland to Wellington don't take the train. The track frequently runs alongside the road and the cars overtake the train. The narrow gauge limits the speed plus unscheduled stops occur frequently. There is an audio/video system to explain features along the... More 

1 Thank SurreyLocal
Level Contributor
48 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Northern Explorer is a very relaxed way to see the most scenic places of New Zealand's North Island. Food on board was good and the service was efficient and friendly. We bought a bottle of white wine and to our pleasant surprise they served it in a bucket of ice and special plastic glasses.

Thank KiwitrotterAuckland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We decided that a great way to deal with jet lag from our long flight to New Zealand was to spend our first full day traveling by train from Auckland to Wellington. It was perfect! The train seats were comfortable (great for napping), with large windows for viewing the pretty countryside. We saw little towns, churches, mountains, and LOTS of... More 

Thank Donna S

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?