Escape to WOW Package

2 Nights | Premium WOW show ticket

Join us on a journey like no other, through the heart of the North Island to Wellington, where you'll enjoy Premium seats for the incredible World of WearableArt Awards Show.

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Northern Explorer

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.

Book your beautiful seat in our Scenic Class carriages today. 

Journey highlights

map of the Northern Explorer Auckland to Wellington train

Explore the rural heart of New Zealand's North Island on this epic 648km journey from Auckland to Wellington by train. 

Our Northern Explorer train connects cosmopolitan Auckland with our quaint little capital, Wellington - both excellent places to start or finish your adventure, with unique blends of international prestige and local culture.

On this spectacular scenic train journey, you'll wind up the historic Raurimu Spiral and traverse the Central Plateau with its three iconic volcanic cones dominating the desert plains of Tongariro National Park. Along the way, you'll soar over the icy mountain streams of Ruapehu, meander alongside the white cliffs of Rangitikei, cling to the cliffs on the Kapiti Coast, and enjoy intimate views of rural New Zealand with its astonishing scenic landscapes. 

This really is an unforgettable day-long adventure you will never forget!


Timetable & More

Northern Explorer Seven o clock at Wellington 730x504

Northern Explorer Timetable

View the Northern Explorer timetable for our Auckland to Wellington train and Wellington to Auckland train
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414 Tongariro Alpine Crossing Page Snippet

Northern Explorer Desinations

Connect with some of the North Island's most beautiful famous places and enjoy some iconic NZ must-do activities.
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Northern Explorer Hapuawhenua Viaduct 730x504

The Northern Explorer Journey

From rolling green farmland to spectacular volcanic mountains, take a breath-taking journey through the heart of the North Island.
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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I reserve a seat?

We automatically reserve your seat(s) when you complete your booking. Your seat number(s) will be on your Boarding Pass, which we print the day before travel ready for your arrival.

See our Seat selection page to find out more about the allocation process.

Which seats are better?

All our seats are the same. They are large, they are comfy, they are reclined - and they all have amazing views!

To cater for everyone's needs, we have two arrangements:

  • Paired seating: this is rotated prior to travel so that all seats face the direction of travel. The paired seating provides a huge amount of legroom and a large flip-down tray-table for your personal use.
  • Table seating: this allows you to enjoy travelling as a group, playing games and sharing food & drink together. However, two people will be sitting against the direction of travel and the legroom is shared.

All seats have New Zealand 3-pin power sockets and a headphone socket for listening to the onboard commentary (headphones are supplied). 

Please see the Onboard our trains section to explore our carriages, facilities and seating arrangements.

Is there long term parking at the Station?

To find out information about you departure and arrival station, including long and short term parking, please see our Stations pages.

Can I take my luggage on board?

We have plenty of room in our secure luggage carriage for all your wheelie bags, backpacks, suitcases, golf clubs, bikes and sport equipment.

However, we only have room for small day bags and handbags on-board. This is because the overhead shelves are made from glass to allow the views to flow into the carriage - so its nice not to obscure them with large bags.

For more information about checking in you larger bags and your luggage allowance, please see our page on Luggage.

Should I bring food and drink?

We have a fully licensed café on board that sells nibbles and snacks, hot and cold food, teas and coffees, soft and alcoholic drinks. View our menu online now to see what's in store.

You will find that our sandwiches and snacks are similarly priced to New Zealand supermarkets - and it saves you the bother of nipping into the shops on your way to the station!

However, bringing your own snacks and non-alcoholic drinks is allowed, although we do ask that you respect other passengers by not bringing anything with a strong odour.

You are not allowed to bring alcoholic drinks on board due to our license.