Palmerston North to Auckland by Train

Journey from Palmerston North to Auckland on the Northern Explorer

If you're looking to travel from one end of the North Island to the other, the Northern Explorer scenic train service by KiwiRail is worth checking out. The train leaves Wellington and makes its way north to Auckland every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, passing through Palmerston North at 10am.

From there, it’s a comfortable 9 hour journey to the City of Sails, through heartland New Zealand and across the exciting Central North Island’s volcanic Plateau. The Northern Explorer pulls into central Auckland at the new Auckland Strand station.

A stress-free, comfortable and memorable way to journey between Palmerston North and Auckland. With award-winning carriages featuring wide panoramic windows, an open air carriage, GPS triggered commentary, and a licensed on board café, travelling on the Northern Explorer is a truly unique experience.  

Begin your trip in Palmerston North

Before you take your seat on the Northern Explorer, be sure to enjoy Palmerston North - one of New Zealand's largest provincial cities. History is everywhere - even shopping in the square you'll be able to explore the past, as many of the shops are the original stores that were built in the 1920s ​and 1930s. Don't forget to keep an eye out for the many art pieces that have sprung up in the centre of the city.

Get to know a big part of New Zealand culture at the New Zealand Rugby Museum. Within its walls, there are more than 40,000 relics from the rugby world. You can see everything from items from the beginning of the sport such as the gold fern, which was the first emblem for our home team from 1882, to the 1904 Great Britain touring jersey. This museum is part of Te Manawa, where you will also find an Art Gallery that has a number of temporary and permanent exhibitions.

There are a number of gardens that are perfect for easy strolls. The Victoria Esplanade is a one such garden that sports many nature walks and showcases an immense variety of flora and fauna. There is also a miniature railway that loops through the park and a cafe surrounded by palm trees.

Find the many other attractions throughout the city - catch a show at Centrepoint or Globe Theatre, take a dip at the Lido Aquatic Centre and relax for a meal at the many cafes and restaurants such as the Celtic Inn and Moxies.

Next stop, Auckland

Whether you want to get involved in the cultural side of New Zealand, have adventure experiences or enjoy the natural world, you will find something to do in Auckland. With many theatres constantly playing a variety of shows, you'll be able to catch something whenever you're there - from comedy to opera. Smaller venues such as Basement Theatre have more intimate shows every week, whereas Q Theatre and the Auckland Civic Theatre will welcome acts you're likely to recognise.

 If you want an adrenaline rush, head to the Sky Tower to do the SkyWalk or sign up for the Auckland Bridge Climb and Bungy. You'll get a stunning natural experience by hopping on a ferry and making your way to one of the nearby islands. Shop until you drop down Queen Street and Britomart - hot sports for the latest fashion finds. At the end of the day, indulge your palate at some of the best restaurants in the country like Mexico and Molten.