Explore Timeless Tongariro

Departing from Wellington, our two-day package will take you into the heart of the North Island, staying at the historic Chateau Tongariro among the inspiring volcanic peaks of the Central Plateau

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Visit the volcanic heart of the North Island

From $572* per person

*One night, based on share twin, travel June to November 2020, enquire today for other travel dates


Departing from Wellington's magnificent 1930s station, your timeless journey starts aboard the Northern Explorer. Voyaging north along the rugged Kapiti Coast and across the vast plains of Manawatu, your destination is Tongariro National Park where the colossal peaks of Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe dominate the skyline. Stepping off the train onto the vast high-plains of the Central Plateau, your afternoon will be spent in the mountains with an incredible ride upon the Sky Waka cable-car, soaring high upon the slopes of Ruapehu.

Amidst this inspiring natural drama, the ostentatious Chateau Tongariro Hotel is your haven of relaxation. A sumptuous slice of 1930s New Zealand high-life, with its billiards lounge, dining hall, and recreational golf course, you will feel truly relaxed and liberated from the modern world in a place where time has no bearing.


Day 1: Morning

Leaving the sparkling skyscrapers of our modern capital behind, your journey begins northbound following one of New Zealand's oldest railways, the historic 1886 Wellington-Manawatu Railway. Within minutes of departing, intimate views begin to unfold as the railway skirts alongside the inlets and harbours of Porirua, before climbing up onto the cliffs with stunning views of Kapiti Island.

By late morning, you will have traversed the expansive agricultural plains of Manawatu and be starting a steady ascent on to the Central Plateau. At Mangaweka, a notable change in scenery begins with the Rangitikei River carving into the landscape to produce very distinctive steep white cliffs. A series of three viaducts in quick succession begins to raise the excitement as the Northern Explorer soars above the winding river and its tributaries.

With midday approaching, Ruapehu's magnificent peak will begin to peer over the hills in the north, glistening with snow for much of the year. Take lunch while watching the scenery transform from hilly meadows into tussocked wetlands as you skirt the edges of the Rangipo Desert and enter the foothills of Ruapehu. After lunch, head outdoors to the Open-air Carriage for the climax of this magnificent journey. Winding clockwise around the foothills of Mount Ruapehu, you'll enjoy volcanic views and three more incredible viaducts - including the unmistakable curved Hapuawhenua Viaduct.

As you step off the train at National Park, with the stunning peaks of Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu dominating the skyline, you will be greeted and transferred to the timeless Chateau Tongariro.


Northern Explorer crossing the Hapuawhenua Viaduct
Passing Mount Ruapehu on board the Northern Explorer
Coasting past Kapiti Island on the Northern Explorer


Day 1: Afternoon

After checking-in to your room at the Chateau Tongariro, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the stately environment of New Zealand's most historic and iconic hotel. Take a swim in the plunge pool, play snooker in the Ruapehu Lounge, relax by the fire, or take a stroll to the nearby waterfalls. Whatever you choose, the timeless beauty of the Tongariro National Park - a UNESCO dual World Heritage area - will envelop you, making you want to stay forever.

Phenomenal Fridays:

Our Friday packages include a special evening event - dining on the peak of Ruapehu. With dusk approaching, you'll ascend Mount Ruapehu aboard the stunning Sky Waka gondola. Climbing 1.8km up the craggy face of New Zealand’s famous active volcano, your destination is a dinner-date in the Knoll Ridge Chalet, New Zealand’s highest restaurant (at 2,020m above sea level). Surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows and exceptional views, you’ll enjoy a sumptuous buffet dinner while looking down on the Pinnacles and the vast plains that extend below to the distant horizon.

All other travel days:

In the late afternoon, you'll climb aboard the Sky-Waka cable car for a breathtaking ascent to the Knoll Ridge Chalet, midway up the peak of Ruapehu. Nestled 2,020m above sea-level, the Chalet's floor-to-ceiling windows provide stunning views of the mountainous terrain and the valley below. Breathe in the views and fresh mountain air while enjoying a coffee or drink from the bar, if you choose.

In the evening, you will return to the Chateau for an extravagant dining experience in the ostentatious Ruapehu Room. Surrounded by glamourous 1930s decor and shimmering chandeliers, you'll enjoy a delicious three-course dinner. For an authentic slice of New Zealand heritage, why not choose the chef’s signature chateaubriand for two!


Volcanic skline at National Park
Sky Waka ascending Mount Ruapehu
View from the Knowl Ridge Chalet


Day two: Morning

The morning is yours to do as you choose. Get up early to explore the mountains or lounge in bed and relax, either way, start your day with an indulgent Raupehu Room buffet breakfast. Once fulfilled, you can take a long walk or relax in the pool, or simply retire to the Ruapehu Lounge for morning tea while gazing out over the stunning volcanic peak of Ngauruhoe.

Take a spectacular stroll

No trip to National Park is complete without walking around this spectacular environment. From the Chateau Tongariro, you do not have to go far. You could even marry a morning stroll with a short round of golf on the hotel's 9-hole course. 

Whether you are fleet of foot or too full of breakfast to move, the Taranaki Falls loop offers the perfect opportunity for all to experience the views. Starting from the hotel car park, you can follow the trail for a few metres or a few kilometres, with each step delivering increasingly spectacular views.  The track is well maintained, with gravel pathways, wooden walkways and boxed stairs. So bring some casual shoes, a jacket and sunscreen, and you'll be set to go. The complete loop is an easy gradient 6km walk that takes a leisurely 1 to 1.5 hours. 

Stunning views from the Taranaki Falls walk
Intimate mountain waterfalls found on the Taranaki Falls walk
Taranaki Falls in Tongariro National Park


If you manage to work up an appetite, then you can treat yourself to high-tea in the Ruapehu Lounge, or enjoy lunch in the Pihanga Cafe or Tussock Bar & Restuarant near the Chateau. Alternatively, you can have a light-bite in The Station Cafe while waiting for the train.

Day 2: Afternoon

By early afternoon, you will be reclining back aboard the Northern Explorer as you return to Wellington. With beautiful New Zealand rolling past your window, you’ll relax with Afternoon Tea, while reflecting on a memorable couple of days. 



Stunning high-tea from the Ruapehu Lounge
Spacious Heritage King bedroom
Historic dining in the Ruapehu Room

Chateau Tongariro: 4 Star

Surrounded by the sacred peaks of Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro, Chateau Tongariro Hotel exudes a timeless elegance deeply rooted in New Zealand’s heritage. Occupying a prime spot in Tongariro National Park, the hotel honours the gracious gift of tribal land to the people of New Zealand in 1887. Here you can soak up mountain views and classic 1930s atmosphere in their welcoming Ruapehu Lounge, savouring High Tea and classic cocktails around the crackling fire or spend some time relaxing in their inviting plunge pool and sauna.

Within the main hotel, the Ruapehu Room serves a lavish breakfast buffet that will set you up for the day.

Room type: Tongariro room Twin/King



Room upgrades are available at a surcharge (subject to availability). During times of high demand, if the advertised package room is not available, a substitution of a similar or better room may be made to complete the package and a surcharge may apply.

What's included:

  • Northern Explorer Wellington to National Park
  • Northern Explorer Morning tea and Lunch
  • One nights' accommodation at Chateau Tongariro
  • Buffet breakfast at Chateau Tongariro
  • Return transfers between train, Chateau and Mt Ruapehu
  • Return journey on Sky Waka gondola
  • Friday special: Buffet dinner at Pinnacles, Knoll Ridge Chalet
  • All other days: Dinner in the Ruapehu Room
  • Northern Explorer National Park to Wellington
  • Northern Explorer Afternoon Tea



All enquiries

0800 872 467

Overseas:  +64 4495 0775

Option 4 •  Mon-Fri •  08:30 - 17:30

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