Wellington City Break

Departing from Auckland, our four-day package will take you on a journey through the heart of the North island to a sparkling capital city where relaxation and entertainment are a passion!

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Discover the coolest little Capital

From $929* per person

3 nights, based on share twin, travel November to March 2020 enquire today for other travel dates


From the majestic skyline of Auckland to the sparkling harbour of our capital, this four-day Wellington City Break is a tale of two cities divided by an incredible 681km of gorgeous New Zealand scenery. Rolling through the heart of the North Island, you'll witness the full spectrum of New Zealand life, featuring rural farmsteads and remote towns, industrial warehouses and dazzling skyscrapers, craggy coastlines and rugged volcanoes.

In Wellington, you'll relax and explore a vibrant and unique capital. Wander through narrow lanes echoing with laughter and clinking cutlery. Stroll around the sparkling waterfront, with its glass towers reflecting the glistening harbour waters. Discover the theatre of filmmaking alongside the drama of politics.

You will then climb aboard the Northern Explorer train once more, returning to Auckland feeling relaxed and enlightened. If four days sounds too hurried, you can extend your enjoyment with additional nights in Auckland or Wellington.


Northern Explorer leaving Auckland through Hobson Bay
Looking out on Ruapehu on board the Northern Explorer
Crossing the South Rangatikei Viaduct aboard the Northern Explorer


Day 1: Northern Explorer

With Auckland's magnificent skyline receding into the distance, your journey through New Zealand begins aboard the stunning Northern Explorer train. Settle back and enjoy an immediate scenic treat as you pass along the Auckland coast and through Hobson Bay.

After passing through Auckland's industrial backdoor, you'll escape out onto the vast Waikato plains, following alongside the meandering mighty Waikato River. By late morning, city life will be a distant memory as you weave through the rural river valleys of King Country.

By early afternoon, the slow, steady, squeal of wheels, and steep banks filling the windows on both sides will indicate you are climbing the Central Plateau. A rapid 132m ascent is achieved in just 6.8km by winding around the Raurimu Spiral - a world-renowned masterpiece of early railway engineering.

View from Northern Explorer shortly after leaving National Park station

Once at the top, you are just a few kilometres from Tongariro National Park where the three volcanic peaks of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe, and Ruapehu dominate the skyline. Over the next hour, you will wind your way through mountain forests and across towering viaducts as you circle the foothills of Ruapehu.

A long steady descent will then lead you down to Rangitikei, where the distinctive river cliffs carve into the landscape. Three more magnificent viaducts come in quick succession as you cross the horseshoe bends of the spectacular Rangitikei River.

Your afternoon will then continue lazily roaming through the rolling meadows and paddocks of Manawatu, punctuated in the east by the massive Ruahine and Tararua mountains. One more change in scenery comes in the early evening as the train meets the Kapiti Coast. On a pleasant summer's evening, you'll be watching the sun go down over Kapiti Island and the headlands of the South Island as you approach your destination, Wellington.

On arrival, you'll transfer to your Wellington hotel where you can decamp for the night or get dressed and refreshed for an evening out in the capital! 


Day 2: Morning | Wellington Sightseeing Tour

After a buffet breakfast at your hotel, it'll be time to head out for an amazing tour of New Zealand's capital city.

Wellington Cable Car climbs above the city
Sightee Wellington van on the Miramar coastline
Boatsheds on Oriental Parade
Beehive and Parliament Building

Winding through the narrow streets of Wellington, you'll see the city's most iconic hotspots. While you relax and take in the sights, your tour guide will complete the picture, pointing out the landmarks and filling in the history and stories of this famous old city. 

Along the way, some of the famous sights you will see include:

  • Beehive and Parliament Building
  • Old St Paul's Cathedral
  • Wellington Museum
  • Wellington Botanic Gardens
  • Wellington Cable Car (at own cost)
  • Mount Victoria viewpoint 

Day 2: Afternoon | Explore Wellington

After cruising around the Wellington sights in the morning, the afternoon is yours to explore as you please. We have the following recommended activities. Some require advance reservations, so please let us know at the time of booking if you would like to include these in your itinerary. 


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Zealandia Eco-Sanctuary

Adults $52: Meet Wellington's natural wild side with a guided tour of Zealandia
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Wellington Waterfront

FREE: Walk around Wellington's beautiful harbour, with its stunning beach, cafes, and bars
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Looking over Wellington at Sunset from Mount Victoria

Mount Victoria Walk

FREE: Take a walk up Wellington's Mount Victoria for spectacular 360° views over the city and harbour
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Somes Matiu Island

Adult $25: Ride across the harbour for an afternoon exploring this enigmatic uninhabited Island
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Te Papa Museum

FREE: Discover New Zealand's nature, history, culture, politics, art and geology all in one incredible museum
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Cuba Street

FREE: Wellington's iconic Cuba Street is famous for its relaxed bohemian atmosphere and unruly fountain
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Day 3: Weta Workshops Tour

Enjoy buffet breakfast in the hotel restaurant before enjoying a guided tour to Weta Workshop.

Wellington's Weta Cave exterior
Weta Tour
Weta Tour through the props department

Weta Workshop is a world-leading Design and Effects facility that specialises in bringing the vivid imaginations of filmmakers into life with astonishing realism. Most famously, they worked with fellow Wellingtonian, Peter Jackson, on Tolkien's epic fantasy, The Lord of the Rings.

Collecting two BAFTA and two Academy awards for their work on The Fellowship of the Ring, Weta Workshop continues to grow into one of the world's most renowned and successful Design and Effect companies. Alongside the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, Weta has worked on Avatar, King Kong, District 9, Indiana Jones, Godzilla, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Mad Max, Blade Runner, and BFG.

Your guided tour of Weta will take you deep behind the scenes of the film industry, revealing how the impossible is made possible. Perhaps most fascinating, is Weta's ability to create realistic prosthetics and props, keeping the traditional methods alive alongside increasingly sophisticated computer-generated imagery (CGI).

After the tour, you will have plenty of time to wander around Wellington and enjoy some more recommended activities, relax in the waterfront cafes and bars, or head to Lambton Quay for some retail therapy.

Day 4: Return to Auckland

Enjoy a fulfilling buffet breakfast before heading to Wellington Railway Station for your return journey on the Northern Explorer scenic train back to Auckland.

As you relax in the comfort of our world-class carriages with their panoramic windows you’ll enjoy morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea as you take in the scenery and wind your way through the countryside back to Auckland. 

Choose your Wellington hotel

Choose from one these great Wellington hotels as part of your Wellington City Break


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Rydges Wellington

4.5-Star | Relax in style at Wellington's biggest hotel with its stunning Portlander Bar & Grill
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Park Hotel Wellington

4-Star | Retreat to the Park Hotel after a hard days' shopping in the heart of the bustling CBD
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C Hotel Wellington

3-Star | Stay in the buzzing heart of Wellington at the amazingly restored C Hotel on Cuba Street
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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.

Package Overview

What's included:



All enquiries

0800 872 467

Overseas:  +64 4495 0775

Option 4 •  Mon-Fri •  08:30 - 17:30

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M Social Auckland

4.5 Star | Overlooking Auckland harbour, the contemporary chic M Social hotel is the ultimate place to start or finish your Scenic break
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