WOW - UP CLOSE Wellington City Break by train
Departing Auckland, our 4-day Wellington Break takes you on a full Northern Explorer journey to explore New Zealand's capital city and the World of WearableArt – Up Close exhibition at Te Papa.
Discover the coolest little Capital
From $877* per person
3 nights, based on share twin at Naumi Hotel, travel 12 December 2020 to 24 December 2020 and 8 January - 14 February 2021
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, experience World of WearableArt’s brand new immersive exhibition at Te Papa – World of WearableArt – Up Close
This exhibition presents WOW like you’ve never seen it before. The immersive exhibition invites you to get up close to over 35 award-winning garments created by designers from New Zealand and around the world. World of WearableArt – Up Close showcases some of the most breath-taking creations that we’ve seen in the WOW Awards Competition.
During your break in the capital you’ll have time to relax and explore the vibrant 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.
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.
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: World of WareableArt® - Up Close
Te Papa Museum | Cable Street, Wellington
After enjoying breakfast (at your own expense) at one of the many cafes and eateries in the city, it'll be time to head out to Australasia's most visited museum Te Papa to discover WOW’s brand new exhibition, World of WearableArt – Up Close.
Enjoy one of two options available to experience the exhibition. The first option includes general admission to the exhibition and offers the opportunity to journey through the exhibition at your own pace, taking time to discover the incredible detail of the garments on display up close.
The second option (additional costs apply) is a private guided tour where your tour host will delve a little deeper into the stories behind some of the award-winning creations on display and share fascinating insights into the exhibition
After indulging in the world of WOW at Te Papa, head out on the streets and wind through the narrow streets of Wellington, you'll see the city's most iconic hotspots. Keep an eye out for some of the key landmarks as you take in the history and learn more of this famous old city.
Some famous well known Wellington sights to look out for include:
- Beehive and Parliament Building
- Old St Paul's Cathedral
- Wellington Museum
- Wellington Botanic Gardens
- Wellington Cable Car (at own cost)
- Mount Victoria viewpoint
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.
Mount Victoria Walk
Somes Matiu Island
Te Papa Museum
Day 3: Weta Workshops Tour
Enjoy breakfast (at your own expense) at one of the many cafes and eateries in the city before enjoying a guided tour to Weta Workshop.
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 breakfast (at your own expense) at one of the many cafe and eateries, 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.
Oaks Wellington Hotel
Naumi Hotel Wellington
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.