1 days

From: NZ$189

Departure: Wellington

Destination: Auckland

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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 multi-cultural Auckland with our bustling capital, Wellington. With unique blends of international prestige and local culture, both are excellent places to start or finish your adventure.

See the scenic wonders of Middle Earth, soar over towering viaducts, across the high plains of the volcanic plateau, and beneath three mighty volcanoes.

Book a journey like no other by travelling in either direction from Auckland to Wellington or Wellington to Auckland.

Destinations include: 

Auckland  •  Hamilton  •  Otorohanga (Waitomo Caves)  • Taumarunui  •  Tongariro National Park  •  Ohakune  •  Palmerston North  •  Wellington

Book your journey

Discover the onboard experience

There is more to the Northern Explorer train experience than simply travelling through the spectacular heart of the North Island. Discover more about what lies ahead onboard.

Our Scenic Class Carriages

Glide through the heart of New Zealand's beautiful scenery in our Scenic Class carriages

Open-air Viewing Carriages

Get closer to nature by stepping outdoors and breathing in our magnificent scenery

Scenic Cafe

Savour the journey with locally sourced food & drink from our Scenic Cafe to accompany the views

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Northern Explorer train timetable

Northern Explorer Auckland to Wellington trains depart southbound on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

Northern Explorer Wellington to Auckland trains depart northbound on Friday, Sunday, and Wednesday. 

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Check Arrival and Departure times

Call our automated service for the latest times

0800 872 467
Phone icon

Check Arrival and Departure times

Call our automated service for the latest times

0800 872 467

Explore our Scenic trains

Glide through New Zealand in beautiful style with our world-famous scenic trains connecting you all the way from Auckland to the West Coast

Explore the flavours of New Zealand

Experience the natural flavours of New Zealand with our Scenic Plus experiences, each offering a full-sensory exploration of the lands you travel through aboard your New Zealand rail journey.

Discover true local gems with our Northern Explorer packages

Let us take care of the details while you relax and enjoy the best of New Zealand with our spectacular Northern Explorer short breaks and travel packages:

Take a tour of discovery through authentic Aotearoa

Join one of our unique rail tours for an intimate experience of the people, places, scenery, history, and culture that makes the North Island so special!

World of WearableArt Show Packages

As official sponsor of the 2023 World of WearableArt (WOW) Show, we've partnered with WOW to bring you three exclusive packages, including a special Northern Explorer 'WOW Train VIP Experience' where everyone aboard will be travelling to the show!

Save 10% with our partner discounts

Save 10% on your Northern Explorer Scenic train fares using one of our partner discounts:

Save 10% when booking with your Senior Gold Card

Senior Gold Card members can save 10% on their Scenic and Scenic Plus train fares

Save 10% with your AA Membership

Use Code AACARD10 to save 10% when booking with your AA Membership Card

Save 10% with your NZMCA Card

Use code FA5239 to save 10% when booking with your NZMCA Membership Card