3 days

From: NZ$1199

Departure: Wellington

Destination: Auckland

Book Now

Explore the rural heart of New Zealand's North Island with the Northern Explorer train and a half-day rail cart tour. Explore the Forgotten World on the way to Auckland.


  • Northern Explorer journey from Wellington to Taumarunui then onward to Auckland
  • Encounter dramatic changes in scenery and engineering marvels on the Northern Explorer train
  • Indulge in morning tea, lunch & afternoon tea onboard
  • Discover regional New Zealand on a half-day rail cart adventure
  • Explore lavender farms on the banks of the Whanganui River 


A journey on the Northern Explorer

Travelling from the South, you’ll see the rugged cliffs of the Kapiti coast before travelling over a series of spectacular viaducts including the famous Hapuawhenua Viaduct. Encounter one of the highlights of the Northern Explorer journey, the historic Raurimu Spiral, an engineering feat. 

Enjoy the delicious morning tea and lunch that will be provided on the train.

A Forgotten World

Today you will embark on a fascinating tour of the Forgotten World. Begin your special journey on rail carts through this remote, rugged and sparsely settled New Zealand landscape. Travel over 25 bridges and through a series of 10 tunnels, painstakingly constructed by hard-working pioneers.  

On arrival at Tokirima, you will enjoy a ploughman’s lunch before joining your shuttle to visit Lauren’s Lavender Farm. This family-run business lies in tranquil surroundings on the banks of the Whanganui River, with beautiful lavender fields and a café and gift shop in a converted old farmhouse. Your day will end with a return shuttle to Taumarunui to enjoy an included dinner at your accommodation.

Northern Explorer to Auckland

Enjoy breakfast at your accommodation before continuing on your own great escape to Auckland. 


An epic voyage on the Northern Explorer train

One of the biggest highlights of your Taumarunui experience will be the journey.

Climbing aboard the Northern Explorer in Wellington, Paraparaumu or Palmerston North, your break will start in a relaxing style as you ease back in your comfortable seat and enjoy the views through your panoramic window. 

Along the way, you'll see hobbits and orcs and wizards - well, maybe, on a clear day. But this is Middle Earth, and highlights do include the conical peak of the volcano Ngauruhoe, which is featured as Mount Doom in LOTR. And the rural scenery of rolling hills, paddocks, and pastures is also reminiscent of the Shire. 



More packages and breaks to explore