4 days

From: NZ$2049

Departure: Wellington

Destination: Taumarunui

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


  • Return Northern Explorer journey between Wellington and Taumaranui
  • Encounter dramatic changes in scenery and engineering marvels on the Northern Explorer train
  • Enjoy morning tea, lunch & afternoon tea onboard
  • Stay overnight in the unique Republic of Whangamomona
  • Travel the entire Forgotten World railway from Okahukura to Stratford 


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.

Upon arrival at your destination, enjoy some free time to relax on the stunning grounds of your accommodation before dinner is served. 

A Forgotten World

Today you will embark on a fascinating tour of the Forgotten World. Travel through this remote, rugged and sparsely settled New Zealand landscape, travelling over bridges and through tunnels painstakingly constructed by hardy pioneers. Get immersed in the stories of the land, its people and its history.

Enjoy stops along the way for morning and afternoon tea as well as a delightful ploughman’s lunch. Immerse yourself in the changing views of rolling hills, remote farmland and native bush, and experience wildlife close to the tracks.

Arriving in the Republic of Whangamomona, explore the area and its charismatic pub before checking into the Whangamomona hotel where dinner will be served.

A Forgotten World

After breakfast, continue on the rail cart journey to Stratford through the ever-changing vistas.

Today there will be stops along the way for morning and afternoon tea in remote settlements. After lunch at Douglas Station, continue to Stratford, where Taranaki Maunga dominates the landscape.

After a short stop in Stratford, take a shuttle back to Taumarunui where you will return to your accommodation and enjoy dinner.

Return to Wellington

Enjoy breakfast at your accommodation with cooked and continental options available before returning to board the Northern Explorer train home.  Afternoon tea will be provided during your journey onboard the Northern Explorer scenic train.


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 Auckland or Hamilton, your break will start in relaxing style as you ease back in your reclined 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. 

With our licensed bar serving drinks throughout the afternoon, this will certainly be a relaxing way to travel in style.  

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