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Northern Explorer

Northern Explorer



The scenic Northern Explorer slices right through New Zealand’s picturesque North Island between Auckland and Wellington.

On its 12 hour 400 mile journey the train travels into the heart of the North Island past diverse landscapes from towering volcanoes to lush farmlands and misty rainforests.

Leaving the pretty harbour of Auckland early in the morning the Northern Explorer, follows the Waikato river and through verdant countryside that is said to have fired an adolescent Peter Jackson’s imagination for the Lord of the Rings before rising up onto the dramatic volcanic plateau with beautiful views of Mount Tongariro.

Passing over impressive viaducts & bridges the train follows the gorge of the Rangitikei River down to the sea running alongside the sand and surf of the Kapiti Coastline to the pretty harbour of Porirua and then journey’s end in Wellington in the early evening.

Life on Board

The carriages on the Northern Explorer are comfortable and spacious with reclining seats, air-conditioning and large panoramic windows. The train has a café-bar selling light meals and snacks and an observation lounge that gazes out over the rear of the train through large windows.


Our free Viewtrail App stores your essential travel information in one secure place, ensuring we are with you from start to finish.
  • View your travel plans on or offline, wherever and whenever you wish
  • Live flight notifications - real time information as you travel
  • Online check-in links and pre-tour notifications
  • Luggage allowance
  • Mapped places of interest - restaurants, shops, stations...plus route guidance back to your hotel
  • View e-vouchers and export them to your Apple wallet
  • Secure access to booking history, profile and insurance contact information
  • One touch emergency contact 365/24/7
  • Add to calendar function
  • Countdown to travel
  • Local time, weather, translator and exchange rate calculator
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