The heart of the North Island
Experience the North Island’s extraordinary range of scenery in one journey, the Northern Explorer takes you through rolling green farmland and virgin bush, past quaint country towns and along rocky coasts.
The journey through Tongariro National Park, with its three spectacular volcanic mountains – Tongariro, Ngāuruhoe and Ruapehu – is a highlight, a place of extremes and surprises, where snow-blanketed fields, ancient lava flows and dense beech forests can be seen side by side.
The Northern Explorer operates a six day timetable, departing Auckland on Monday, Thursday & Saturday, and Wellington on Tuesday, Friday & Sunday.
Deals & Escapes
Take the train to Hamilton, an ideal starting point to discover the mighty Waikato. 2 adults from $279.
Waitomo & Hobbiton
Discover movie magic in the heart of New Zealand, & explore the Waitomo caves. 2 adults from $1,455.
Break away with an overnight stay at the iconic Chateau Tongariro, 2 adults from $509.
Chateau Two Nighter
Break you trip on the Northern Explorer at Chateau Tongariro, 2 adults from $699.
Destinations & Activities
The Northern Explorer is 10 minutes’ walk from central Auckland's iconic Sky Tower and even closer to the waterfront.
Wellington, Capital City
New Zealand's creative, cultural and compact capital. The capital of 'cool'.
A World Heritage setting, home to the stunning Chateau Tongariro at the base of Mt Ruapehu.
Sunsets and sunrises
Spectacular sunrises and sunsets can often be seen as the Northern Explorer travels along the Kapiti coastline.
What People Say
"Fantastic journey from Auckland to National Park for 2 weeks and return trip. Loved the scenery, the train and the staff were very friendly."
Newark upon Trent, UK
"My parents found the train staff very friendly, regularly offering help and also giving an occasional commentary, which was informative"
"For me, the whole enjoyable experience wasn't when I stepped into the Hotel, but when I stepped aboard the KiwiRail service".