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  • Excellent65%
  • Very good25%
  • Average7%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“national park”(10 reviews)
“open carriage”(8 reviews)
The Great Journeys of New Zealand operate a network of long distance passenger trains and inter-island ferries. We take passengers across New Zealand in comfort and style through some of the most scenic areas of the North and South Islands. The...more
Suggested duration: More than 3 hours
Wellington Railway Station | Bunny Street, Wellington, New Zealand
+64 4-495 0775
Ways to Experience Northern Explorer Train
from US$72.00
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from US$72.00
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Reviews (464)
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All reviewsviewing carriagenational parkopen carriagepalmerston northtrain journeyobservation carstretch your legscafe cardining carraurimu spiralclear blue skiespassenger carsbritomart stationrural landscapeexcellent commentarynew zealanduncomfortable seats
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1 - 10 of 449 reviews
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

This scenic train is one of the real pleasures of New Zealand. Undoubtedly this is one of the best ways to enjoy North Island's awe-inspiring landscapes. My partner and I were on board the Auckland bound Northern Explorer last Sunday. It was an unforgettable experience...More

Thank LJan76
Reviewed yesterday

Fantastic way to explore this fabulous land of ours. A definite 'must do' for all NZers and visitors as well. A luxury train ride (about 10 1/2 hours) from Auckland to Wellington- arriving on sunset over the Kapiti Coastline. Commentary is given through out the...More

Thank Jeanne N
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

Did this rail trip today with my cousin. We left from Auckland and got greeted by very friendly staff. What a great trip. Comfy seats with ample leg room. A warm carriage, delicious food from the cafe and best of all....amazing views. We got to...More

Thank Michelle T
Robin H, Online Crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 2 days ago

Hi Michelle T, Many thanks for taking the time to review your experience on the Northern Explorer. We're pleased to hear that the staff, facilities and scenery all contributed to create a memorable experience for you and your cousin. We hope to have you guys...More

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Travelled to wellington for my 50th. Had a great time on the train. My partner spoilt me. The staff were great. The views along the way were awesome. Recommended trip to anyone who wants to experience the old way to travel. Second time I have...More

Thank Wayne M
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Hi Wayne M, Thanks for travelling with us on your 50th birthday! We are really pleased to hear you had such a great time - and please do recommend us. We hope to see you on the TranzAlpine for you 60th! All the best, Robin...More

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This trip is a "must-do" for Kiwis and visitors alike! The relaxed 11 hour trip provided a taste of almost all the landscapes New Zealand has to offer. Sea, mountains and forest - and all viewable from the comfort of your seat, cafe car or...More

1  Thank Dalyb39
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Hi Dalyb39, Thank-you for the incredible review! We are so pleased that you enjoyed the best of New Zealand with us. Serving 12hrs a day, our crew have plenty of experience and we are really pleased this shone through for you! We hope to see...More

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is really a relaxing way to travel from Auckland to Wellington. The train is very comfortable, your luggage travels in a separate luggage van, so uncluttered.The views are often spectacular even in the rain and the viewing car which is open allows for clear...More

Thank mikey1379
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Hi Mike, Thanks for the excellent review. We are really pleased that you enjoyed your journey through the heart of the North Island. A good tip is to pack some warm clothes in a small bag to bring onboard to wear for the open-air viewing...More

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

What a great day, we had wanted to do this trip for some time and kept putting it off, my only disappointment is that we didn't do it earlier. What a great way to see and hear about this beautiful country. The trip was comfortable,...More

Thank GaryandLesleyTravel
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Hi Garyandlesleytravel, Thanks for the excellent review! Yes, the view young lambs springing around the fields is a wonderful and frequent sight from the Northern Explorer as it passes through the heart of the North Island's fertile farmlands. Seeing Mount Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe covered in...More

Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Had the absolute pleasure of travelling from Auckland to Wellington on the Northern Explorer in August 2018. We were blessed with clear sunny skies and amazing scenery to view. The staff were friendly, professional and knowledgeable. Facilities were kept clean during the 11 hour journey....More

Thank Ali J
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Hi Ali, Thanks for the great review. We are really pleased to hear the weather was magnificent and that our customary excellent service made the journey even better! All the best, Robin | The Great Journeys of New Zealand

Reviewed August 13, 2018 via mobile

We treated ourselves for our anniversary and travelled down from Auckland on the train. The check in at the station was easy and once our luggage had been stowed in the baggage cart and after getting a hot drink from the buffet cart, we found...More

Thank ScotsguyKiwigirl
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Hi ScotsguyKiwigirl Thank you so much for choosing to spend your anniversary with us and we are really pleased to hear you had an amazing time. We look forward to seeing you on the Coastal Pacific and TranzAlpine soon. I recommend flying to Wellington, catching...More

Reviewed August 11, 2018

Loved this journey. Had done it before but that was many years ago. I took my daughter for her 9th birthday to Wellington by train. We loved the fact that we could walk around any time we wanted to and could visit the open air...More

Thank Hammerpaul68
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Hi Hammerpaul68, Thank-you for sharing your daughter's brirthday with us. We are and th to a trip on the Northern Explorer for her birthday

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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
September 2, 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from JaneW3063 | Reviewed this property |
You can split the trip by getting of in the middle of the North Island - staying at Chateau Tongariro or many of the options at Ohakune.
July 19, 2018|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Tekakariki | Reviewed this property |
It will all depend on the weather. I’ve seen everything from just mist to spectacular views. I’d say stay a night in National Park or nearby and then you can at least go for a walk. Good luck!
Lovely S
May 24, 2018|
AnswerShow all 8 answers
Response from Raj_Josh | Reviewed this property |
I don't remember names of places but first three hours journey, starting from Wellington side is quite outstanding, rest is nothing. Pl. read my review.