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Certificate of Excellence
Traveller Overview
  • Excellent66%
  • Very good24%
  • Average7%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“viewing car”(12 reviews)
“national park”(12 reviews)
“kiwi rail”(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
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Reviews (482)
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All reviews viewing car national park kiwi rail open carriage palmerston north train journey cafe car raurimu spiral stretch your legs dining car observation carriage britomart station mt ruapehu big windows clear blue skies twelve hours rural landscape
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1 - 10 of 467 reviews
Reviewed 6 days ago

I travelled with a group 5 adults in total on this train trip full day from Auckland to Wellington. From the beginning at Auckland station the staff were rude and abrupt, "only one of you need get the tickets" was how we were greeted at...More

Date of experience: November 2018
1  Thank Monica L
Reviewed 1 week ago

First time experience of train in New Zealand and I loved it. The rail car with the open air viewing was awesome. The sights most of journey were fabulous. The journey was about 11 hours but we really enjoyed. Food and drink is sufficient and...More

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank macenchill
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We travelled on the Northern Explorer from Auckland to Ohakune, and later from Ohakune to Wellington. Both were lovely journeys, highly scenic, and the train was very comfortable. Food was nice and easy to get, and the train staff were great. It was a good...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank Warg57
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Hi Warg57, Thanks for leaving such thorough and positive feedback! Ohakune is a great little town in the heart of the North Island's volcanic plateau, so we hoped you enjoyed your stay there too. All the best, Robin | The Great Journeys of New Zealand

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The train is really confy, it looks new and well care. There is enough place for your things and your legs. The service is excelent they were really helpful and always smiling. There is a food variety of food to buy there. The comments on...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank mercegh
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Hi mercegh, Thanks for the excellent rating! Yes, the commentary system is very informative and if you are looking for a day out that shows you most of New Zealand's North Island, then the Northern Explorer is the perfect option! We hope you enjoy the...More

Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We looked forward to this iconic journey travelling from Auckland to Wellington. In terms of the ever changing scenery we were not disappointed. Weatherwise we were afforded a bright sunny and unusually warm day. On boarding the train we found the seats to be comfortable...More

Date of experience: November 2018
1  Thank Christopher172
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Hi Christopher172, Sorry for the late response. The Customer Services team tell me that following your email a partial refund has been applied. A functioning commentary system is a high priority for us, and we share the frustration of our passengers when it is not...More

Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

For the length of journey there simply isn’t enough spectacular scenery. It’s twelve hours long - we got stuck behind a freight train which added another hour and a half into the journey. The air conditioning in our carriage was broken along with all the...More

Date of experience: November 2018
1  Thank MarcusGB
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Hi MarcusGB, We are sorry to hear you didn't enjoy the journey as much as most people. There is no denying that it's a long journey, 648km, from one end of the country to the other. But it isn't just distance that makes it great....More

Reviewed November 12, 2018 via mobile

The ride is comfortable and has a nice viewing car at the front. We had a small mishap with our tickets and meals (our fault), and Bruce and his team were exceptionally helpful and accommodating in getting everything straightened out for us.

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank Fearless44951729374
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Hi Fearless44951729374, Thanks for the five-star rating! We are always on hand to happy to help! Thanks for joining us and we wish you all the best, Robin | The Great Journeys of New Zealand

Reviewed November 12, 2018

This is a must do if you are on the north island! the variation of scenery is exceptional, and well worth the cost of the ticket.

Date of experience: September 2018
1  Thank 540robl
Reviewed November 11, 2018

We had a first-time hop-over from Melbourne to a New Zealand (Auckland) for a Southern Island tour, but wanted to see a bit of the North Island as well and opted for this 9 hour train experience. Extremely enjoyable and relaxing experience from the large-window...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank G9240TTcharlesp
Reviewed November 6, 2018 via mobile

Probably the best way I’ve gotten to explore a country, ever! Did Wellington to Auckland, can’t wait to do the reverse next time!More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank bchill6700
Robin H, Online crew at Northern Explorer Train, responded to this reviewResponded November 11, 2018

Hi bchill6700, We are really pleased to hear you enjoyed travelling with us through the heart of our North Island. Don't forget you can also traverse the Southern Alps on the South Island with us aboard the TranzAlpine! We look forward to seeing you next...More

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Questions & Answers
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December 7, 2018|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Robin H | Property representative |
0 Votes Hi madfisher44, Yes Peter M is correct. The mountains are to the east, but the carriages feature full panoramic windows making the views magnificent on both sides regardless of where you are sitting. All the best... More
November 19, 2018|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Robin H | Property representative |
Hi Pioneer14860650160, The hand luggage rules are a bit stricter than airlines. Our overhead shelves are made of glass and allow light and views in from the skylights above. This means they are not very strong and too many... More
September 2, 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 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.