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“Low key - low impact but much better than I expected”
Review of Rainforest Express - CLOSED

Rainforest Express
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Attraction details
Owner description: Take a guided tour on Watercare's historic bush railway through the Waitakere Ranges. Hear about the hardy men who built the Upper Nihotupu Dam in the early 20th century; the conditions they lived in and the dangers they faced. Learn about the journey this water takes from the dam to your taps at home.Along the way travel through 10 tunnels and come face to face with cave weta and glow worms. At Quinn's Viaduct listen to the birds and the stream below. Watch the sunlight filter through vast stands of native trees lining steep valleys. The view is equally dramatic in the rain. (It is a rainforest!) See waterfalls cascading through the bush, maybe even a torrent pouring over the dam spillway.Pack lunch for our morning picnic trip (3 hours) or snacks for the afternoon trip (2.5 hours). During the summer months only, bring your barbecue food for our popular twilight trip (3.5 hours).The train is covered and trips run rain or shine.Open for public trips all year during weekends and school holidays, or charter the train for a private gathering any day of the year except Xmas Day.
Reviewed August 23, 2012

Nice views, learnt a bit, a wet day but still enjoyable. If you don't want to take the tram and you feel like a bit of exercise, walk down the road to the dam from the Scenic Drive, that is really worthwile. Beautiful, quiet, the stream leading into the lake and the walk along the lake to the dam is awesome

3  Thank q'meister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (19)
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13 - 17 of 19 reviews

Reviewed June 10, 2012

Really surprised that not that many people know about this place. It's such an awesome place. About 30 minute drive from Auckland CBD. Yes, you need a car to get here and have to book in advance. I did it via email and they responded pretty quickly. NZD$25 adult fare. They run mainly only on weekends.

About 2 hour train ride round trip. Each compartment fits up to 4 adults although the space is more comfortable for 2 adults. It's cover by a glass window including the overhead and one side (where the door is) is open so be sure to dress warm in cold weather like now. Once you get to the Dam, you can climb up 153 steps to the top of the Dam and walk for about 10 minute leisurely to a picnic area.

The train runs even when it rains and it does rain quite a bit in Auckland in Winter time. There are benches on the picnic area (roof over it). They gave you about an hour and 10 minutes time for picnic. There are toilet areas before you take the train and once you get to the picnic area. You will go through so many tunnels where you can see glowworms and huge taranchula.

It's truly a rain forest in the middle of Auckland city. I think it's the best attraction in Auckland. No big tour buses. There's parking area and the sign that leads to the parking area is a bit confusing.

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9  Thank World Passport
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 5, 2012

This is an absolute gem and it's highly recommended fun for the whole family. We came across this excursion while looking for fun summer activities and we have raved about it ever since to all our friends. Run by Watercare (a large NZ utility company), the train departs from a depot just outside Titirangi village (West Auckland). Over the course of a few hours the train wends its way through native bush and narrow tunnels and up into the ranges, with glow worm spotting thrown in. The train stops at a quiet, bush clad picnic spot beside Auckland's Nihotupu Dam, before returning to the depot. It's a 2-3 hour round trip. We did the early afternoon trip which was perfect for us, however the slightly longer twilight trip sounds brilliant. Bookings during the summer months are essential. The train trip itself will suit all ages (maybe not young toddlers), however the five minute up hill walk to get to the dam from the picnic spot will not suit anyone with physical disabilities. Pack a picnic lunch. And be sure to enjoy a leisurely coffee at one of the Titirangi cafes before or after the trip. Visit the website www.watercare.co.nz

4  Thank FranBoNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 26, 2012

Went for a birthday trip for a 90 year old lady! Amazing. The train is narrow as the track needs to be to traverse the landscape easily. It was an old railway that has been refurbished. It was nice to have a picnic area at the end of the outward trip to stretch legs and go for a wander. Well worth it especially when the weather is not to hot or wet.

Thank isiscatnz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed March 12, 2012

Track throught he rainforest without the walking, see the views walk upto the dam glowworms, cave wetas and a few suprises.

Informative, educational and fun

Thank david603
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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