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“Rainforest Express with 3 kids under 10, and Nana.”
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 September 7, 2012

This is a great excursion and I can't believe it is not advertised more. The little train takes you through numerous tunnels (some with glow worms). Narrative information is given along the way. The train stops at two points where you are able to get out and take photos. The second stop is where the train leaves for the return journey. At this point you are able to take a short walk up a gravel track to a large water dam. This is really interesting and worth the walk if able. It was too much of a walk for Nana (she has a stick) so she was able to wait, sitting at a picnic table in a shaded area nice the train. Apart from a toilet and the picnic tables, there is no other facilties so make sure you take some water and nibbles. We all loved this trip, adults and children alike.

Date of experience: March 2012
6  Thank BridgetF626
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (19)
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11 - 15 of 19 reviews

Reviewed September 6, 2012

This train in the bush goes over bridges, into tunnels andit is just a magic trip..but you need to book Saturdays and Sundays only
The views are like a dream

Date of experience: September 2012
3  Thank Will M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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

Date of experience: July 2012
3  Thank Journey802993
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.

Copy and check out this link:


Date of experience: June 2012
9  Thank WorldPassport
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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

Date of experience: January 2012
4  Thank FranBoNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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