Best of Wellington by Northern Explorer

Duration: 4 Days

Price: from NZ$1,159

Departure From: Auckland

Departure Date: Monday, Thursday and Saturdays.

Tour Type: Independent Tour

Meal Plan: B&B

Physical Grading: 2/5

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Journey through the North Island to Wellington by Northern Explorer and enjoy our sparkling capital for four days of culture and relaxation.

If you are looking to experience the incredible Northern Explorer train journey from Auckland to Wellington and then enjoy the magical capital without any hassle, then this is the break for you.

Departing from Auckland, our four-day package will take you on a journey through the heart of the North island to a sparkling capital city where relaxation and entertainment are a passion!

Wellington by Northern Explorer Map
*map illustrates 2 night minimum stay in Wellington but you can extend. This itinerary is fully flexbile.

Best of Wellington by Northern Explorer Highlights

  • Encounter dramatic changes in scenery and engineering marvels on the Northern Explorer train
  • Take in the city sites and main attractions on a sightseeing tour
  • Discover movie magic at the famous movie workshop
  • Learn about New Zealand’s history and culture at Te Papa museum

Wellington by Northern Explorer – The Train Journey

The biggest highlights of your Wellington by Northern Explorer City Break will be the train journey.

Climbing aboard the Northern Explorer in Auckland or Hamilton, your Wellington break will start in relaxing style as you ease back in your reclined seat and enjoy the views through your panoramic window. 

Along the way, you’ll see hobbits and orcs and wizards – well, maybe, on a clear day. But this is Middle Earth, and highlights do include the conical peak of the volcano Ngauruhoe, which featured as Mount Doom in LOTR. And the rural scenery of rolling hills, paddocks, and pastures is also reminiscent of the Shire. 

Soaring viaducts and the historical Raurimu Spiral are also highlights of this day long adventure through the heart of the North Island.

Kapati Coast Northern Explorer
Travelling along the Kapiti Coast with stunning views across to Kapiti Island

On your journey to Wellington by Northern Explorer, you will be booked in Scenic Class where you will enjoy spacious reclined seats with generous amounts of legroom and comfort, panoramic windows, glass shelves and skylights. And to heighten your comfort, state-of-the-art airbag suspension has been used to guarantee a smooth ride across our rugged New Zealand terrain.

While onboard, you might like a stroll to the Northern Explorer Scenic Cafe carriage where you’ll find a great selection of hot and cold snacks, drinks and ice creams. Indulge in a freshly brewed specialty tea or barista coffee married with a sumptuous cake? Or perhaps toast your special journey with a bottle of bubbles or craft beer?

The open-air viewing carriage is also great place to get some fresh air and enjoy the great outdoors while on the move. Capture the magical views on camera and let your short break begin!

Coastal-Pacific-older-couple-inside
Heading away on holiday to Wellington by train

For a detail itinerary for your Wellington by Northern Explorer city break, please see below.

Should you wish to add a night or two into your itinerary either in your destination or along the way, let us know at the time of booking. The Coastal Pacific Train Wildlife Encounter is fully flexible.

Click here for alternate North Island tours

Tour Inclusions

  • One way travel on Northern Explorer train from Auckland or Hamilton to Wellington with morning and afternoon tea and lunch
  • 3 nights 4-star accommodation in Wellington CBD, including breakfast
  • Wellington City tour
  • Guided tour of Te Papa Museum
  • Behind the scenes movie workshop tour
  • Hotel transfers
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees as specified in the itinerary

Pricing Notes

  • Advertised price based on per person, twin share
  • Non-refundable deposit of 20% per person is due at the time of booking
  • Full non-refundable balance of tour payment date will be advised at the time of booking
  • A single supplement is available or you can choose to match up with another single traveller
  • Price is subject to change unless paid in full
  • Full terms and conditions will be advised at the time of booking

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 | Auckland - Northern Explorer Train - Wellington
Journey through the heart of the North Island on the Northern Explorer train, and soak up the views of the ever changing scenery from the comfort of your seat. On this full day journey, you’ll encounter spectacular railway engineering feats like the Raurimu spiral, as you glide through rolling green farmland, past quaint country towns and along rocky coasts. Travel through Tongariro National Park with its three spectacular volcanic mountains –Tongariro, Ngāuruhoe and Ruapehu, and over huge viaducts spanning deep gorges. Your Northern Explorer train trip includes morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea en route. On arrival into Wellington, the evening is yours to enjoy Wellington's exceptional culinary food scene and nightlife.
Start your day with a breakfast buffet with cooked and continental selections at your accommodation, and then head to the iSite to begin a half-day sightseeing tour. Take in breath-taking scenic views and photo opportunities of this beautiful capital, and visit some of the city’s most iconic attractions and landmarks like the Botanic Gardens, Parliament Grounds and the Cable Car. In the afternoon enjoy a private tour of Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum, known for its interactive displays and impressive exhibits.
After breakfast this morning, you’ll embark on a guided tour of the famous movie workshop known for the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. On the way, you’ll visit some movie locations from the Lord of the Rings in the Hobbit woods. The workshop tour includes a short documentary movie, and an exclusive behind the scenes experience. Here you’ll learn about how the movie props are made, pose for photos with famous movie characters and props and even have the opportunity to buy souvenirs. The rest of the day is free to explore the city. Why not add on an optional activity to your special escape – perhaps a visit to Zealandia - a spectacular wildlife reserve, home to a thriving population of native birds and reptiles.
Your tour concludes after breakfast, but there’s plenty more to explore! Optional activities include a visit to Martinborough Wine region, or head out to the coast for a Cape Palliser Lighthouse and seal tour. From here, you might want to extend your stay in Wellington, travel back to Auckland, or connect to the South Island for more adventures - just let us know at the time of enuiry.

For more information about this tour, price queries and updates on specials, please Enquire Now.