The Great Kiwi Beer Festival

Grab a friend or a group of mates and head from Auckland to Hamilton on The Northern Explorer train for a fun-filled weekend at the great kiwi beer festival.

New Zealand’s favourite craft beer festival returns to Hamilton for the sensational second installment, arriving in the mighty Waikato on Saturday 13 March 2021.

Ditch the car and travel hassle-free by train on the iconic Northern Explorer. The train departs Auckland Strand and Auckland Papakura Railway Stations and arrives into Hamilton Frankton Station in plenty of time to get to the event. It’s a short 10min taxi ride, or catch the bus direct to the the Claudelands Events Centre upon arrival.

Be at Claudelands Events Centre for a day dedicated to the celebration of our love affair with the amber nectar! More than 35 craft breweries and cider producers will be pouring unique and inspired tipples that showcase the diversity of the booming craft beer industry – featuring more than 300 different brews!

Compliment the brews with a delectable selection of meals and snacks from Hamilton’s hometown-favourite foodies. With dozens of interactive workshops and beer tasting seminars – plus an awesome line-up of great Kiwi artists on the Music Stage, the Great Kiwi Beer Festival is a day dedicated to great craft beers, good mates and fun in the sun.

At the end of the day head out into town for a good meal or retire to your choice of accommodation.

The next day you have a leisurely day before catching the afternoon Northern Explorer train back to Auckland.

Great Kiwi Beer Festival

Your Hamilton Accommodation

You have a choice of three accommodation options included in the package price.

Tudor Motor Lodge is in the city centre and is just 3 minute drive or 20 minute walk from Hamilton Train Station. There are a number of restaurants within a 10-minute walk. Each air-conditioned studio has a kitchenette with a microwave, a refrigerator and tea and coffee making facilities. Each room has electric blankets and a private bathroom.

Classic Motel is located only 2.5 km from Hamilton city centre, 6 minutes’ drive or 36 minute walk from Hamilton Frankton Station. Each studio has an en suite bathroom and air-conditioning. All have cooking facilities, including a stove, microwave and all kitchenware.

Novotel Tainui Hamilton is centrally located on the banks of Waikato River, 6 minutes’ drive or 23 minute walk from Hamilton Frankton Station. Its also just a 14 minute walk from Claudelands Event Centre. Novotel Tainui Hamilton offers an award-winning restaurant and a fitness centre. All accommodation features a flat-screen TV and an iPod docking station. Guests have easy access to shopping, dining and entertainment outlets. Guests can relax with a stroll along the river, or enjoy a fun afternoon in one of the many parks surrounding the hotel.

Check-in is from 2pm – it maybe possible to leave your luggage at your accommodation prior to the event.

Scenic Class Rail Experience

Onboard the Northern Explorer you will journey to and from Hamilton in Scenic Class which includes 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.

Begin your weekend by grabbing coffee and a bite to eat at the onboard cafe. The Scenic Cafe opens for coffee and breakfast before the train departs so no need to travel on an empty stomach. You can take a seat in the Scenic Cafe carriage and feast upon the views whilst eating. But you are also welcome to return to your seat to dine and drink if you would prefer. The day is yours to do as you choose! 

While onboard, you might like a stroll to the 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 weekend begin!

Duration: 2 Days

Price: From $319 NZD

Departure From: Auckland

Departure Date: 13 March 21

Tour Type: Overnight Package

Physical Grading: 1

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Departure Dates & Timetable

  • Departs Saturday, 13 March 2021, returns Sunday 14 March 2021.
  • The Northern Explorer departs Auckland Strand at 7.45am and Papakura at 8.40am arriving into Hamilton Frankton Station at 10.14am.
  • The Northern Explorer departs Hamilton Frankton Station at 4.30pm arriving in Papakura at 5.54pm and Auckland Strand at 6.50pm
  • You must be at the station at least 30 minutes prior to departure.

Tour Inclusions

  • Return Northern Explorer Rail Journey in Scenic Class
  • General Admission ticket to the Event
  • 1 nights’ accommodation at Tudor Motor Lodge based on twin share standard room only
  • Internet at accommodation

Pricing Notes

  • Advertised price is based on twin share at the Tudor Motor Lodge, subject to availability
  • Pricing is correct at the time of submission but is subject to change without notice.
  • Other package options:  Classic Motel at NZD$339 per person twin share / Novotel Tainui Hamilton at NZD$399 per person twin share
  • Valid for travel 13 March 2021, returning 14 March 2021
  • For pre/post travel arrangements please contact LOCO
  • For extra nights, transfers and optional extras please contact LOCO
  • Price is subject to change unless paid in full

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Auckland to Hamilton
Your journey begins at Auckland Strand or Papakura Railway Station, where the iconic Northern Explorer awaits. From here you will be whisked away in comfort for a 2 1/2 hour rail journey to Hamilton. Sit back in your Scenic Class seat and relax as you depart the city, enjoy a coffee and breakfast at the onboard Scenic Cafe or take in the Waikato countryside from the open-air carriage. On arrival into Hamilton Frankton Station you will make your way to Claudelands Event Centre for a fantastic day at the Great Kiwi Beer Festival. Taste the diverse range of craft beer on display, partake in the interactive workshops and beer tasting seminars, listen to some brilliant Kiwi artists onstage and try some of the delectable options from Hamilton's foodie favourites. At the end of the day head to the comfort of your accommodation or experience the nightlife that Hamilton has to offer.
This morning grab some breakfast at a local cafe, then after checking out of your accommodation the day is yours to enjoy at leisure. You might like to visit the Hamilton Gardens or the Classic Car Mueseum, take a wander around the Hamilton Lake Domain, or take a wander around town to see the various outdoor art installations on display. If beer is still on your mind your mind, take a visit to one of Hamilton's breweries to discover more about the brewing process and enjoy some tastings and food. This afternoon, your Northern Explorer train departs at 4.30pm for your trip home.

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