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New Zealand Festivals by Rail – Our Top 8

It’s festival season New Zealand, so the team here at LOCO Journeys wanted to get you thinking a little differently as to how you can enjoy these great New Zealand festivals.

Whether it is a celebration of food, wine, beer or music, take some train trips in New Zealand, and experience something absolutely new!

Wrapping an event into a longer weekend away makes for a great feature of any short break and LOCO Journeys can take care of booking car-hire, accommodation and further activities that you may want to experience.

Here’s some inspiration for eight fantastic festivals that can be reached by our great NZ rail journeys.


Wellington Wine, Food & Craft Beer Festival

13 February 2021

This premier Wellington festival brings together the best of local cuisines, matched with local wineries and breweries that reflect the best of summer – sun, outdoors, fine wine, delicious food, great music and fun with friends. From 11am to 7pm enjoy the occasion at Waitangi Park and make this festival the feature of a weekend away in Wellington.  Travel south from Auckland and all stops in between on the Northern Explorer train, one of the best NZ rail journeys.


Banks Peninsula Festival

20 February 2021

Nestled on the sun drenched side of Lyttelton Harbour, Orton Bradley Park plays home to the Banks Peninsula Festival: a vibrant showcase of music, food, beverage and culture from around the region and beyond. Travel to Christchurch on premier South Island train trips such as by TranzAlpine train from the West Coast and Greymouth, or the Coastal Pacific travel south from Picton, Blenheim, Kaikoura for a great few nights away.

Banks Peninsula Festival

Splore Music Festival

26-28 February 2021

In a beautiful bay on the shores of Tāpapakanga Regional Park, Auckland is a boutique music and arts festival like no other. This three day entertainment extravaganza is known as Aotearoa’s greatest dress up party. Across three days and into the night an eclectic lineup of musical artists from Aotearoa and abroad play the multiple festival stages. Performing arts, installations, workshops and forums unfold across the site. And people dance like nobody’s watching. Splore can be reached by overland by travelling as far south as Wellington on the Northern Explorer train to Auckland central.  Once in Auckland, LOCO Journeys can assist you to your destination with a car rental package.


Balloons over Waikato

Tuesday 16th – Saturday 20th March 2021

Travel by Northern Explorer from Auckland or Wellington to one of New Zealand’s last large scale free events. Over 130,000 spectators enjoy the amazing site of balloons ascending through the Waikato each year, from 7.00am every morning to Hamilton’s biggest night out at the Zuru Nightglow, where the balloons glow to orchestrated music finishing with the best fireworks display in town, the Waitomo Fireworks Extravaganza! LOCO can arrange transport and accommodation for the perfect trip away

Hamilton Balloon Festival

Hokitika Wild Food Festival

13 March 2021

The TranzAlpine Christchurch to Greymouth train will deliver you close to one of New Zealand’s most iconic events. Yes, it’s time to tick the infamous Hokitika Wildfoods Festival off your bucket list along with the more celebrated of the two south island train trips.


The Great Kiwi Beer New Zealand Festivals

13 March 2021

Grab a group of mates and head to Hamilton’s Great Kiwi Beer New Zealand Festivals on The Northern Explorer train for ultimate ease. Check out our dedicated one night package departing Auckland for the perfect weekend including rail transport, transfers, accommodation and festival entry.

Great Kiwi Beer Festival

Homegrown Music Festival

20th March 2021

This fantastic event set on Wellington’s waterfront is already sold out – but you’re still going to need to get there!  The Kiwirail Northern Explorer is your best option to enhance your festival experience and see something new on the way.

Homegrown Wellington

Waiheke Island Jazz, Art & Music Festival

Easter Weekend 2021

For the entire Easter weekend, Waiheke Island will enjoy one sensational show per day.  Spend the long weekend or take a day trip, your visit to Auckland and Waiheke will only be complete if you journey by the Northern Explorer.


For rail journey bookings and enquiries, contact Kylie

Enjoy New Zealand festivals by rail – #liveloco


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