Northern Explorer and the Tongariro Crossing

This summer it’s time to explore our own backyard and tick off some of those bucket list activities. The Tongariro Crossing is one of New Zealand’s “Great Walks” and we’re teaming it up with the iconic Northern Explorer rail journey to give you a memorable short break.

The Tongariro Crossing is a journey across a remarkable volcanic environment situated in the Tongariro National Park. The 19km trek leads up to the saddle between Ngauruhoe and Mt Tongariro across a landscape of different coloured and shaped craters created during different times in history, past volcanic rocks, mountain springs and emerald coloured lakes. Take in the vast array of colours and textures created from mineral deposits released from within the Earth’s Crust. On your guided walk you will experience all the popular sights while steering away from any crowds.

This 4 day short break also allows enough free time to explore the Tongariro National Park. It also allows you to have a day up your sleeve in case of adverse weather conditions. There are an abundance of shorter walks that you can complete within an hour or consider these options:

Silica Rapids – 2.5 hours return to the creamy-white terraces found among moutain beech forest

Maungatepopo Valley to Soda Springs – 3 hours return. This is the first section of the crossing and a good alternative to the day-long hike.

Taranaki Falls – 2 hours return. The spectacular falls tumble 20 metres over the edge of a 15,000 year old lava flow.

We can also help organise a private shuttle tour of the area, or you might prefer to use your free time to rest after your Tongariro Crossing adventure, maybe book in a High Tea at the Chateau!

If the Tongariro Crossing seems a little daunting we can swap it out with a Half Day Walk or a Private Guided Walk. LOCO Journeys can tailor-make your holiday – just let us know!

Northern Explorer Scenic Class Experience

In Scenic Class you’ll experience 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!

Are you ready?

Duration: 4 Days

Price: From $975 NZD

Departure From: Wellington or Auckland

Departure Date: Selected days of the week till 31 Mar 21

Tour Type: Short Break

Physical Grading: 3

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Departure Dates & Timetable

  • From 06 November 2020 to 31 March 2021
  • The Northern Explorer departs Auckland at 07.45 arriving into National Park at 13.47 on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays
  • The 4 Day Short Break ex Auckland has been based on departing Thursday, returning on Sunday.  If you prefer to travel on Monday or Saturday the tour will need to be adjusted accordingly.
  • The Northern Explorer departs Wellington at 07.55 arriving in National Park at 13.14 on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays
  • The 4 Day Short Break ex Wellington has been based on departing Wednesday or Friday, returning on Saturday or Monday.  If you prefer to travel on Sunday the tour will need to be adjusted accordingly.
  • You must be at the station at least 30 minutes prior to departure.

Tour Inclusions

  • Return travel on the Northern Explorer in Scenic Class
  • Return transfers to/from National Park Railway Station
  • 3 nights at the Skotel Alpine Resort in a twin/double room
  • Tongariro Crossing Guided Walk including lunch and transfers to/from accommodation.
  • Return Trip on the SkyWaka Gondola

Tongariro Crossing Guided Walk

  • A reasonably good level of fitness is required. Walking time is about 7 hours including stops. No alpine experience is required.
  • Guide/s, transport between the base and the activity, lunch (vegetarian available on request at time of booking).
  • Available for hire personal equipment, footwear, and clothing to supplement that which you don’t have and need. A gear list can be provided and pricing for hire.

Pricing Notes

  • Advertised price is based on twin share, subject to availability and terms and conditions.
  • Pricing is correct at the time of submission but is subject to change without notice.
  • Valid for travel from the 06 November 2020 to 31 March 2021.
  • Tongariro Crossing Walk: Minimum group size is three people. Prices are based on a minimum of three people. Should the minimum number of three not be met they will charge a surcharge of an extra person(s) or re-book the client onto a date when minimum numbers have been met. If they are unable to find a tour date to suit you other than the date you have requested then they will refund the tour cost in full.
  • Domestic Flights not included. For pre/post travel arrangements please contact LOCO
  • Blackout periods may apply. Surcharges may apply over special event periods and over school holidays.
  • Optional Extras:   Skotel Full Breakfast is NZD$27.50 per person daily / Chateau Tongariro High Tea NZD$49 per person
  • Upgrade to Chateau Tongariro accommodation From NZD$75 per person – subject to availability and change, based on standard room only
  • Price is subject to change unless paid in full

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Wellington or Auckland to National Park
Your day begins by departing on the Northern Explorer rail journey into the heart of the North Island to the volcanic Central Plateau, arriving into National Park Railway Station before 2pm. You will be met and transferred to your accommodation. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to explore or ride the Sky Waka - the country's most advanced gondola, high above the world-heritage listed mountain area. Journey over waterfalls and ancient lava flows and take in the majestic scenery of Mt Ruapehu and it's neighbouring volcanoes.
This morning you will be picked up and transferred to the Adrift Tongariro Base for a departure meeting at 8.00am. For today’s walk you will need comfortable, strong walking boots/shoes, hat, warm jacket and sunscreen. The weather conditions can be changeable and it is best to be prepared. You will be collected from the hotel by Adrift Outdoors for a guided walk on the Tongariro Crossing, one of the most popular one day walks in the North Island. The alpine scenery is varied – you will pass two active volcanoes, see lava flows, the active Red Crater as well as the brilliantly coloured Emerald and Blue Lakes. Lunch is included. Return around 5.30pm.
Today is a day at leisure to explore or if you prefer you can do the Sky Waka Gondola instead of Day 1. Ask about a private day tour of the surrounds. Book in a High Tea at the Chateau Tongariro. Or explore by foot the many short walks around the area.
Today you will check out of your accommodation and a transfer will be arranged to take you back to the Railway Station to meet your afternoon Northern Explorer rail journey back to Wellington or Auckland. Tour Ends.

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