Northern Explorer train (formally the Overlander) is a scenic rail journey through the heart of the
North Island travelling between
Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city -
home of the Sky Tower, through the central heartland of the North
Wellington - New Zealand’s arts and
Along the way, you see fantastic views of New Zealand farmland and the
rugged native bush landscape before ascending up the world famous
Raurimu Spiral to the volcanic plateau passing the majestic volcanoes of
Mt Tongariro, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Ruapehu - the home of the North Island
Turoa, descending down through stunning
river gorges to the farming landscape of the lower North Island and
rocky sea scapes to
Wellington – all from large panoramic
windows or open air viewing carriage allowing you the best possible views.
Along the way you pass the Central North Island ski towns of
National Park and
Ohakune, offering world class
skiing and snowboarding on
skifields, popular with young and old alike.
The Northern Explorer carriages have advanced air bag suspension
system for quieter and smoother travel, un-tinted, non-reflective,
panoramic side and roof windows to capture the dramatic coastal and
mountain views of the magnificent North Island, GPS triggered
journey commentary in five languages at your seat via
headphones, plus information displays and overhead HD video and are
centrally heated/air conditioned for passenger comfort.
carriages on the Northern Explorer train are centrally heated/air
conditioned, with either '2 Seat-Aisle-2 Seat' forward facing
seats with head rests or 'Table Group' (4 people around a table) seating
allowing you to experience the amazing views of the magnificent North
Island, through large panoramic windows, while enjoying the company of
other passengers on-board.
The Northern Explorer train has a Café Carriage, offering a range of
alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, snacks and light meals.
The Northern Explorer train is a reserved seating
'One Class' non-smoking service.
You can use your RailBus travel pass to travel on The
Northern Explorer train, between any of the 'Point to Point' travel
destinations between Auckland and Wellington. By adding a Cook Strait ferry
crossing between the North to South Islands, you can continue journey
south to Kaikoura - home of whale watching and dolphin swimming and
Christchurch - the gateway to the South Island.
Northern Explorer train operates -
* Auckland to Wellington - Monday, Thursday and Saturday
* Wellington to Auckland - Tuesday, Friday and Sunday
The Northern Explorer train does not operate on Christmas Day - 25 December.
For the Northern Explorer
Travelling on the Northern Explorer train is a genuine kiwi rail experience
through the North Island's unique scenic beauty.
There are connecting bus and coach services from
Tauranga as well as bus and coach
Wellington to other North Island
From Auckland you can explore the beautiful Bay of Islands and the
thermal wonderland of Rotorua with a range
of suggested 'Hop On/ Hop Off'
bus and ferry pass travel options.
There is no overnight passenger train/rail service between Auckland,
Hamilton, National Park, Ohakune, Palmerston North and Wellington.