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Travel Information:   The Northern Explorer train is operating Auckland/Hamilton/National Park/Ohakune/Palmerston North/Wellington Monday, Thursday & Saturday & Wellington/Palmerston North/Ohakune/National Park/Hamilton/Auckland Tuesday, Friday & Sunday. For alternative land travel Auckland to Wellington Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Sunday & Wellington to Auckland Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday please click on the above Bus Services link for online times, fares & instant confirmation reservations
 
Quick Reference Timetable
Auckland to Wellington
Depart 7.45am/Arrive 6.25pm
Online Fares and Reservations
Auckland to Hamilton
Depart 7.45am/Arrive 10.00am
Online Fares and Reservations
Auckland to National Park
Depart 7.45am/Arrive 1.15pm

Online Fares and Reservations
Auckland to Palmerston North
Depart 7.45am/Arrive 4.20pm

Online Fares and Reservations
Hamilton to Auckland
Depart 4.30pm/Arrive 6.50pm

Online Fares and Reservations
Hamilton to Wellington
Depart 10.00am/Arrive 6.25pm

Online Fares and Reservations
National Park to Auckland
Depart 1.15pm/Arrive 6.50pm

Online Fares and Reservations
National Park to Wellington
Depart 1.15pm/Arrive 6.25pm

Online Fares and Reservations
Palmerston North to Auckland
Depart 10.00am/Arrive 6.50pm

Online Fares and Reservations
Palmerston North to Wellington
Depart 4.20pm/Arrive 6.25pm

Online Fares and Reservations
Wellington to Auckland
Depart 7.55am/Arrive 6.50pm

Online Fares and Reservations
Wellington to Hamilton
Depart 7.55am/Arrive 4.30pm

Online Fares and Reservations
Wellington to National Park
Depart 7.55am/Arrive 1.15pm

Online Fares and Reservations
Wellington to Palmerston North
Depart 7.55am/Arrive 10.00am

Online Fares and Reservations
Quick Answers
- Extra Assistance
- Seating Request
- Check In Times
Other Train Services
- The TranzAlpine Train
- The Coastal Pacific Train

Overlander train route mapThe Northern Explorer train is a scenic rail journey through the heartland of the North Island travelling between Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city - home of the Sky Tower, through the central heartland of the North Island to Wellington - New Zealand’s arts and culture capital. 

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 Skifields - Whakapapa and 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 of 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 Whakapapa and Turoa 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.

Interior of the Overlander train obsevation lounge carriageEach carriage has onboard washroom/toilet facilities, with '2 Seat-Aisle-2 Seat' forward facing seats with head rests or 'Table Group' (4 people around a table) seating allowing to experience the amazing views of the magnificent North Island, through panoramic side and roof windows, while enjoying the company of other passengers.

The Northern Explorer train has a café carriage offering a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, snacks and light meals and an open air viewing carriage allows you to get even closer to the stunning scenery and provides many opportunities to photograph your favourite spots. There’s a lot to look forward to!

For mobility-impaired passengers, there are spaces for wheel chairs and a disabled public toilet. Wheelchair hoists provide access to the café carriage from track level. For hearing-impaired passengers - a hearing loop covers all of the café carriage saloon and serving area.

There are bus and coach services from Hamilton to Rotorua and Tauranga as well as inter-regional and long distance bus and coach services from Auckland and Wellington to other North Island destinations

Northern Explorer train travelling through the Managaweka RangesThe Northern Explorer train is a reserved seating 'One Class'  non-smoking service.

The Northern Explorer train does not operate on Christmas Day - 25 December.

The Northern Explorer train timetable.

The Northern Explorer train service from Auckland to Wellington, operates on Monday, Thursday and Saturday only.

The Northern Explorer train service from Wellington to Auckland, operates on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday only.

Travelling on the Northern Explorer train is a genuine kiwi rail experience through the North Island's unique scenic beauty.

From Auckland, you can explore the beautiful Bay of Islands and the thermal wonderland of Rotorua, by choosing from a range of suggested independent bus touring travel packages ranging from 1 to 5 days in duration.

Papakura (Auckland) is the closest railway station for Auckland International Airport.

There is no overnight passenger train service between Auckland, Hamilton, National Park, Ohakune, Palmerston North and Wellington.

 

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