Northern Explorer Train Tickets & Packages • Freedom Destinations
0333 234 3209 We are closed today and will open Tuesday 9:30AM
Home Wish List Enquire Phone
Northern Explorer, New Zealand Train tickets, plus flights, hotels and car hire – all in one place

Northern Explorer Train

A 648 km journey of epic proportions, the Northern Explorer takes you through the heart of the North Island, swapping bustling city for rolling plains, before climbing into the volcanic landscapes of Tongariro National Park. At FREEDOM we offer:

  • Northern Explorer Tickets – travel between Auckland and Wellington
  • New Zealand Holidays – including the Northern Explorer
  • Other NZ Rail Journeys – experience the Coastal Pacific or TranzAlpine

Our NZ Specialists are on hand to help you plan your trip. By booking your flights, rail journeys, hotels and activities in one place, you’ll benefit from ATOL protection on your whole holiday.

Plan your holiday

Holidays including the Northern Explorer

These itineraries can be booked as they are, or tailored to suit your plans. Just let us know what you would like to do.

More New Zealand Rail Journeys

Ride the Northern Explorer from Auckland to Wellington, or traverse the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine.

NZ & Beyond

View more New Zealand self drives and tours, or great rail journeys in Australia and Canada.
Freedom Destinations Travel Specialist

Free Planning Service

Tell us where you want to go and what you would like to do and we will create your perfect holiday – at a price you can afford.

call us on 0333 234 3209 or

Northern Explorer, New Zealand

A journey of epic proportions, the Northern Explorer traversers New Zealand’s North Island, gliding out of the ‘City of Sails’ to cross the rolling farmlands of Waikato, before climbing volcanic mountainsides to reach the breathtaking Tongariro National Park.

How long does the Northern Explorer take?

The 648 km rail journey from Auckland to Wellington takes 10 hours 40 minutes, leaving at 07:45 and arriving at 18:25. In reverse, the Wellington to Auckland train is timetabled to take 25 minutes longer, departing at 07:55 and arriving at 19:00.*

Where does the Northern Explorer stop?

The Auckland to Wellington train stops at Papakura; Hamilton; Otorohanga; Taumarunui; National Park; Ohakune; Palmerston North and Paraparaumu.

The largest city in New Zealand’s Waikato region, Hamilton is famous for its beautiful public gardens, which include themed collections from around the world. National Park Station is the near the start of the Tongariro Crossing, a one-day hiking trail across the volcanic landscapes created by Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Tongariro.

How much is the Northern Explorer?

The Auckland to Wellington train fare starts at £149. Advanced booking is highly recommended as the train is seating-only. Scenic Class carriages are air-conditioned and have large windows and generous legroom.

Booking Northern Explorer Tickets

With FREEDOM, you can book Northern Explorer tickets on their own or as part of a complete, flight-inclusive New Zealand rail holiday.

You’ll have a single point of contact from your first enquiry to finalising your booking, and benefit from full ATOL protection on your whole holiday.

Plan your rail holiday

* Departure times correct as of March 2023

Holidays Designed For You

Our NZ Specialists are on hand to help – ask for their recommendations.

For a holiday designed for you, call 0333 234 3209 or Enquire online