• Escorted Tour

Lower North Island Rail Tour

Including Hawkes Bay

Our fifth Lower North Island Rail Tour continues to be a popular addition to our New Zealand Rail tours programme.

Experience the scenic Lower North Island by Train, which offers a total rail experience and uninterrupted views not seen when travelling by road.Our train departs from Auckland taking us through the lush Waikato and King Country farmland and up the iconic Raurimu Spiral to the Central Plateau - hopefully with stunning views of Tongariro and Ruapehu.

After a night in Palmerston North, travel through the scenic Manawatu Gorge to Napier where highlights include lunch at Mission Estate and an afternoon free to explore the Art Deco capital of New Zealand. 

Travel south through Central Hawkes Bay, stopping off at Tui Breweries for a welcome lunch and continue through Masterton to the Rimutaka Ranges before emerging at Upper Hutt and Wellington Harbour. A morning city tour highlights New Zealand’s capital and the leisure afternoon allows time to explore Te Papa and the picturesque waterfront. The main trunk line to National Park is another relaxing journey before arriving at the iconic Chateau Tongariro for a one night stay with time to explore the National Park.  Each night we stay in comfortable hotels with private facilities and included breakfasts. 

Morning, afternoon teas and lunches on the train are also included most days as well as many dinners.  Our tour escort and hosts ensure your seven day tour is relaxing, fun and memorable.This is a special tour; seats are limited and will sell quickly.

We look forward to welcoming you on our Lower North Island Rail Tour.


Your travel itinerary

Thursday 26 November

Thursday 26 Auckland – Palmerston North

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Board our Train in Auckland on the main trunk line for the daylight adventure south through lush rolling hills to Hamilton, Otorohanga and Te Kuiti. Among today’s highlights are the circular climb up the famous engineering feat – the Raurimu Spiral to the Central Plateau and Tongariro National Park with spectacular views of Mt Ruapehu. Continue on to Ohakune, Waiouru and alongside the Rangitikei River to Palmerston North.  Enjoy a welcome dinner at our centrally located hotel.


Friday 27 November

Palmerston North - Napier

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After breakfast, we begin with a city tour which includes Wharerata Historic home in the grounds of Massey University.  Later board our Heritage train from Palmerston North to Art Deco Napier for a two-night stay.

Saturday 28 November


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A leisurely start before a mid-morning, guided Art Deco sights tour and onto the Mission Estate Vineyard for an included lunch. Return to the hotel mid-afternoon with the evening free to relax and enjoy a meal at your leisure.

Sunday 29 November

Napier - Wellington

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This morning we leave Napier by train through the Hawkes Bay countryside to Mangatainoka for lunch at Tui Brewery. Continue our journey to Wellington and transfer to our central city hotel. Dinner is included.


Monday 30 November


Breakfast iconBreakfast

This morning enjoy a city tour including Mt Victoria and the spectacular Wellington Rose Gardens.  In the afternoon and evening, enjoy free time in the Capital.

Tuesday 01 December

Wellington – National Park – Chateau Tongariro

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After breakfast we re-join our chartered train and travel north crossing spectacular viaducts to the Chateau Tongariro at National Park. Afternoon free to relax and enjoy this hidden gem of the Central North Island before our farewell dinner.


Wednesday 02 December

National Park – Auckland

Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch

After breakfast, transfer to the National Park Station to continue our rail journey north. Experience the famous Raurimu Spiral for a second time before arriving in Pukekohe.

*Itinerary subject to changes and confirmation of Kiwi Rail  schedules 



• Travel by train and Coach as specified. 

• Six nights hotel accommodation (see details)

• Cooked breakfasts daily

• Six lunches and four dinners

• Morning or afternoon tea on board the train

• All sightseeing and entrance fees as specified

• Commentaries provided by your experienced drivers and local guides

• All gratuities

• Experienced Tour Escorts and staff


Cost Per Person *
Auckland - Auckland
Twin ShareSingle 
 Estimated Cost* Subject to KiwiRail Confirmation and Schedule


 $2,912  $3,389

*This is a cash or cheque price. Credit cards will incur a 2% fee
*Itinerary and costs subject to change, airline and fuel charges and currency fluctuations prior to final payment


• Cancellation insurance

• Items of a personal nature


Booking Conditions

• A non-refundable deposit of $400 per person will secure a place on the tour  

• FULL PAYMENT is due no later than 16 October 2020 

• Bookings made after 16 October 2020 2020 will require full payment

• All cancellation charges are on a per-person basis. 


• Deposit – non-refundable.

• After 16 October 2020 – no refund.

• All cancellation charges are on a per-person basis. 

Travel Insurance

We strongly advise all participants to take out suitable travel insurance to cover cancellation costs.  Please ask us for a quote.

General Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Travelling alone?

Travelling alone?   Don’t hesitate to book if you are on your own.  Although we are unable to guarantee twin share accommodation for participants travelling individually, we will do our utmost to match suitable participants in share accommodation to avoid the single room supplement.  For those who prefer, we have rooms for sole use.


Advantages of joining our chartered rail tours

• A unique tour tailored to suit mature holiday makers who want to see New Zealand in a well-paced, hassle-free manner

• Experience a modern, comfortable charter train not running to a scheduled timetable

• Experience stopovers in places not generally available to tourists, to take in local sights and taste regional foods

• Appreciate being able to walk about, the comfortable seats, on-board bar service, enjoy complimentary morning and afternoon teas and the readily accessible toilet facilities 



• A relaxing rail journey the length of the main trunk line

• The scenery of the Manawatu Gorge and Central Hawkes Bay

• Art Deco Napier with a lunch at Mission Estate Vineyard

• Wellington city tour

• Leisure time in Wellington to explore

• A night at the iconic Chateau Tongariro hotel

Health and Fitness

At times, entering and exiting the train can be very demanding for those with limited mobility A good standard of fitness is required and clients should be independently mobile with the ability to walk 400m unaided. Mobility frames are not practical or permitted.

Note: Pukekohe Travel reserves the right to correct errors and omissions on our website without recourse.
* Itinerary subject to change