Discover Ruapehu by Rail this Summer
A rail journey through New Zealand offers a leisurely exploration of the country's diverse and breathtaking landscapes, all from the comfort of your seat. With no need to drive or navigate, families can relax and fully enjoy the scenic ride.
Engineering Marvels of the Main Trunk Line
The North Island Main Trunk Line, spanning 680km from Auckland to Wellington, showcases New Zealand's longest-running rail journey. The Central North Island section, a highlight of the route, offers stunning views of Mount Ruapehu, Ngāuruhoe, and Tongariro. Overcoming challenging terrain, the line features viaducts, tunnels, and the impressive Raurimu Spiral, a testament to engineering achievements.
Train travelling past the Tongariro National Park.
Train travelling towards Waiouru.
Cycling the Ohakune Old Coach Road
The Ohakune Old Coach Road, once the original route connecting Erua to Ohakune, now serves as a 15km trail for both walkers and cyclists. As part of New Zealand's Great Rides, this historical path includes remnants of the Hapuawhenua and Taonui viaducts, providing a journey back in time. Easily accessible from Ohakune, bike hire and shuttle services make this a family-friendly adventure.
Group biking the Ohakune Old Coach Road.
Biker on the Hapuawhenua Viaduct.
Discover a Forgotten WorldBased in Taumarunui, Forgotten World Adventures offers rail cart tours on the decommissioned Stratford-Okahukura railway line. Experience kiwi ingenuity as you travel through hand-built tunnels and across bridges, learning about the region's pioneering history. Options range from half-day tours to multi-day adventures, including overnight stays in the unique Republic of Whangamomona.
Storytelling with Forgotten World Adventures.
Whangamomona Hotel photo credit: sandybeach_73
Whanganui River and the Bridge to Nowhere
Taumarunui serves as a gateway to Whanganui National Park and the Whanganui River, the first river globally to be granted legal personhood. Explore the river by jet boat, kayak, or canoe, or cycle the Mangapurua Track to the iconic Bridge to Nowhere, rich in pioneering history and tales of hardy settlers.
Jet boating along the Whanganui River.
The Bridge to Nowhere.
Explore National Park Village and Whakapapa Village
National Park Village provides an ideal base for discovering Tongariro National Park. Explore the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Tongariro Northern Circuit, or opt for shorter walks with breathtaking waterfalls and volcanic landscapes. Take a sightseeing trip on the Sky Waka Gondola at Whakapapa Ski Area and treat yourself to hightea.
The Sky Waka gondola in summer.
View of the Tongariro National Park from above.
Planning Your Trip
The Northern Explorer offers a scenic rail journey between Auckland and Wellington. Packages with accommodation and activities are available, or you can plan your own stay before continuing your journey. The Glenbrook Vintage Railway also offers Ruapehu packages from Auckland, including the rare opportunity to travel behind an original New Zealand Railways Steam Locomotive on this historic route.
Start planning your summer escape to Ruapehu here.
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