On the rails in New Zealand

Image: Pahiatua Railcar Society

On the rails in New Zealand

New Zealand is geographically large, with a small, spread out population connected by stunning railways.

Sleep in a train

If you’re after a unique accommodation option, Waitomo’s Woodlyn Park fits the bill. Here, you can sleep in a refurbished 1950s rail car, a World War II ship or a Bristol Freighter Plane that was flown in Vietnam. The train is called the Waitomo Express – hop aboard and you’ll find a completely self-contained motel unit.

Further south, train enthusiasts can rest their head in converted railway wagons after a long day’s ride on the Remutaka Cycle Trail near Wellington. The Te Rakau cabins are perfectly peaceful, and are in a great spot for bird watching.

Rail museums

You can also go trainspotting in NZ’s transport museums. At Auckland’s Museum of Technology and Transport (MOTAT) you can admire an amazing collection of locomotives, wagons, carriages, jiggers, rail buildings and photographs, and you can even go for a ride on a vintage steam locomotive.

Other train-tastic destinations include the Pahiatua Railcar Society near Palmerston North, Pleasant Point Museum and Railway near Timaru and Wellington’s Cable Car Museum at the terminus of the Cable Car (a must-do ride!).

Check out our guide to rail journeys for information on travelling by train in New Zealand.


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