Wellington City Break

Departing from Auckland, our four-day package will take you on a journey through the heart of the North island to a sparkling capital city where relaxation and entertainment are a passion!

Wellington View from Mount Victoria 1000x680 4

Discover the coolest little Capital

From $982* per person twin share
From $1,306* single person price

*3 nights, travel to 14 December 2021

From $1,117* per person twin share
From $1,441* single person price

*3 nights, travel 15-25 December 2021 9 January - 31 March 2022, additional charges apply for travel 15 December to 15 Janaury 2022, enquire today for other travel dates.

Family package rates available - please enquire for pricing


From the majestic skyline of Auckland to the sparkling harbour of our capital, this four-day Wellington City Break is a tale of two cities divided by an incredible 681km of gorgeous New Zealand scenery. Rolling through the heart of the North Island, you'll witness the full spectrum of New Zealand life, featuring rural farmsteads and remote towns, industrial warehouses and dazzling skyscrapers, craggy coastlines and rugged volcanoes.

In Wellington, you'll relax and explore a vibrant and unique capital. Wander through narrow lanes echoing with laughter and clinking cutlery. Stroll around the sparkling waterfront, with its glass towers reflecting the glistening harbour waters. Discover the theatre of filmmaking alongside the drama of politics.

You will then climb aboard the Northern Explorer train once more, returning to Auckland feeling relaxed and enlightened. If four days sounds too hurried, you can extend your enjoyment with additional nights in Auckland or Wellington.


Northern Explorer leaving Auckland through Hobson Bay
Looking out on Ruapehu on board the Northern Explorer
Crossing the South Rangatikei Viaduct aboard the Northern Explorer


Day 1: Northern Explorer

With Auckland's magnificent skyline receding into the distance, your journey through New Zealand begins aboard the stunning Northern Explorer train. Settle back and enjoy an immediate scenic treat as you pass along the Auckland coast and through Hobson Bay.

After passing through Auckland's industrial backdoor, you'll escape out onto the vast Waikato plains, following alongside the meandering mighty Waikato River. By late morning, city life will be a distant memory as you weave through the rural river valleys of King Country.

By early afternoon, the slow, steady, squeal of wheels, and steep banks filling the windows on both sides will indicate you are climbing the Central Plateau. A rapid 132m ascent is achieved in just 6.8km by winding around the Raurimu Spiral - a world-renowned masterpiece of early railway engineering.

View from Northern Explorer shortly after leaving National Park station

Once at the top, you are just a few kilometres from Tongariro National Park where the three volcanic peaks of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe, and Ruapehu dominate the skyline. Over the next hour, you will wind your way through mountain forests and across towering viaducts as you circle the foothills of Ruapehu.

A long steady descent will then lead you down to Rangitikei, where the distinctive river cliffs carve into the landscape. Three more magnificent viaducts come in quick succession as you cross the horseshoe bends of the spectacular Rangitikei River.

Your afternoon will then continue lazily roaming through the rolling meadows and paddocks of Manawatu, punctuated in the east by the massive Ruahine and Tararua mountains. One more change in scenery comes in the early evening as the train meets the Kapiti Coast. On a pleasant summer's evening, you'll be watching the sun go down over Kapiti Island and the headlands of the South Island as you approach your destination, Wellington.

On arrival, you'll transfer to your Wellington hotel where you can decamp for the night or get dressed and refreshed for an evening out in the capital! 


Day 2: Morning | Wellington City Tour

After enjoying breakfast (at your own expense) at one of the many cafes and eateries in the city, it'll be time to explore the coolest little capital city in the world with a city tour. Wellington Cable Car climbs above the city

Boatsheds on Oriental Parade
Beehive and Parliament Building

Picturesque and unforgettably beautiful, Wellington is nestled around a sparkling, bustling harbour with residential housing extending up the sides of green valley hills. Voted the most liveable city in the world in 2017 and 2018, you will not be disappointed with your tour of our lovely city.

You will be picked up from your accommodation and taken on a tour around Wellington taking in many of the key places and sites. These include:

  • Seeing St Gerard’s church and monastery
  • Top of Mount Victoria to see spectacular views of Wellington’s city and harbour. Have your cameras ready!
  • Drive around the rugged coastline. On a clear day, you may see some spectacular views of the South Island. You'll pass Barrett’s Reef, where on 10 April 1968 the roll on/roll off ferry Wahine hit the reef and capsized near Seatoun (just a short distance from the shoreline) during a hurricane resulting in 52 lives being lost
  • Weta Studios on the Miramar Peninsula for your Lord of the Rings experience with a short visit to Weta Cave where you will have a chance to purchase Lord of the Rings memorabilia
  • Oriental Bay
  • Wellington cable car (which first carried passengers in 1902) You'll see more breath-taking panoramic views of the harbour and city once you've travelled to the top
  • Botanic Gardens and the Lady Norwood Rose Garden
  • Parliament Buildings and its grounds
  • Old St Paul’s Cathedral – one of the world’s best examples of Gothic Revival architecture

You'll then be dropped back to your accommodation or your selected spot within the city centre where you'll then have free time until the evening tour.


Day 2: Evening | Zealandia night Tour

Come evening time and you'll make your way to the suburb of Karori and Zealandia - the world’s first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary is a groundbreaking conservation project that protects over 40 rare native wildlife species.

Explore the Zealandia sanctuary at night by torchlight as your guide leads you in search of some of the more distinctive sights and sounds of New Zealand’s native forest. Experience many of the rare and endangered species and see those which only come out at night. See unique species such as wētā, glow worms, and tuatara. Your group may see some of the 150 little spotted kiwi who call ZEALANDIA home - sightings of kiwi are common on these tours (circa 80%), but are not guaranteed. Gain insights into New Zealand’s natural history and the significance of the unique species within Māori culture. The tour will end with a replenishing cup of hot kawakawa (bushman’s tea) in the Visitors Centre. 



Day 2: Afternoon | Explore Wellington

After cruising around the Wellington sights in the morning, the afternoon is yours to explore as you please. We have the following recommended activities. Some require advance reservations, so please let us know at the time of booking if you would like to include these in your itinerary. 


Day 3: Weta Workshops Tour

Enjoy breakfast (at your own expense) at one of the many cafes and eateries in the city before enjoying a guided tour to Weta Workshop.
Wellington's Weta Cave exterior

Weta Tour
Weta Tour through the props department

Weta Workshop is a world-leading Design and Effects facility that specialises in bringing the vivid imaginations of filmmakers into life with astonishing realism. Most famously, they worked with fellow Wellingtonian, Peter Jackson, on Tolkien's epic fantasy, The Lord of the Rings.

Collecting two BAFTA and two Academy awards for their work on The Fellowship of the Ring, Weta Workshop continues to grow into one of the world's most renowned and successful Design and Effect companies. Alongside the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, Weta has worked on Avatar, King Kong, District 9, Indiana Jones, Godzilla, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Mad Max, Blade Runner, and BFG.

Your guided tour of Weta will take you deep behind the scenes of the film industry, revealing how the impossible is made possible. Perhaps most fascinating, is Weta's ability to create realistic prosthetics and props, keeping the traditional methods alive alongside increasingly sophisticated computer-generated imagery (CGI).

After the tour, you will have plenty of time to wander around Wellington and enjoy some more recommended activities, relax in the waterfront cafes and bars, or head to Lambton Quay for some retail therapy.

Day 4: Return to Auckland

Enjoy breakfast (at your own expense) at one of the many cafe and eateries, before heading to Wellington Railway Station for your return journey on the Northern Explorer scenic train back to Auckland.

As you relax in the comfort of our world-class carriages with their panoramic windows you’ll enjoy morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea as you take in the scenery and wind your way through the countryside back to Auckland. 

Choose your Wellington hotel

Choose from one these great Wellington hotels as part of your Wellington City Break


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Oaks Wellington Hotel

4-Star | Providing modern accommodation in the heart of Wellington’s entertainment precinct.
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Room upgrades are available at a surcharge (subject to availability). During times of high demand, if the advertised package room is not available, a substitution of a similar or better room may be made to complete the package and a surcharge may apply.

Package Overview

What's included:

  • Northern Explorer Auckland to Wellington
  • Northern Explorer Morning tea, Lunch and Afternoon Tea
  • return transfers between the train station and your chosen hotel (except RYDGES WHICH IS LOCATED OPPOSITE THE TRAIN STATION)
  • three nights' accommodation
  • 1/2 Day Wellington City tOUR
  • Guided WETA Workshop Tour 
  • Northern Explorer Wellington to Auckland
  • Northern Explorer Morning tea, Lunch and Afternoon Tea



All enquiries

0800 872 467

Overseas:  +64 4495 0775

Option 4 •  Mon-Fri •  08:00 - 17:00

Scenic Trains T&C •  Packages T&C

Add a hotel in Auckland

Extend your holiday by adding one these great Auckland hotels before or after your Wellington City Break.


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Hilton Auckland Hotel

5 Star | Hilton Auckland offers stylish rooms and suites in Set in an idyllic location at the end of Princes Wharf
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SkyCity Hotel Auckland

4-Star | Stay within walking distance of Nelsons shopping and entertainment precinct with The Hotel Nelson
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Ramada Suites Auckland

4.5-Star | Auckland Ramada hotel is perfectly positioned for easy travel to local attractions
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Add activities in Wellington

Make the most of your time in Wellington by adding these optional activities to your package.


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Parliament Tour

FREE | No visit to the capital is complete without a visit to Wellington's iconic "Beehive"
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Te Papa Museum

FREE: Discover New Zealand's nature, history, culture, politics, art and geology all in one incredible museum
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Bookings & Enquiries

Book now over the phone, ask a question, or use our online form to request availability and pricing
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