Great North Island Rail Adventure - 5 Day Mini Tour - Ex Hamilton


5 Day Mini Tour -  Hamilton | 3 - 7 April 2024



Join the Glenbrook Vintage Railway as we experience Some of the best of the North Island's scenic railways!

Our tour navigates the centre and western parts of the North Island, all by exclusive heritage tour train! Travel on freight-only lines, through wooded forests, mountainous terrain and rolling farmland. We start by travelling north to the Glenbrook Vintage Railway Line in Waiuku. We circle back to Hamilton and the following reboard our train, now travelling south, to Taumarunui - famous for its rail heritage. The mothballed Stratford - Okahukura Line, now Forgotten World Adventures takes us on a full day experience from Taumarunui to the Republic of Whangamomona - a character filled township - before returning to Taumarunui. Our next journey is on the Northern Explorer south to Ohakune, travelling up the highlights of the North Island Main Trunk Line, overnighting in Ohakune. A visit to the Ohakune railway musuem and a chance to chill out in Ohakune - or go on one of the regions many popular walks. On Sunday we meet our ride home, KiwiRail's Northern Explorer - arriving in Hamilton on Sunday afternoon. 

We arrive back in Hamilton having seen some of the jewels in the crown of the North Island - often understated for its beauty.

Travel with the Glenbrook Vintage Railway on this Great North Island Rail Adventure - experience the romance of rail travel. 


This 5 day mini-tour forms part of our 10 day Great North Island Rail Adventure:

Don't miss out on on Rotorua, Hobbiton, the beauty of the central plateau & Mt Ruapehu, Mt Taranaki and the exclusive train journeys from New Plymouth and through the Manawatu Gorge.

Join our 10 day 'Main Tour' here 


Rail Tour Highlights

Glenbrook Vintage Railway

The Glenbrook Vintage Railway was founded in 1970 to preserve, rebuild, and operate the old Waiuku Branch Railway between Glenbrook and Waiuku. The railway operates and restores steam and diesel locomotives, along with a wide collection on rolling stock, on its 7.5km of railway line. Originally the railway was part of the Waiuku Branch Line which opened in 1922 and closed in 1967.


Castaways Resort

Situated on the wild coastal cliff tops of Karioitahi Beach on the west coast of Auckland, New Zealand. We dine here for lunch following our train journey on Day 1.


Forgotten World Adventures

Unplugged yet still on the line as you travel the entire Forgotten World Railway on this two-day Rail Cart adventure from Taumarunui to Stratford. See the remnants of the original settlements along the line. Travel through coal country, farmlands, over bridges, through hand-built tunnels and past once-thriving towns that time seems to have forgotten. Stay over in the Republic of Whangamomona’s iconic hotel. Listen to the stories and relive the memories of New Zealand’s pioneering past.



Ohakune emits an energetic yet laid-back vibe, with plenty of activities, accommodation, shops and restaurants attracting visitors all year round. The most popular year-round pursuit is mountain biking, particularly on the spectacular half-day Ohakune Old Coach Road. It forms the start of the Mountains to Sea, a multi-day Great Ride that winds more than 200km to reach Whanganui and the Tasman Sea.




Travel Itinerary

Back to base: Hamilton - Glenbrook Vintage Railway - Hamilton

Today we depart Hamilton and head north, to the home of the Glenbrook Vintage Railway. 

On our arrival in Glenbrook, travel down the Glenbrook Vintage Railway, opened in 1922 to Waiuku where you are transported to Castaways Resort for a buffet lunch. 

We return to Waiuku, reboarding our train following a short tour of the town and rejoin the train. A short stop at Glenbrook before we rejoin the national rail network and head to Paerata, through Pukekohe and on to Hamilton.

Tour Inclusions
MT | L | AT
  • Seats aboard GVR Train to Glenbrook from Hamilton and return.
  • Bus transfers and Lunch at Castaways Resort. 
NOTE: Day 1 Accommodation in Hamilton is NOT included. Accommodation and transfers to/from Hamilton Railway Station can be included for an additional amount.

Hamilton to Taumarunui

This morning we depart our Hamilton's Frankton Station where we meet our GVR Tour Train. Leaving Hamilton and exiting out of the mighty Waikato, we glide through the rolling farmland and skirt many rivers, gorges and valleys as we enter the King Country. 

We arrive in Taumarunui around Lunchtime. There is time in Taumarunui for lunch, we then head the short distance to Bradley's Gardens. The Gardens have been meticulously designed with nine distinct areas for you to explore, each with its own unique charm. These include the charming cottage garden, the inviting gazebo lawn, the fragrant lavender lane, the enchanting Italian garden, the serene olive grove cathedral, and the signature amphitheatre.

We depart Bradlay's Garden and are transported to our accommodation for the night. 



Tour Inclusions
B | MT
  • GVR Tour Train Hamilton to Taumarunui
  • Relocation to accommodation
  • Entry to Bradley's Gardens. 

Forgotten World Adventures: Taumarunui - Whangamomona 

Check in at the Forgotten World Motel and take a shuttle bus to the start of the line at Okahukura. Here you’ll board your Rail Cart and set off on your journey through the Forgotten World. Immerse yourself in the changing views of rolling hills, remote farmland and native bush, and experience wildlife close to the tracks. Stop along the way to hear stories from your guide of the land, its people and history. Travel over bridges and through hand-built brick tunnels, including the line's longest tunnel at 1.5km, and journey through the Tangarakau Gorge.

Enjoy morning and afternoon tea stops at historic settlements of Matiere and Tangarakau, and a rail-side picnic lunch at Tokirima. Arrive in the Republic of Whangamomona, explore the area and its charismatic pub. Here we board our shuttle for the return trip to Taumarunui, arriving early evening. 

Tour Inclusions
B | MT | L | AT
  • Exclusive charter of Forgotten World Adventures
  • Morning tea, Lunch and Afternoon Tea with FWA. 

 Taumarunui - Ohakune (Northern Explorer)

A free morning in Taumarunui before we depart on the Northern Explorer southbound to Ohakune. Our journey takes us further down the North Island Main Trunk Line and up the famed Raurimu Spiral, across the mighty Makatote viaduct and the impressive Hapuawhenua Viaducts. 

You have the later part of the afternoon free to explore the town. A visit to the Ohakune Railway Museum is included before heading to our motel of the evening. 

Tour Inclusions
B |
  • Seats aboard the Northern Explorer
  • Entry to Ohakune Railway Museum. 

Ohakune - Hamilton (Northern Explorer)

Today we depart Ohakune around midday for Auckland aboard the Northern Explorer. This morning you have free to roam the town of Ohakune or explore the many walks around town.

Tour Inclusions
B |
  • Seats aboard the Northern Explorer




Tour Map




Our Accommodation


Hamilton | 3 - 4 April

Ibis Hamilton Tainui 

1 Night

Optional ExtraIbis Hamilton is situated on the banks of the Waikato River, in the city centre. Ibis Hamilton Tainui offers easy access to river walkways, cafes and restaurants. The in-house Maakona Restaurant and Bar is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers contemporary New Zealand cuisine. You can also dine alfresco, on the balcony. All of the comfortable rooms are well furnished and equipped with LCD satellite TV and individually-controlled air conditioning.

Taumarunui | 4 - 6 April

Forgotten World Motel/Alexander Motel

2 Nights

Located just a 5-minute walk from Taumarunui's town centre, Forgotten World Motel offers accommodation with free WiFi. All accommodation includes cable TV. Each room and apartment includes electric blankets, a toaster, and tea/coffee making facilities. Your private bathroom offers a toilet and shower. Ironing facilities are available upon request.

Ohakune | 6 - 7 April

Ruapehu Mountain Motel

1 Night

Nestled in the picturesque township of Ohakune at the base of the majestic Mount Ruapehu, we would love to share with you our regions spirit of pure outdoor freshness. From the snow covered peaks to the lush native bush and the bubbling mountain streams Ohakune links you to all that is good in life..






Per Person, Twin Share



Single Supplement



- 3 Nights' Accommodation in comfortable, unique stays - pre-booked on a twin share basis.

- Activities, coach transfers and relocations as stated in the inclusions and/or as detailed on this website or in the brochure.
- Shuttle/bus transfers to/from accommodation as detailed, as required.
- 3 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches.
- Morning/Afternoon Tea on GVR Tour Train

- Airfares, connecting travel or other expenses prior to joining or after leaving the rail tour.
- All meals and refreshments other than those detailed in the brochure.
- All personal expenditures, refreshments, taxis, other travel and transfers, accommodation or related charges not specifically referred to in the itineraries as being included.
- Travel Insurance, which is recommended for all passengers. 

Join us on this epic rail adventure as we explore the stunning North Island. 

A full brochure, pricing and detailed itinerary are available on request.



To register your interest:

Fill in the Online Booking Request (Click Here).

Email: [email protected] 

Phone 020 GVR Book | 020 487 2665


^ Itinerary - is subject to change. The GVR, operators of the 'Great North Island Railway Adventure 2024', reserve the right to change the content, location and activities of this tour at any time. 




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