The Sheep Muster Express

Mighty viaducts, tunnels, rivers and the famed Raurimu Spiral await you on this exclusive heritage train day trip opportunity.

Pack the kids lunches and bring your cameras as we travel from Ohakune to Te Kuiti and return. Departing from Ohakune we climb north over the Hapuawhenua viaduct, to the highest elevation on the New Zealand rail network, before crossing the 79 metre high Makatote viaduct. Catch a glimpse of Mt Ruapehu as we skirt our way around this beautiful maunga before arriving at National Park for passengers. From National Park, we descend down onto the engineering masterpiece that is the Raurimu Spiral, whilst you enjoy your complimentary light refreshments served by one of our friendly onboard staff. Descend over 130 metres, in 7 kilometres, 2 tunnels and lots of curves, into the town ship of Raurimu. From here we continue our descent towards the Whakapapa river and from Kakahi, the Whanganui river will guide us all the way to Taumarunui. Upon departure from Taumarunui, our path follows the Ongarue river through the valley until we start our climb up to the Porootarao Tunnel. From Porootarao we descend through the rural hamlets of Kopaki and Puketutu before crossing the 35 metre high, 128 metre long Waiteti viaduct, opened in 1889. From the Waiteti viaduct, we make our final descent into Te Kuiti, arriving at the beautifully restored railway station.

At Te Kuiti, The Great New Zealand Muster will be in full swing. Te Kuitiā€™s main street will be transformed with sheep themed signs and decorations, sidewalks lined with food stalls, arts, crafts and displays with a rural theme.
Of course, the main feature will be the sheep run down the main street.

At 3.30pm, we depart Te Kuiti and re-trace our steps south and take in the sights and views that you may have missed on the north bound trip.
Arriving into National Park at 6.25pm and Ohakune at 7.00pm, you will just be in time to get the kids home for supper with plenty of time to go over the highlights of your exciting day with us.


dep. 9.00am
National Park
dep. 9.30am
Taumarunui dep.
Te Kuiti
arr. 12.45pm
Te Kuiti
dep. 3.30pm
Taumarunui arr. 5.20pm
National Park
arr. 6.25pm
arr. 7.00pm

COVID-19 Information
As this is a pre-booked allocated-seating tour, face coverings are not compulsory but are strongly encouraged. For more info see the official NZ Government COVID-19 website.
In the event that the NZ Government or its agencies prevent the operation of this tour taking place due to COVID-19, refunds of fares paid (net of outgoings made from those fares) may be made by GVR upon written application being received from booked passengers.

Seating Information
We aim to seat passengers from the same booking together. You will be allocated at least one window seat for bookings of 2 or more (subject to availability). Where possible, seats will be turned to face the direction of travel (pairs and singles) or to face each other (groups). If you are travelling with people on a different booking or have another specific request then please email us as soon as possible at and we will try and accommodate your request the best we can. Your allocated seat and carriage details will be on your boarding pass which will be emailed to you at least 3-5 days before your departure date.

Onboard Information
  • Smoking or the consumption of Alcohol is prohibited anywhere onboard our trains, including on any viewing platform, this includes the use or charging of e-cigarettes.
  • Due to the heritage nature of our carriages there is limited accessibility for people travelling with Wheelchairs. Please contact us in advance to discuss your requirements.
  • Animals apart from seeing and hearing guide dogs may not travel onboard our trains.
  • Only the named passengers on your booking will be allocated seats. One child under 2 may sit on each adult's knee. Children under 2 seated in the manner do not require a ticket.
  • There are toilets onboard our train which can be used throughout the journey.
  • Cold food or drink may be brought and consumed onboard the train provided that this does not disturb our passengers and that you take all rubbish and food scraps with you.

Book now for The Sheep Muster Express - Saturday 10th April 2021

Your ticket entitles you to return train travel on GVR's heritage train including complimentary light refreshments.