Ohakune - Explore Like The Locals

Pack your hiking boots, this tour is about trekking through history and nature, lush native bush and the bubbling mountain streams. Ohakune links you to all that is good in life.

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Keen hikers or beginners, this is for you! Get up and close with history on this guided hike on the Old Coach Road, or head to the majestic, 39 metre high Waitonga falls and Blyth hut. Explore local walkways and what the town has on offer. One thing is for sure, you will enjoy the warm country welcome from Kevin and Leigh at the Ruapehu Mountain Motel & Lodge. As Ohakune locals, you will enjoy their extensive local knowledge as they guide you around their beautiful region.

Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Friday

📍 Auckland/Hamilton - Ohakune by Chartered Heritage Train
☕ Morning tea aboard train

A rail adventure begins. Our friendly train-mad staff are ready to greet you onboard at your choice of boarding location. The journey south from Pukekohe takes you through the outer fringes of Auckland and into the Waikato. Our journey to Hamilton will be a mixture of rural farmland and their community centres like Te Kauwhata and Huntly. Be sure to check out the Whangamarino wetlands, the Waikato river and Huntly power station before curving our way through the Taupiri gorge. After our departure from Hamilton, we make quick stops for passengers at Te Awamutu and Otorohanga. Te Kuiti marks the gateway to the real “Main Trunk Line”.

Our train will start to climb the steep grades, keep an eye out for the 132 year old Waiteti viaduct. Entering the Porootarao tunnel signals we have reached our summit. From here, we descend to the Ongarue river valley which guides us to Taumarunui. After a quick stop we then follow the Whanganui and Whakapapa rivers for half the trip to the foot of the world renowned Raurimu Spiral. This engineering masterpiece overcomes a 139 metre height difference by spiralling up the volcanic rock escarpment. Catch several glimpses of the town as we climb the various levels of the spiral while also passing through two tunnels. As we burst out of the second of the two tunnels, we have reached the top of the spiral itself. We continue to climb towards National Park for a brief stop to set down passengers. From here, we embark on the final 30 minute gallop across the central plateau including cross the imposing 79 metre high Makatote viaduct and passing through native bush land.

We glide past the famous Smash Palace at Horopito before making our final descent over the 414 metre long Hapuawhenua viaduct and finally arrive into Ohakune. A shuttle bus will be awaiting your arrival at Ohakune and will take you to Kings Ohakune where you can settle into your room then pop down for dinner and a bevvy or two.


Auckland (Pukekohe) dep. 9.05am
Hamilton (Frankton)
dep. 11.00am
Te Awamutu
dep. 11.40am
Otorohanga dep. 12.05.pm
Taumarunui arr. 1.45pm
National Park
arr. 3.15pm
Ohakune arr. 3.55pm

Day 2 - Saturday

📍 Ohakune

Gear up and get ready to start your guided hike on the Old Coach Road and begin your adventure back in time. This road was built in the early 1900s to form a link between the two railheads of the North Island Main Trunk line. The road passes through farmland, into native bush over the magnificent original Hapuawhenua viaduct down to the Mangawhero stream and into Ohakune. Here you can admire the hardships the early railway settlers endured building this vital rail link between Auckland and Wellington, amongst the wilderness of the Central Plateau.

Or perhaps try out the Waitonga falls and Blyth hut trail instead, learning about local history and about the local flora and fauna from your host. Waitonga is Tongariro National Park’s highest waterfall, the 39 metre Waitonga Falls, is reached via a well-formed track through mountain beech and kaikawaka (mountain cedar) forest. On clear calm days there are fantastic views of Mount Ruapehu and the surrounding countryside. You can see reflections of the mountain in the Rotokawa pools, part of an alpine wetland area.

Back to the lodge to get changed for the short 15 minute stroll into Ohakune town for dinner or drinks at one of the local establishments. On your return to your accommodation, perhaps unwind in the spa before some rest. 

Day 3 - Sunday

📍 Ohakune - Auckland/Hamilton by Chartered Heritage Train
☕ Afternoon tea aboard train

Roll back the curtains and get ready to head out. Head into town for breakfast and explore the local shops, get a picture under the Ohakune Carrot and try out some of the local town walkways or head up to the Mangawhero stream and trek a couple of the short, easy walks in the Mangawhero forest. Or just stop in at the station café for morning tea before your train whisks you away home.


Ohakune dep. 11.30am
National Park
dep. 12.10pm
Taumarunui dep. 1.10pm
Otorohanga arr. 3.00pm
Te Awamutu
arr. 3.25pm
Hamilton (Frankton)
arr. 3.55pm
Auckland (Pukekohe)


Ruapehu Mountain Motel & Lodge is a Family owned and operated, Kevin and Leigh would like to extend a warm country welcome to you. They have lived in the Ruapehu region for all their lives and have an extensive local knowledge about the mountains and the National Park.

Situated a short distance from the railway station, on the south side of Tongariro National Park and Mount Ruapehu we are located at the start of the mountain road to the Turoa Ski Field – New Zealand’s largest ski field.

Our perfect location also allows for a short 2-minute walk to Ohakune’s most famous restaurants assuring you an easy relaxing stay. Offering clean comfortable accommodation, we invite you to stay in our cosy self-contained motel units or enjoy our traditional alpine lodge rooms and facilities.

The Heritage Train Journey

The North Island Main Trunk is steeped in local and Maori history. Opened completely between Auckland and Wellington in 1908 after over 30 years of construction, the “Main Trunk” passes through many rural settlements and towns which were connected up to the major cities by the coming of the railway. The section we travel over covers the main centres of Pukekohe and Hamilton, followed by rural towns like Otorohanga, Te Kuiti, Taumarunui, National Park and Ohakune. The railway geography is diverse, from rolling hills to the steepest sustained climbs up the extreme gradients south of Taumarunui. Our journey passes through the UNESCO World Heritage site of Tongariro National Park, as well as conservation land, farms and forests.

Selected Highlights Include:

  • Travel over the North Island Main Trunk line on an exclusive heritage train
  • Traverse the world famous Raurimu Spiral
  • Cross over the spectacular Waiteti, Makatote and Hapuawhenua Viaducts
  • Track our path along the Ongarue and Whakapapa river valleys
  • Pass through the Porootarao and Raurimu tunnels
  • Stunning Mountain views and spectacular scenery

This heritage train operated by the Glenbrook Vintage Railway will be hauled by restored locomotive DBR1254. Originally built as a DB class locomotive by General Motors Diesel Canada in 1965, this locomotive was rebuilt by Clyde Engineering Australia in 1981. In 2017 the Glenbrook Vintage Railway took ownership of DBR1254 which underwent an intense overhaul before returning to mainline service in 2019.

The carriages date from 1939/1940 and would have made thousands of journeys up and down the main trunk. The carriages retain key features including the iconic flip-over seats, though have been tastefully redecorated for enhanced passenger comfort. The guard’s van that travels with these carriages provides an open viewing area for an uninterrupted view of the amazing countryside.


  • Return train travel from Pukekohe/Hamilton/Te Awamutu/Otorohanga to Ohakune and return.
  • Two nights’ accommodation at the Ruapehu Mountain Motel & Lodge.
  • Transfers from Ohakune station to Ruapehu Mountain Motel & Lodge.
  • Transfers to activities on Saturday.
  • Guide for Old Coach Road or Blyth Hut (Waitonga waterfall) hike.
  • Free local walks.
  • Complimentary light refreshments on outbound and homebound rail journeys.

Terms and Conditions

Full standard Terms and Conditions can be found here: https://www.gvr.org.nz/terms

Additional conditions:


In the event that the NZ government imposes COVID-19 restrictions preventing the GVR train tour from operating, a refund of monies paid may be given, net of any outgoings or payments already made by GVR in conjunction with the operation and organisation of these tours on written application within 7 days of the scheduled date of travel.

Visit Ruapehu and Ruapehu District i-SITE Visitor Centre Conditions

These packages are organised through Visit Ruapehu and the Ruapehu District i-SITE Visitor Centres who handle all accommodation, transfers, and activities for these packages. Please contact them on 0800 647 483 or email them at isite@ruapehudc.govt.nz for their terms and conditions which apply to your booking.

All packages are subject to availability, after you place your booking the i-SITE will confirm your arrangements with the individual providers and operators.
If parts of your chosen package are unavailable, the i-SITE will work with you to provide a suitable substitution/customisation or we will refund you fully.

The Glenbrook Vintage Railway Charitable Trust Board will not be held liable for any damages arising from errors or omissions in the information provided for you on this website

Book This Package

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Ohakune - Explore Like The Locals - 11th June 2021

Ohakune - Explore Like The Locals - 11th June 2021

Ohakune - Explore Like The Locals - 11th June 2021
Return Train Travel, Stay at Ruapehu Mountain Lodge, Walk the Old Coach Road or Blyth Hut Track including the Waitonga Falls
$1,299 Per 2 People

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2 People:
@ $1,299.00 each
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