Taumarunui - Fishers Delight

Ever wanted to try fly fishing? Beginner or experienced, our host will teach you the tricks and show you the good spots on this fisher’s retreat weekend.

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This package perfect for the beginner or the experienced fly fisher. Rail away for the weekend and spend time wading through the crystal clear waters of the King Country in search of the big catch! Staying in the Rover Rock Cottage right next to the river, you are never far from the hunting grounds. Enjoy the peace of the cottage or head into Taumarunui for an evening meal

Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Friday

📍 Auckland/Hamilton - Taumarunui by Chartered Heritage Train
☕ Morning tea aboard train
🍽️ Shuttle to town for dinner (optional)

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, passing over the 132 year old Waiteti viaduct and cruising through lush farmlands and skirting pine forests. We climb for nearly 40 minutes before reaching the summit of the hill at Porootarao, this is marked by passing through the 1272 metre Porootarao tunnel. Blasting out the other side of the tunnel, it is here that you will catch your first glimpse of Mt Ruapehu, if the weather is behaving! As we descend down the grade, we pass through the small settlement of Waimiha then glide through some pretty impressive rock cuttings and finally we meet the Ongarue river which guides us all the way to Taumarunui.

Transfers will be awaiting you and your group at Taumarunui to take you to the River Rock Cottage for your stay. Pick a bedroom, unpack and unwind on the deck for a bit, watching the Whanganui river pass you by. Your hosts will take you into town for you to sample of Taumarunui’s eateries for dinner then return to settle in for a good night’s sleep.


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

Day 2 - Saturday

📍 Taumarunui
🍽️ Continental breakfast at accommodation
🍽️ Shuttle to town for lunch (optional)
🍽️ Shuttle to town for dinner (optional)

Wake up to a coffee and the sound of the river flowing as you partake of a continental breakfast then suit up, for some fly fishing with your very own local fly fishing expert. Peter Scott has been fishing these rivers for a long time and will be there with you to provide tuition and guidance – perfect for the first time fly fisher! Spend the day wading through and fishing the gentle running river waters, hopefully catch the big one to cook up for dinner tonight! After your fishing adventures (and if you didn’t catch your dinner), your hosts at Blazing Paddles will transfer you to Taumarunui for a stroll around and dinner at your expense. Then back to the cottage to share some tails of the one that got away.  

Day 3 - Sunday

📍 Taumarunui - Auckland/Hamilton by Chartered Heritage Train
🍽️ Continental breakfast at accommodation
🍽️ Shuttle to town for lunch (optional)
☕ Afternoon tea aboard train

This morning you get to try your luck at fishing on the river. Enjoy your last few hours in the King Country out on the peaceful water trying for the catch of the day. Time to pack up now, your hosts will transfer you to Taumarunui where you can leave your bags in the i-SITE and wander down the main street for some lunch at one of Taumarunui’s eateries. After lunch, head back to the i-SITE to pick up your bags awaiting the arrival of your train home.

Once again, our friendly staff will be happy to greet you again, and to assist you to settle in for the journey home. Take this time to have a little rest or share your stories with other guests onboard.


Taumarunui dep. 1.10pm
Otorohanga arr. 3.00pm
Te Awamutu
arr. 3.25pm
Hamilton (Frankton)
arr. 3.55pm
Auckland (Pukekohe)


Enjoy staying in this back packer style cottage on the Whanganui river front. Three bedrooms, shared kitchen and lounge fully furnished with an expansive deck with river views. Shared bathroom, fridge, stove and TV with DVD player.

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 and Taumarunui. The railway geography is diverse, from rolling hills to steep gradients. Our journey passes through conservation land, farms and forests.

Selected Highlights Include:

  • Travel over the North Island Main Trunk line on an exclusive heritage train
  • Cross over the spectacular Waiteti Viaduct
  • Track our path along the Ongarue river valley
  • Pass through the Porootarao tunnel
  • 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 Taumarunui and return.
  • Two nights’ accommodation (including bedding and linen) at the River Rock Cottage.
  • Transfers from and to Taumarunui Railway Station.
  • Transfers to activities on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Fly fishing Tuition by champion fly fisher Peter Scott.
  • Transfers to Taumarunui for lunch and dinners Friday, Saturday and lunch only Sunday.
  • Continental breakfast Saturday and Sunday.
  • Hire of fishing gear (rebate available for supplying own gear).
  • 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

Travelling solo, with kids, or as a group? Package not available for your preferred date? The Ruapehu i-SITE is able to customise packages to suit your requirements. Click here for more information.

Taumarunui - Fishers Delight - 11th June 2021

Taumarunui - Fishers Delight - 11th June 2021

Taumarunui - Fishers Delight - 11th June 2021
Return Train Travel, Stay at River Rock Cottage Backpackers, Explore the Whanganui River by Jetboat and Canoe.
$3,219 Per 2 People
$1,619 Per 1 Person

Book Now

2 People:
@ $3,219.00 each
1 Person:
@ $1,619.00 each
Boarding at: