Taumarunui - Light Up The Night!

Adventure, explore and connect with nature! Camp out or glamp out in Taumarunui, where kayaking, glow worms and baby alpaca cuddles await you!

3 Day/2 Nights, multiple options from $699 for 1 (off peak rate)
Call Ruapehu i-SITE 0800 647 483 for availability and pricing for your chosen departure.

View all Discover Ruapehu Rail Tours Packages

This package is perfect for the family or couple looking to spend time enjoying the natural beauty to the King Country. Try out some camping, glamping or a good old Kiwi cabin stay at Taumarunui Holiday Park. Here you can enjoy kayaking up the Whanganui river, take a scenic bush walk and visit the local glow worms! Day three you will make a visit to Nevalea Alpaca Farm. This unique farm is the largest Alpaca farm in New Zealand where Neville and Leonie are excited about introducing you to their beloved alpacas (especially cuddles with the baby alpacas!!) and their NZ made alpaca products. Take an alpaca for a walk and perhaps hand feed them before you enjoy your very own picnic lunch.

Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Friday

📍 Auckland/Hamilton - Taumarunui by Chartered Heritage Train
☕ Morning tea aboard train
🍽️ Dinner provided

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. Mini buses will be awaiting at Taumarunui to transfer you to the Taumarunui Holiday Park for your stay. Get set up in your tent, yurt or cabin then relax, enjoy your dinner and settle in for a good night’s sleep.

See Train Timetable

Day 2 - Saturday

📍 Taumarunui
🍽️ Breakfast provided
🍽️ Lunch provided
🍽️ Dinner provided

Wake up refreshed and get stuck into some breakfast. When you are ready, you can embark on a peaceful bush walk through the Ohinetonga reserve then enjoy some lunch (and perhaps a little siesta!) Take out one of the kayaks for a gentle paddle up or down the Whanganui river before returning for a bit of afternoon relax time then dinner. After dinner, you will be taken to the quant little village of Kakahi where you can explore for glow worms whilst the Whakapapa river flows peacefully in the background, then finally returning to base camp for a rest.

Day 3 - Sunday

📍 Taumarunui - Auckland/Hamilton by Chartered Heritage Train
🍽️ Breakfast provided
🍽️ Lunch provided
☕ Afternoon tea aboard train

Take a visit to the Nevalea Alpaca Farm – New Zealand’s largest alpaca farm. Travel on the adventure highway to this unique farm on the outskirts of Taumarunui. Here you can get up and personal with the alpacas, take one for a walk, have a go at feeding one and who can resist the opportunity to cuddle a cria – a baby alpaca! Sit down to a picnic lunch as the alpacas watch on before returning to the Taumarunui Railway station to board your train.

Once again, our friendly staff will be happy to see 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.

See Train Timetable


Your choice of accommodation awaits at the Taumarunui Holiday park, nestled in a lovely wooded area beside the glistening Whanganui river. You can choose multiple options here, from camping, glamping or stay in one of the cabins. All meals are included on this stay, as well as air beds, torches and sleeping bags for the camping and glamping options. After a day of rail adventure, followed by local adventure, this is the perfect location to soak up nature over a cool bevvy or two!

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 for tents, yurt and cabin options) at Taumarunui Holiday Park.
  • Transfers from and to Taumarunui Railway Station.
  • Transfers to activities on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Dinner Friday, breakfast, lunch and dinner Saturday, breakfast and light lunch Sunday.
  • Kayak/canoe hire.
  • Admission to Nevalea Alpaca Farm.
  • 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

Note: Multiple options available for this package, subject to availability.
Please call the Ruapehu i-SITE team on 0800 647 48 to check availability before booking.

Option A Single Camping (tent, airbed, and sleeping bag), 1 Person - $699
Option B Twin Camping (tent, airbed, and sleeping bag), 2 People - $1349
Option C Family Camping (tent, airbed, and sleeping bag), 2 Adults 2 Children - $2119
Option D Glamping for 2 (Yurt), 2 People - $1459
Option E Cabin for 1 (single bed in twin share), 1 Person - $699
Option F Cabin for 2 (queen bed), 2 People - $1519
Option G Family Cabin (double bed and bunks with sleeping bag), 2 Adults 2 Children - $2119
Option H Family Cabin (double bed and bunks with sleeping bag), 2 Adults 3 Children - $1739
Option I Kiwi Cottage (self contained), 6 People - $3749

For Peak Season Departures availability is limited, so you need to book through the Ruapehu i-SITE. Give them a call on 0800 647 483 or email them at isite@ruapehudc.govt.nz.

No fuss, one transaction and one simply amazing time will be had on your Discover Ruapehu Rail Tour adventure.