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Tourist Train Rides > New Zealand

Scenic railways and heritage train rides in New Zealand

cable car, Wellington Cable Car Museum.

Tourist railways feature historic train rides and scenic routes to provide memorable day trips that are fun for the whole family! Shown: cable car, Wellington Cable Car Museum. Photo: © Donald Y. Tong.

North Island

Coromandel, New Zealand

Barry Brickell is a true Renaissance man. That goes a long way to explain DCR's seemingly incongruous pairing of train and potteryworks. Built by Brickell to haul raw materials and finished pots between roadway and kilns, the site has evolved into a mini-mecca for eco-minded tourists who relish an excursion aboard New Zealand's only narrow-gauge railway as it loops spirals, dips through tunnels, and traverses a native Kauri Forest replanting project. Trains run daily year-round with extra summertime and holiday runs.

Wellington, New Zealand

For over a century, Wellington's cable car has shuttled commuters between downtown's busy Lambton Quay and the Kelbum hillstead above. The once overwhelmingly commuter ridership has given way to a mix, with greater numbers of tourists hopping the incline tram for a memorable ride to the city's Botanic Gardens, planitarium and observatory... and for the fabulous harbor and mountain views. Seven-day service, every 10 minutes, until 10 p.m.

Christchurch, New Zealand

Restored steam and vintage diesels tow a miscellany of period rolling stock along a scenic route through Ferrymead Heritage Park. Along the way, there are historic stations, sheds and shops to explore. The schedule of weekend and holiday pleasure trips is at its height in summer with fewer trains scheduled during winter months.

Kingston - Fairlight, New Zealand

As of October 2013 the Kingston Flyer has ceased operation.

Waipara, New Zealand

Once envisioned as the initial segment of a mainline to the West Coast, today vintage steam and diesel-electric locomotives escort tourists along a vestige rural route. Excursions cross flat acres of crops and orchards and climb through the weathered limestone cuts of Weka Pass. First and third Sundays year-round; all Sundays in January and February; most holidays.

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