This may be the best way to enjoy the beauty of New Zealand

The Northern Explorer prepares to leave Auckland, New Zealand, in December 2018. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — There may be no better way to enjoy the beauty of New Zealand than from the open-air car of the train running between Auckland and Wellington.

The Northern Explorer is New Zealand’s longest running passenger service, making a roughly 420-mile-long journey in approximately 11 hours. Along the way, the train passes through Tongariro National Park, offering riders an endless array of scenic views.

But, the real highlight may be the Hapuawhenua Viaduct, a massive concrete structure situated north of Ōhakune and south of National Park. It replaced an earlier viaduct that opened in 1908 or 1909.

While the train has the standard coach cars with reserved seating, the best view is from the open-air viewing car.

Of course, when it comes time to depart Wellington, consider taking the ferry south to Picton.

About Todd DeFeo 730 Articles
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is the owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and Railfanning.org.