This excursion will depart from Hamilton Station, making pick up stops at Te Awamutu, Otorohanga and Te Kuiti before continuing south on the Main Trunk to National Park and Ohakune. After travelling through rich Waikato farmland our train will begin its climb to the Porootarao Tunnel immediately on leaving Te Kuiti. The line is very scenic and after passing through the communities of Puketutu, Kopaki and Mangapehi the train will pass through the tunnel before descending through the lovely Ongarue River valley to Taumarunui. From Taumarunui we travel south following the Wanganui River until Kakahi before climbing further towards Owhango and Raurimu. Here, enjoy a tremendous daylight view of the Raurimu spiral as the locomotive climbs this iconic railway engineering masterpiece for the first time in many years under power. We then arrive at National Park Station where two options for passengers await – transfer to the Chateau for a lovely Sunday Hot Roast Buffet Lunch or transfer to the Chateau and Top of the Bruce to enjoy mountain walks and scenery or to ride the newly installed Sky Waka Gondola which you can ride up to higher parts of the mountain. Passengers selecting either of these options will have approximately two and a half hours off train. Those remaining on board continue to Ohakune travelling across the Makatote and Hapuawhenua Viaducts amongst other scenic standouts to reach our destination of Ohakune. Here the locomotive will be turned on the turntable and the train readied for the return departure. Passengers will have approximately one hour of free time which can be spent visiting the Railway Museum situated near the railway station or take the bus into Ohakune Township for a short sightseeing visit. A café is located in the station which may be attractive to some.
A couple of photo-stops are planned for this excursion, weather and timings permitting. It is planned to have morning and afternoon tea/coffee and light refreshments available for purchase en-route. Full details will be sent with the ticket mailout.
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Pick up and set down stops: Hamilton, Te Awamutu, Otorohanga, and Te Kuiti