Thermal Explorer


Three Great Day Trips by Rail - Sunday 16th February 2020

The Railway Enthusiasts Society present three tour options by chartered GVR Scenic Rail heritage train departing from Waiuku, Glenbrook, Pukekohe (AT Metro connections), Pokeno, Te Kauwhata and Hamilton...

Ride behind newly-restored diesel locomotive DBR 1254 on one of it's first mainline outings hauling GVR's fleet of lovingly restored heritage carriages.


It is a long time since the Railway Enthusiasts Society Inc ran an excursion train to Kinleith with onward transfer to the world renowned Orakei Korako Thermal reserve, (this reserve does not erupt) Now with the ability to operate our own locomotive and carriages with our own crew, get out and about and enjoy some new found freedoms by rail. This one-day excursion will depart from Waiuku with pick and set down stops at Glenbrook, Pukekohe (with connections from Auckland and other stations), Pokeno, Te Kauwhata and Hamilton.

The day of travel is also the first day of the opening of the new Waikato Expressway from Ohinewai to Taupiri so an additional highlight will be to observe the new expressway from the train on the northern approaches to Huntly.

Join the train at any of the planned stops and enjoy a leisurely jaunt through the Waikato landscape. After a stop at Hamilton our train will travel onwards passing Morrinsville and Matamata before making its first stop at Tirau to set down passengers wishing to visit Rotorua via coach over the scenic Mamaku Ranges.

From here our train will continue onwards passing through Putaruru and Lichfield before stopping at the revitalised town of Tokoroa.
Passengers will transfer here to the Tokoroa Club for a delightful buffet lunch of meats, salads and desserts and time to relax with a drink before joining the coaches for a scenic tour of the South Waikato, including dams and thermal and scenic landscapes.

Those remaining on the train will reach the rail line terminus at Kinleith where coaches will transfer you to Orakei Korako for a thermal adventure.
Orakei Korako (or Hidden valley as it is also known) is an approximately forty-five minute drive south on State Highway One. On arrival passengers will be ferried across the Waikato River (Lake Ohakuri) by boat (five minutes) to the Thermal landscape wonderland. Here view up to twenty-three geysers, hot springs, mud pools, silica terraces and a thermal cave. Lonely Planet describes Orakei Korako as “arguably the best thermal area left in New Zealand”. Visitor facilities including café and toilets are all available. Following your visit the coaches will return you to Kinleith to re-board the train. Please note the entire side tour will be approximately four & half hours train to train.

Orakei Korako Geothermal Park

Train to Kinleith with Coach Transfer to Orakei Korako (includes admission)
Explore the world-famous thermal reserve.
$159 SINGLE SEAT  $560 FOUR SEATS (save $76!)

Tokoroa Tour and Luncheon

Train to Tokoroa with Buffet Luncheon at the Tokoroa Club
Enjoy a delightful buffet lunch and guided coach tour.
$155 SINGLE SEAT  $560 FOUR SEATS (save $60!)

Rotorua Day Explorer

Train to Tirau with Coach Transfer to Rotorua
Visit the many attractions Rotorua has to offer - you pick and we'll take you there.
$120 SINGLE SEAT  $420 FOUR SEATS (save $60!)



Outbound       Inbound    
Waiuku dep. 0700   Kinleith dep. 1640
Glenbrook dep. 0720   Tokoroa dep. 1650
Pukekohe dep. 0748   Tirau dep. 1733
Pokeno dep. 0810   Hamilton arr. 1915
Te Kauwhata dep. 0840   Te Kauwhata arr. 2015
Hamilton dep. 0945   Pokeno arr. 2042
Tirau arr. 1123   Pukekohe arr. 2103
Tokoroa arr. 1210   Glenbrook arr. 2130
Kinleith arr. 1220   Waiuku arr. 2150

Pick up and set down stops: Waiuku, Glenbrook, Pukekohe (AT Metro connections), Pokeno, Te Kauwhata, Hamilton
Timetable is subject to KiwiRail approval

AT Metro logo

Connect with our charter train at Pukekohe Train Station by catching the following AT Metro services.

Outbound       Inbound    
Britomart dep. 0620   Pukekohe (Charter) arr. 2103
Papakura arr. 0708   Pukekohe dep. 2137
Papakura (Platform 4) dep. 0714   Papakura (Platform 4) arr. 2153
Pukekohe arr. 0730   Papakura dep. 2204
Pukekohe (Charter) dep. 0748   Britomart arr. 2254

Further Details

  1. Full details of the excursions including catering arrangements and confirmed times will be sent approximately ten days prior to the trip operating.
  2. All excursion options will be accompanied by a Tour Host.
  3. The Rotorua Option will allow passengers to select a particular tour attraction they can be set down and picked up at (entry at own expense) otherwise passengers will taken to the I-Site in town for them to have free-time. Approximate time available will be four hours in Rotorua allowing an hours travel to and from Tirau.
  4. The Tokoroa Option will allow a total of four and half hours. Tour duration will be approximately two hours.


09 636 9361 (Weekdays - 9am to 12pm)
09 236 3546 (operating days)

Glenbrook Station Road
New Zealand
Enquire now Postal Address
PO Box 454
Waiuku 2341
New Zealand