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Heritage rail trip from Auckland to Wellington this November

A unique, new, five-day rail adventure from Auckland to Wellington this November will take time travellers across the North Island aboard a historic train more than 80 years old.

Australian cruise and rail holiday specialists, Cruise Express, is offering the special short break package to New Zealanders keen to enjoy the nostalgic charms of ‘slow travel’.

Escorted by Cruise Express, the heritage rail tour begins with a night’s accommodation in Auckland, including breakfast. Guests then board the historic, privately chartered railcar RM31, ‘Tokomaru’, for a two-day trip south to Wellington. Built in 1938 and named after a Maori canoe, the 50-passenger railmotor was used for North Island passenger rail services for more than 30 years until the early 1970s and still retains her traditional, art deco charm.

Half-way through the journey, passengers will stay at the grand, 90-year-old Chateau Tongariro hotel on the slopes of 2797m-high Mt Ruapehu. Dinner and breakfast are included here.

A two-night stay in Wellington follows, including daily breakfast, a visit to the Te Papa National Museum and a lunch visit to the wineries of the famous Martinborough wine region – renowned for pinot noir.

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