We’ve been down the hills and round the bends to find Auckland’s best day out on the rails! Between sweet treats to eat and friendly conductors, it’ll be hard to choo-choose which train adventure to take next!
Western Springs Tram Service at MOTAT (Pictured above)
Where? 805 Great North Road, Western Springs
Although technically not a train, we couldn’t leave out the tram ride at MOTAT from this list!
The charmingly vintage Western Springs Tram Service is the perfect way to travel back in time, before checking out the range of historical vehicles the museum has to offer.
For your little locomotive fanatics, MOTAT is home to a number of vintage trains and old-time train tickets. If you’re planning a big day out with the kids, the tram also stops at Auckland Zoo, so you can continue the fun amongst some of the coolest wild animals!
Where? 10 Tom Pearce Drive, Auckland Airport
Everyone knows Butterfly Creek is a hotspot for family outings, and with so much to do, it’s not hard to see why. Beyond the butterflies, Butterfly Creek is home to salt water crocs, alligators, monkeys, farm animals, a bird aviary, and the kids will love travelling back in time to explore the animatronic Dinosaur Kingdom. The scenic train ride is a hit with visitors of all ages, and is best followed up with a plate of loaded wedges from the Butterfly Creek Café –yum!
Where? 80 Candia Road, Swanson
One of the best out West, Crystal Mountain is packed full of cool activities for the kids. Between panning for crystals and hanging out with the friendly farm animals, the Speedy Gonzales Roller Coaster and Crystal Mountain Express train will be enough to excite the whole family! Finish the day chilling out with the dinos on display in Dinosaur Gully, or head to the gift shop to grab a small crystal for the kids to treasure from their trip.
Glenbrook Vintage Railway
Where? 153 Glenbrook Station Road, Glenbrook
The true train-loving kiddos will know that once upon a time, trains were driven with steam-powered engines. At Glenbrook Vintage Railway, families are given the chance to wind back the clock and get up-close-and-personal with a premier steam train experience. The breathtaking views of the farmlands of Auckland is a definite bonus!
Panmure Miniature Train Ride
Where? Peterson Road, Panmure
In need for a cheap outdoor excursion for the kids? Take them to Panmure Basin Miniature Train Rides running every Sunday, where for $2 a ride, the kids can enjoy chugging along with their friends. Got an extra gold coin? Head to the model boating lake right next door, and give the remote control boats a whirl!
Western Train Line to Swanson
Where? Any station between Henderson and Britomart
Take the kids on a no-fuss outing for a meal and a play via the Western train line.
Good for your stomach and GREAT for your wallet, catch a train to Swanson for a meal at the Swanson Station Café, with the toasted blueberry bagel on the $6 kids’ menu being a guaranteed hit! Follow up your meal with a play at the Swanson Station Playground to burn off some energy – between the flying fox and chance to run with the ducks, the train ride home might just be a sleepy one!
Manukau Live Steamers train ride and experience
Where? Centre Park, 141 Robertson Road, Mangere, Auckland.
Hit the Massey Junction train station on a Sunday (from 11am, weather permitting) at Manukau Live Steamers and, take a ride on the “Park Track” including a prairie loop curving around the trees of Mangere’s Centre Park and, a 60 metre long bridge crossing a very wet area of the park. There are several steaming bays with two large turntables, watering facilities and, a coaling and fueling area next to the loading bays. Alternatively, you can ride on the “Hill Track” with a balloon loop, horse shoe curves, a viaduct and, a 20 metre long curved tunnel. Children ride for $2 and, under 2’s go for FREE. Toot toot!
By Kersti Ward