KiwiRail launches Waitomo and Hobbiton Escape package

14 February 2013 10:10AM

KiwiRail Scenic has launched its new Waitomo and Hobbiton Escape package for the Northern Explorer train between Auckland and Wellington.

The Waitomo and Hobbiton Scenic Escape package includes train fares, transfers, accommodation in Hamilton and attractions in one online transaction.

“KiwiRail has worked closely with Hamilton and Waikato Tourism to develop this fantastic tourism package which offers passengers a trip to the world famous Waitomo Caves, combined with a tour of the Hobbiton movie set,” says KiwiRail’s General Manager of Passenger Services, Deborah Hume.

“Not only are we offering stunning scenery in state of the art, purpose-built carriages, but we are also throwing the Northern Explorer train wide open and offering an iconic Kiwi experience as part of the journey.

“We certainly see Waitomo and the Waikato region as a great tourist destination. Waitomo alone has in excess of 350,000 annual visitors, with around 5,000 a day in peak season; and the region also supports a number of high end tourist activities," Ms Hume says.

The Otorohanga stop was reinstated on its Northern Explorer train service between Auckland and Wellington for the tourism destination of Waitomo Caves on 10 December last year. The Otorohanga (Waitomo) stop has been reintroduced on a “booked stop” basis for one or more passengers.

Hamilton and Waikato Tourism Chief Executive, Kiri Goulter, says the organisation is excited about the potential of the new Scenic Escape package.

“This package will allow international and domestic visitors to experience the Hobbiton movie set, Waitomo Caves and Hamilton city in a unique way that has not been offered to train travellers before. KiwiRail’s positive commitment to increasing the region’s presence on the route is fantastic and this new tourism experience is just one of the ways in which we are working closely with them to ensure the Northern Explorer rail service, including the Otorohanga stop, continues to grow and flourish,” she says.

"We are very excited about this new package and tapping into the potential for increasing tourism to the Waikato region,” Ms Hume says.

ENDS

Media Contact: Sophie Lee, Senior Communications Advisor (04) 498 3181 or (027) 435 9464 sophie.lee@kiwirail.co.nz