Self Drive Rail Cars

The Ultimate Rail

Not many people are lucky enough to have ridden in the cab of a locomotive but it’s this kind of unique experience that inspired RailCruising. You can experience rail like never before. Imagine sitting in your own rail car, with nothing ahead of you but the unobstructed curve of the rail stretching out into the distance, the scenery drifting by and the clickety-clack of the rail beneath you.

What some of our customers have said?

  • Bloody fantastic, unique experience for the young & old

    Garry Waters, Australia

  • We had a great day experiencing Rail Cruising last week. What a novel and enjoyable innovation.

    Elaine Pembroke

  • I did the Mamaku part on 27 Dec, was excellent and unique!

    John McCarthy

How Does It Work?

Groups of Rail Cars spaced well apart, travel 10km together in one direction from Ngongotaha Station or Mamaku Railway Station to Tarukenga Railway Station.

At Tarukenga the Rail Cars are then turned and head back to their starting Station.  Longer trips between Ngongotaha Station and Mamaku Railway Station are also available on demand.  

Cruising along at 20km/hr, you can listen to the audio tour and discover a unique piece of New Zealand railway history.

This is the ultimate way to experience a railway.

What is RailCrusing?

RailCruising allows people just like you the ability to travel along railway lines in your own
powered self-drive, 4-seat Rail Car.


The Rail Cars have comfortable seats with unobstructed views and are fitted with clear drop down waterproof sides.

Our Rail Cars are comfortable, covered, fitted with comfortable seating and blankets on board for cooler days.

Our Rail Cars travel at 20km/hr and boast 360 degree views so you won’t miss a thing.

Overlooking the lake our railway offers beautiful scenery and broad vistas extending as far as Mount Tarawera.

This is an extraordinary experience totally unique to New Zealand. You don’t want to miss out on this incredible experience so book your seat today!

Rotorua Railway

The Rotorua Railway was first planned in 1877 to bring tourists to view the Pink and White Terraces, the 8th wonder of the world. The line fell short of Rotorua by 49km when in 1886 Mt Tarawera erupted burying the Terraces. The line was finally completed into Rotorua in April 1894.

Now 120 years later, after remaining used for 13 years and following an immense amount of hard work, the line is once again carrying tourists.