Travel along a piece of New Zealand's rich rail history and experience the natural beauty and adventure from the comfort of a rail-cart, cleverly adapted to be self-driven along the rail tracks.
Awakeri Rail Adventures operate small petrol-powered golf carts fitted with rail wheels from Awakeri to Rewatu Road and return - about ten kilometres each way. These self-drive rail vehicles travel at a leisurely 25kph with stops along the way so you can take in the scenery with friends and family.
You're in complete control of your rail vehicle, stopping anywhere you wish to revel in the scenery, take beautiful photographs of the countryside - or pick up your hat!
The Taneatua Branch Line was a very busy section of the NZR network in its day, running as the end section of the East Coast Main Trunk line from Hamilton from 1928 to 1978. Freight services continued to operate through to 2001 and the line was closed in 2003, mothballing the entire Taneatua Branch Line.
Awakeri Rail Adventures was founded in 2015 by former NZR engine driver Paul Francis, who spent years driving trains on the Wanganui - Taranaki and main trunk lines. Thanks to the hard work of Paul, with a small group of helpers who spent months clearing blackberry, gorse, fallen trees and toi toi from part of the former Taneatua branch line, you can now drive yourself along this piece of historic railway.
Awakeri Rail Adventures offers a variety of memorable experiences. The first is the Express Run, driving over twenty kilometres of track over the course of approximately two hours, with one stop en route. Enjoy travelling over four bridges, numerous cuttings and bush scenes along the track. The Express Run operates during the summer season (daylight savings months).
The leisurely Bush Walk / Snack Run spans about two and a half hours and runs all year, also taking in the twenty kilometres of track and including a guided bush walk, a relaxing trackside snack and other activities.
A fantastic novelty that you can book by arrangement is the Chicken Run. Ideal for children, the Chicken Run travels eight kilometres of track, stopping to feed chickens and other birds.
Take advantage of group or family discounts, or arrange a gift voucher for friends and family - don't buy them presents, buy them an experience!