Once again I spent the weekend out and about exploring Rotorua! This time though I dragged my Grandparents along. My Nan has trouble walking long distances so we wanted to pick an activity that she could enjoy as much as the rest of us – this led us to discover RailCruising out in the beautiful Mamaku. After trawling the website and Facebook page for a while, reading reviews and ensuring this was the perfect family friendly activity we booked in for 1pm on Saturday (If you don’t like the heat you may want to pick the later time as it was HOT!!)
First things first, we needed to eat! We decided to head into Rotorua to check out Le Café de Paris on Hinemoa Street. Greeted by friendly staff, authentic decor, perfect coffee and a delicious array of food that had us drooling at the cabinets and menu, it’s safe to say we’ll certainly be coming back for more… and next time I’m getting two crepes, because let’s face it, when is one ever enough?!
Following the signs for RailCruising was simple and before we knew it we were there! The log cabin that greeted us seemed familiar, it was used in the latest Yogi Bear movie and then uplifted to its new home at RailCruising in Mamaku. It was a little bit of a treat to know that Yogi and Boo had once (kind of…) stood exactly where we were, kids would sure love that little feature!
The RailCruisers themselves are described as ‘the world’s first fully automated, state of the art petrol-electric four seat self-drive hybrid rail vehicles’. They come kitted out with heaters, speakers for audio commentary, extremely comfortable seating, unobstructed views, side window panels for when it rains, and an array of safety features to ensure everything on your 19k trip runs smoothly.
The way in which RailCrusing works makes you feel like it’s just you and your group of four out on the tracks, you see no one ahead and no one behind so you can just sit back and focus on the views and the audio. Travelling at a maximum of 20ks there is plenty of time to take it all in whilst still feeling the rush of the wind in your hair. Travelling from Mamaku Railway Station to Tarukenga Railway Station and then heading back to Mamaku after being turned around, each trip has something new to offer!
Described as the ultimate rail experience, you don’t have to be a rail enthusiast to enjoy RailCrusing. I myself loved the views and the freedom felt riding the track whilst my grandad really got a kick out of all the history and information provided along the track and the chatty banter of the staff at each end.
Just like the Redwoods Tree Walk this is the perfect activity come rain or shine. If you’re looking for a family friendly activity this year, I can highly recommend RailCruising in Rotorua. Check here for prices and if you end up RailCrusing make sure you let us know over on Facebook!