Queenstown, South Island

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The Kingston Flyer opening day 2022

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The Kingston Flyer

The Kingston Flyer vintage steam train Sunday outing!

The Kingston Flyer is a restored vintage steam train which played an invaluable part in the region’s early history.  The locomotive takes passengers on a memorable 90 minute scenic journey back to a bygone era – a time of gold, steam, earth and dreams.  Take a step back in time on our historical vintage steam train powered by the mighty AB795 Steam Locomotive.
Sit back in our vintage carriages – reminiscent of the days of the pioneers.  Admire the spectacular scenery along the 14km rail corridor from the Kingston lake shore, to Fairlight Train Station and back.

The staff are great with kids – they’re welcome to explore the train, ask lots of questions and check out the loco.  There are photo opportunities galore but a favourite for everyone is watching how the loco turns around at the 14km mark for its return journey.

Your Trip

Board the Kingston Flyer at Kingston Foreshore. There is a cafe and public toilets here and public toilets at Fairlight.  There are no facilities available on the train but you are welcome to bring your own or cafe food to enjoy during your 20 minutes turn-around at Fairlight Train Station. 
The train will arrive at Fairlight Train Station where all passengers will be asked to disembark for a turn around time of 20 minutes. Once you have arrived you can use this time to use the facilities, take photos, enjoy complimentary tea and coffee, purchase merchandise and watch the steam locomotive turn around. The Fairlight Train Station is open to the Kingston Flyer train passengers only, and is not open to the general public at this time. There are no train departures directly from Fairlight.

Getting there

Kingston is a breathtaking 45 minute drive from Queenstown via State Highway 6. The winding drive meanders past the foot of The Remarkables and the Hector Mountains while following Lake Wakatipu to its eastern edge. The turnoff is easily spotted from the main highway; simply follow the main road (Kent Street) all the way to the Kingston Flyer Cafe & Bar where our friendly train staff will be waiting to greet you.
Free parking is available outside the cafe located near the Kingston Foreshore.


Train departs Kingston every Sunday at 10.30am & 2pm. Bookings are essential.
Departures may vary over Christmas.
Please check the schedule to confirm departures


Adult $75, Child $25, 4 years and under are free.

A “Whistle-Stop" History Tour

Before the railway was built, getting to Queenstown was quite an adventure – the easiest way was to take a horse-drawn cart from the south followed by a trip on a small boat.  Once the train line was completed, the Kingston Flyer took passengers between Kingston and Gore from 1878 through to the mid 1950s. It provided a vital link to the Wakatipu goldfields by meeting up with the lake steamers at Kingston Wharf.
Nowadays, the Flyer operates as a tourist attraction on a 14km stretch of track from Kingston to Fairlight (28km return journey) which has been preserved from the original railway.  
Discover the full history of the Kingston Flyer here >>

Other Kingston Activities

The township is a great spot for picnics and the lakefront includes picnic and BBQ areas, playground and toilets.
You’ll also find excellent fishing, a golf course, bowling green, tennis courts, restaurant, café and bar.


There are a number of well-marked walks ranging from ½ hour to 3 hours, easy to medium, starting from the furthest point of the beach, past the Kingston Flyer Railway Station.

Map of New Zealand
  • Central Otago
  • Auckland
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Christchurch
  • Dunedin
  • Coromandel
  • Gisborne
  • Fiordland
  • Marlborough Sounds
  • Manawatu
  • Northland
  • North Canterbury
  • Queenstown
  • South Canterbury
  • Taranaki
  • Southland
  • Taupo
  • Wanaka
  • Waikato
  • Wellington
  • West Coast
  • Whangarei
  • Bay of Islands
  • Tauranga
  • Gisborne
  • Hamilton
  • Napier
  • Kapiti
  • Palmerston North
  • Whanganui
  • New Plymouth
  • Arrowtown
  • Te Anau
  • Akaroa
  • Ashburton
  • Hanmer
  • Kaikoura
  • Methven
  • Mt Cook
  • Oamaru
  • Tekapo
  • Timaru
  • Abel Tasman
  • Motueka
  • Nelson Lakes
  • Blenheim
  • Picton
  • Catlins
  • Gore
  • Stewart Island
  • Central Plateau
  • Invercargill
  • Cromwell
  • Greymouth
  • Hokitika
  • Westport
  • Glenorchy

Our favourite destinations…


New Zealand’s economic heart and biggest city is also an exciting family visitor destination, situated on a sunny harbour with city beaches just minutes away from the CBD. Orientate yourself by heading down to Viaduct Harbour, wandering the waterfront, checking out the super yachts or enjoying the waterfront restaurants. Nearby is the must-visit Sky Tower along with excellent and kid-friendly museums and tons of exciting activities!


Wellington is New Zealand’s capital. Here you will find New Zealand's parliament buildings, including the 'Executive Wing', more well-known as 'The Beehive' due to its distinctive shape. Another icon to look out for is the Wellington Tram, which was the main means of public transport between 1878 and 1964.


With a population of around 400,000 Christchurch, in Canterbury, is the South Island ’s largest city, yet much of it has the feel of a small town. Perhaps that’s why it’s known as the Garden City but with the expansive Hagley Park, Botanic Gardens, Port Hills, River Avon and numerous beaches the city certainly has an open, relaxed feel that’s hard to beat.


With its well-deserved reputation as New Zealand’s activity adventure capital you’ll never run out of activities and things to do in Queenstown, but you may run out of time! With breathtaking scenery, activities and festivals, cafes and restaurants, skiing and snowboarding, shopping and wineries, this lakeside alpine resort rates as one of the world’s top vacation destinations for all ages and seasons.


Rotorua sits on the shore of Lake Rotorua, one of sixteen lakes in the area formed by hundreds of thousands of years of eruptions from the Taupo Volcanic Zone. The area is renowned for its geothermal activity and top of any activity list is to see the bubbling mud pools that are around the region for yourself. The Waimangu Volcanic Valley offers a first hand insight into the devastation caused by the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera and is a great place to discover steaming volcanic craters and bubbling, spitting  pools of mud!

Nelson and Golden Bay

The Nelson and Golden Bay regions, at the top of the South Island, boast enviable sunshine hours, glorious sandy beaches, safe swimming spots, lots of wildlife to look out for, and Abel Tasman National Park - an absolute must to explore, on foot, by kayak, your own craft or watertaxi.  Nelson is home to a vibrant arts and crafts community with a fabulous Saturday market, and is close to award-winning wineries and family-friendly bike tracks to take you around the coast.

Hawkes Bay

Napier was rebuilt after the 1931 earthquake and is now known as NZ's Art Deco City.  The Art Deco influence has created a unique city – nowhere else can you see such a varied concentration of art deco style. With over 2,200 sunshine hours a year, Napier is a year-round holiday destination with countless activities to entertain the kids – there's days of entertainment on Marine Parade alone, plus numerous other family-friendly trips and activities.  Add to that the beaches, walks and flat cycle paths, outdoor cafes and entertainment, and you have a perfect holiday destination!


Beautiful, unspoiled beaches, fishing, historic gum fields, kauri forests – the Far North has it all. With subtropical temperatures, it's often known as ‘the Winterless north', with warm, humid summers and mild winters.
Gateway to the Bay of Islands, Paihia is a pretty, lively beachside town and a perfect base for your family holiday. It’s your start point for Bay of Island adventures including day cruises, sailing, kayaking, swimming with dolphins and reef or wreck diving.