Last weekend we headed up to Auckland – on the train.

Most of our friends/ family thought we were slightly crazy. Yes, it was going to take us 12 HOURS to get to Auckland from Wellington – a distance we could fly in 1 hour (even the bus was faster – getting in to Auckland 2 hours earlier than the train, and cost $8 less).

But travelling by train was something that Jase and I both wanted to do – check out the countryside, sit back and relax and see where the train took us. It was an ADVENTURE!

Boarding the train

We were up bright and early to board The Overlander at 7am. A quick look around confirmed that yep, we were the only ones without grey hair!

Grey Grannies on the Overlander

Once we got going the scenery was beautiful. Some of the time the train followed along State Highway 1, but other times it ducked through countryside we had never glimpsed before. I spent most of the time like this…

Snapping pics out the window

We read the paper, our books, played cards, chatted, people watched. We went for a walk through all the carriages (a lot harder than it sounds, getting rocked & rollicked the whole way) and ended up at the open air part of the front carriage. I was enthralled by watching the tracks whizz by under the train…

Whizzing tracks

A highlight was going through the Rangitikei Gorge and then a tunnel while on the open air deck. Such great views!

Rangitikei Gorge

Jase & I

We were really impressed with the Overlander – they gave a wee commentary throughout the trip which meant we learnt lots about our own country as well. The Raurimu Spiral was definitely more interesting being on the train (rather than going to the lookout – which is up there on the list of Most Underwhelming New Zealand Attractions). The back of the train had an observation lounge where we sat for a while – a lovely place to share lunch with your fellow train goers 🙂

The view

We stopped at Ohakune for a pie & a coke (it’s what you do when you travel train styles apparently) and then we were on our way again. The scenery became more standard the closer we got to Auckland – and by 3pm I was ready to just hurry up and get there. The train stopped at Pukekohe, then Papakura, and then Middlemore and I was starting to groan, thinking we would be late into Auckland if we stopped at all the suburban train stations. But then we turned onto the eastern corridor, shot through the back of Mt Wellington, Kohimarama and then suddenly we were cruising into Britomart! Arrived right on time, 12 hours later to Auckland.

It was a great trip, really interesting and scenic, a wonderful service, stress free….but once was enough! 😉 Glad we have done it!

My favourite part of the trip? Seeing the matching Christmas jumpers that this gorgeous couple were sporting…GOLD.

Oh those matching jumpers!