Towards the end of my time in Wellington, I started looking ahead to Auckland. I had already booked a flight for about $60 but a woman in my hostel dorm started telling me about the scenic train she was taking to Auckland the same day I had my flight. As much as I like to get to my destination as quickly as possible, I was getting burnt out on airports, constantly changing baggage rules, and cramped airplanes. And 12 hours watching the New Zealand countryside go by sounded relaxing. So I booked a ticket on the train and blew off the flight.
As I settled into my seat, I noticed I was in the last car of the train. That meant I had easy access to the big panoramic observation windows, allowing me to look back the tracks and the fading scenery.
I thought I would read a lot on the 12 hour journey, but instead I mostly listened to my iPod and gazed out the window. The landscapes were gorgeous, and it was a great time to just sit, relax and think. I wrote some notes for blog posts. I reflected on the previous months of travel. I thought about Andy and how excited I was to be only two days away from seeing him in Auckland. I listened to the announcer point out things along the way, including a man who has been waving at the train every single day for years. But mostly I just looked out that window.
Oh and sheep. I saw LOTS of sheep. Horses, cows, goats, rabbits, birds, all there. But sheep really are everywhere in New Zealand.
For several hours after I got off the train, I felt like I was still moving. Kind of like when you’ve been on a boat for awhile, and afterwards you feel like you’re still swaying. It took me a while to realize why I felt so odd, but the train from Wellington to Auckland was still a nice break from the hassles of air travel.
For more information about New Zealand’s scenic trains, check out what KiwiRail offers here.
I recently shared a photo as a guest post on Going Nomadic, check it out here: Did Anyone Ask For A Bed On A Bike?