Once upon a time, we went to Wellington

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago (last September), Justin and I traveled to the city of Wellington, the capitol of New Zealand.  I researched the entire weekend trip including pricing for a weekend in October.  For some reason I can't recall, we decided to go the last weekend in September instead.  I booked our flight and train tickets before looking for a hotel because there were tons of rooms for the weekend in October I had originally researched.  Well, turns out, the last weekend in September was some kind of huge event weekend in Wellington and I literally could not find a hotel room for Saturday night any where near the CBD.  I finally found a one room flat available that was only a short bus ride from the main waterfront area and immediately booked it.

We flew down to Wellington Friday night on the cheapest flight and arrived around 10:15.  We took a taxi to our flat and were none to pleased with the place.  It had an overall dirty feel (as in I didn't step on any surface without shoes).  But hey, I guess it was better than our other option, a hostel.  
The next morning things began to turn around.  We spent a lovely day walking on the waterfront, riding the cable car, and visiting some of the famous brew pubs.  We topped off the day with dinner at  Red Dog before taking a taxi back to our flat. 

I heart Kiwi signs!

Seriously!  This was the loading area at a local church.
Waterfront Wellington

To the cable car!

At the top of the cable car track
Cable car overlooking Wellington

Evening on the waterfront
On Sunday, we got up early to catch the 7:30 train back to Auckland.  It was an eleven hour train ride that concluded at the Britomart station right next to our apartment.  The KiwiRail Northern Explorer is brand new and we were lucky to get a four person section to ourselves with a table.  Food and beverages are sold on the train and there is an outside viewing area for photography.  We passed some amazing scenery including the three famous North Island volcanoes.  We also enjoyed relaxing and reading on the ride.  

Wellington train station

Getting ready to board

KiwiRail...such a cute name!
From the viewing car

Is this for real? 

View of Mt. Ruapehu

Pic of the train on a bend
Only photo of the inside of the train