Although you can get to Wellington faster by plane, I thought this would be a scenic/cheaper way to see the countryside. The train runs through the Waikato region known for its lush hills and dairy production. It rises through the mountains and you get views of Mt. Ruapehu (the highest mountain on the north island). The train descends through the Waiarapa area but by then the sun had set. There is an observation deck on the train, so you can step outside while the train is zooming along to get photos. It was a little frightening to stand on the outside platform. If you like train travel, I think this is a great ride, but if you are in a hurry, this is not the trip for you.