We picked a good day to travel to Wellington – a 5 hour journey. It started to rain in the morning and did not stop all day. What a different place the country is with no sunshine, feels like I could be at Butlins Bognor Regis. The time in the car went quickly, driving up mountains and through forests in the rain was enough to keep you on your toes and for once I was glad we were not in a camper van. The holiday park in Wellington was deserted and we treated ourselves to a standard cabin (basically bunk beds and a table in a room). Caught up on internet, washing all the mundane things and in the evening went to NZ’s best takeaway (1997) but was really impressed. They had 3 different salts to put on your chips which threw me, I had to get the girl behind the till to repeat herself about 3 times. Also watched a film before bed – a rare treat and it was a comedy about Elvis impersonators – rather fitting for his birthday.
January 9th – Welly Boots For Wellington
Grey day again when I peaked through the curtains. We decided that we actually prefer being in the tent as it was a lot cosier than the Prisoner Cell Block H décor of the dorm room. I hope the weather comes back soon.
Wellington is a small capital and not as pretty as Auckland. It is based on a series of steep hills and flat land has always been scarce. We took the cable car up to the botanic gardens to get a view of the city and in 15 minutes the sun had also come out. Little known fact – Wellington has over 400 private cable cars. The cable car museum had a great film on this and for those who visit the city you must see it. One couple had one put in for their dog who could no longer walk up the steps! We spent the rest of the day trying to spot them wherever we went, Josh has decided he wants to live here so he can get his own cable car. Many people walk around in business attire and I was made to remember a working life of my own not so long ago. It just seems like a lifetime ago.
The fantastic Te Papa museum was our call in the afternoon. Lots of exhibits and buttons to press for the kids, it was really well set out and again def. worth a visit. We left with what I thought would be loads of time to catch the ferry but it took us over an hour to go 2kms and we were one of the last to check in for the famous Interislander. You can so easily forget that Wellington is the capital city as it just feels too small! I am actually writing this onboard – the views of the South Island have just come into focus – uninhabited steep green cliffs and lots of birds. I wonder how different it will be from the North Island?