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January 8th – Rain

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

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?

January 7th – When In Rome

Thursday, January 17th, 2008


Originally uploaded by roupiesontour

A quick morning visit to Hastings the next town to look at cameras, mine is completely broken and we are down to our last one between us which is not brilliant at taking photos. Found one but unless you buy a camera from duty free it is not covered by the international warranty so that was the end of that. It’s so hard when you are living on a very strict baggage allowance to look round the shops and not buy anything. Even getting presents that will not cost a fortune to send is a challenge. We have bought patches from most places we have been to and also collected the little bags of sand but apart from that have been very controlled. Poor O is beside herself looking at the latest fashions but she is getting excited about going back to the UK and shopping “for real”.

I really wanted to visit a vineyard while we were in the Hawkes Bay area but there are so many it is hard to know what to do so we dropped in at the tourist office and decided on a tour of Church’s Vineyard. Our map reading skills let us down and we just missed one tour but it did give us a chance to have a snack in the fabulous restaurant and catch up on some postcard writing. The tour itself was very good and we saw the old and new machinery, the old concrete wine cellars and the smell was amazing. Little know fact – vineyards use about half “contracted” growers grapes, I don’t know why but I thought they always owned the vineyards. The science of putting the wines together was really interesting and of course I had to taste some very lovely wines to see what they were talking about. Again if we were only on holiday here I could have so easily bought a few bottles, they just slipped down so nicely. It was very hard to stop but I was driving so Josh made me spit them out. Looking forward to the wine region in Australia though.

We had rented a 4 person go-cart at the holiday park in the evening so the kids drove me round and we had fun looking at all the tents including a Harry Potter one with a very strange set up. It looked like a Bedouin tent, like one from the Quidditch World Cup. Some of the tents are huge – like 4 rooms and very impressive.

January 6th – It’s My Birthday, It’s My Birthday.

Thursday, January 17th, 2008
Queenstown 056 Originally uploaded by roupiesontour
Usually I have mixed feelings about today. Don’t get me wrong I love other people’s ... [Continue reading this entry]

January 5th – Puppets On A String

Thursday, January 17th, 2008


Originally uploaded by roupiesontour
[Continue reading this entry]

January 3rd – Stinky City

Thursday, January 17th, 2008
DSCF1181 Originally uploaded by roupiesontour
Onto Rotorua today – I am sad to be packing up the tent and leaving our ... [Continue reading this entry]

January 2nd – Gloworms

Thursday, January 17th, 2008
DSCF1131 Originally uploaded by roupiesontour
Ventured into town to do some food shopping and to see the national bird at the ... [Continue reading this entry]

New Year’s Day

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008
Well - what can I say.......... We had a great time last night - spent the afternoon in the pool and I made a fire from twigs and wood in the barbecue pit and we cooked sausages, baked pots and garlic ... [Continue reading this entry]

I’ve Never Been So Far Away From Home…………..

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008
New Zealand – December 28th   Well we have already lost a whole day – we took off on Dec 27th at 07.30 and landed 5 hours later on Dec 28th at 12.30 – I suppose ... [Continue reading this entry]