Sorry for the delay in getting to this blog, I meant to stop in an Internet Cafe in Wellington but Jen wanted to watch the Netball world championships and we ended up walking the streets of Wellington looking for a sports bar with the game on. Needless to say we did find one and enjoyed a good match between the NZ Silver Ferns (I know, intimidating mascot) and the Australian Aussies. Unfortunately Australia won (again, now having won 9 of the last 12 years) so the mood was pretty sour at the end of the match.
And here are some photos from the last blog entry;
Anyway to pick up where we left off, we spent our last day in the South Island in the city of Picton we had reservations on the 1:15PM Inter-island Ferry, so we used the morning to rent a double kayak and paddle around the Marlborough Sound and Picton Harbor. While it wasn't as impressive as Milford Sound it was still amazing.
After loading the car onto the ferry and finding our seat on the sun deck we broke out the pita, turkey and cheese sandwiches and enjoyed the sunny 3 hours on the sea to the North Island and the city of Wellington.
Once in Wellington, we located and checked in to our hostel and began exploring the city on foot. We found that sports bar, had some beers and watched the game. The place really filled up once the game started and we were scrounging for chairs, Jen even stole one guys when we got up to go to the bathroom... that's my girl! The seat was even still warm. ;)
The next day we had on the schedule to go to the National Museum or Te Papa. The native inhabitants of NZ are called the Maori, they originated from the same group that lived in the South Pacific and are related to the Polynesian Culture. Most of the museum was dedicated to preserving the history of the Maori and their culture before NZ was "discovered" by the British. (Sound familiar?) The rest was about the geographical make up of the islands, they are on the fault of two tectonic plates so a lot about earthquakes and volcanoes.
After 5 hours of that we started off to the other side of the city finding the Wellington Cable Car, we rode this to a hilltop overlooking the city and harbor.
After that we made our way back to the hostel with the intentions of doing laundry and writing an entry on the blog. But by this time our minds and bodies were fatiguing so we ended up vegging out in the hostel watching movies on TV.
We woke this morning refreshed and ready to make the drive up to the Hawks Bay region. This is the region of NZ known for it's Wine, Cheese, Olives and Chocolate. So... it's heaven on earth.
We stopped first at the Sileni Estates Winery, had a couple of tastes of their selections and ended up purchasing a bottle of their Merlot/Cab-Franc blend. Though all were very good we thought it best to limit it to one, for now. We have a number of other vineyards to visit tomorrow.
We're holding up in Archie's Bunker Backbacker Hotel in the town of Napier. This is a fascinating town, it was destroyed in 1931 by an earthquake and they rebuilt it on the new ground produced by the quake. Except this time the entire town in done in an Art Deco motif. So it looks like we're on the set of a 1930's movie, pretty cool.
Tonight we planning on walking around Napier and if we have enough daylight dive up to Te Mata Lookout in Hastings.
Tomorrow we'll hit a few more vineyards, the Te Mata Cheese shop, the Olive shop and maybe the Chocolate Factory for dessert. Mmm no more PB&J for me... ;)
We need to make our way up to Auckland for our 6:00AM flight to Cairns on Friday, so we may stray from our itinerary to make up some time. This section of the North Island is more interesting than we expected so we'll have to forgo the other side for this trip.