May 18, 2006
We head further north to a winery just below Napier that afternoon which is very fancy. We backpackers definitely stand out like a sore thumb, but it's a good laugh and people are more then welcoming even though I think only one of us actually bought anything. I get chatting to an girl from Phoenix called Naomi.
We finally arrive in Napier which is famous for it's huge earthquake in 1931 which flattened the town and so caused architects from around the globe to come and rebuild. The most popular buildings are in an Art Deco style which does look really cool.
It is also apparently renowned for it's long stretching beach. Therefore I was expecting white sandy dunes but instead was faced with grey rocks... Still nice to have a sit on though and watch the world go by as the sun goes down.
I hardly get any sleep that night because of the humidity in the room and the little quiet girls from Belgium snoring like Trojans. Nice.
I jump on the bus at Wellington and realise that I recognise a fellow ginger haired girl on the bus. It's only Rachel from my hostel in Queenstown - it still amazes me how small Australia and New Zealand are that you can run into the same people constantly. We have a catch up and are both very interested in our first stop - a Kiwi Sanctuary! When I first arrived in NZ I didn't quite get the obsession with this almost extinct big assed bird but after seeing it's silhouette pasted everywhere and hearing so much about it's demise it is hard not to start to feel a fondness towards them. We arrive at the reserve and it starts to rain (just for a change) but luckily the area where the Kiwi's are is underground as they are nocturnal. It's really hard to see them through the glass as our eyes aren't about the adjust to blackness in only 5 minutes. I manage to get a picture of what we thought about one bird pecking the other - poor bugger... their beaks are mega long and sharp.