Trip Start Jan 16, 2008
Trip End Jul 28, 2008

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Where I stayed
Capital Gateway Motor Lodge Wellington

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Leaving Nelson we made the picturesque journey to Picton along the Queen Charlotte Drive in time for our afternoon crossing to North Island. Despite the bright sunshine and calm weather, the Cook Straits still provided a little stomach-turning swell to keep Kim on her guard although the scenery through the Marlborough Sounds more than made up for it.
The following morning we pondered the bizarre (and in my humble opinion, damn right ugly) Beehive construction that forms an office wing to their Parliament complex. The free guided tour was excellent and pleasingly packed with Kiwis rather than tourists.
Expertly avoiding too many forays into the awaiting shopping malls, we made our way up the cable car to the Botanical Gardens affording great views of the harbour below. It proved to be a top lunch spot and made my 58th cheese sandwich of the trip taste a whole lot better!
Descending back into the city centre, Kim's less than direct map-reading eventually led us to Cafe L'Affare! Oh no, you may think, Rob has been caught yet again - but this was a pretty flair spot. Unassuming from the outside, it was a place full of character and charm that would not have looked out of place in a backstreet of Paris.
Fuelled with caffeine, we plunged head first into the mighty national museum known as Te Papa ("Our Place"). An incredible museum full of a massive variety of exhibits exploring all aspects of anything NZ. They had even made a three minute video taking a tongue-in-cheek look at their passion for rural affairs...
Fortunately, we had time the next morning to complete the remaining galleries before heading over to the airport to pick up Steph, a friend from Uni. It was a flair location to begin a mini roadtrip together!
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