Windy welly, Capital of Middle Earth

Trip Start Feb 12, 2011
Trip End Jul 09, 2011

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Well it was short and sweet but it was fab! we spent two nights in the cutest capital here, full of bars and cafes, it prides itself not on being the biggest city here (as Aucklands new super city status would win hands down) but instead on being the city biggest on culture and it has this in bucket loads! museums, art gallerys, wine bars and restaurants and plenty of boutiquey shops it has a lovely atmosphere.

We arrived into the city after a 6hour bus journey, the sun had set and as we pulled over the last set of huge hills, the city was sprinkled over the hills and valleys right to the sea, welcome to wellington the bus driver announced, all the lights, it looked so pretty and was a very good sight to see!

Walking around through the city we arrived at the hotel, very plush at the entrance and even the backpacker suites werent too shabby! had some german girls in our room for the first night, took up every inch of space, but we were happy to chuck our stuff down, quickly freshen up before heading out to the city at night.  By chance my aunty from thames happened to be in wellington this week so she had asked us out to dinner, so there she was waiting outside for us with my two guy cousins that I havent seen in 10/11 years!!! so crazy to see them after all this time! the boys chatted about music, the girls about holidays and we spent the evening catching up in a turkish bar/restaurant over some rather delicious food, good times!

Tuesday morning the forcast had predicted pretty bad weather for the day but we were determined to get out early and beat it, poached eggs for 2dollars in the hostel before walking up to mount victoria..steve had his on location guide book and we spent a couple of hours walking in the hobbits steps all around the hill side, where frodo stood on the road, where they fell down and found mushrooms, where they hid from the dark rider, where they saw one in the distance...haha felt like we were there with them.  We climbed to the top and got panaramic views across wellington and the beautiful harbour/port with the nearby penisulars all leaning in, the weather turned on our way down but we were happy we had got out =) A quick stroll around the town, an ooh and ahh at my auntys gorgeous appartment for the week and we jumped in her car (how lucky are we to have such amazing family driving us everywhere - and also as big geeks as us on a certain film!) and headed through an enormous tunnel and to the other side of the city.  We spent the afternoon city in the gorgeous chocolate fish cafe which is adorned with sea shells on the outside by an amazing bay (where the cast used to go on times off), drinking in the pub (also known to frequent the important lord of the rings members) and of course a visit to the fantastic "Weta Cave", where all the digital imaging, props, makeup etc for all of peter jacksons movies (including avatar, narnia etc) is done, you enter into the fantasy land, full of the lifesize models and armoured used, little replicas, set and costumes, it was unbelievable, with a sneak behind the scenes it felt surreal to step outside again and see the cars and the rain in the normal world, i think we had all taken on the magic! a definate highlight of nz (i bought a little "weta" lanyard cord to wear so i can feel all important and part of the film industry when i wear it - haha!).

The evening was a dinner in an maylasian restaurant, we really are having all foods of the world out here, there is a really eastern influence, its so tastey! with cousin and aunty, we saw a student house out here (so big, spacious and clean!) before heading back to the hostel and meeting our new room mates for the night, 2 french guys and 2 Israeli guys, all lovely, got lots of tips about the south island from them as they were heading up north. (the most important one being to climb mount cook, stay in a hut and get up early for the sunrise - cant wait!!) I love how many really friendly interesting people we are meeting!

A lazy morning around wellington browsing bookshops and moving slowly towards the ferry, we grabbed some smoothies full of nutrician to balance all the meals out (beetroot, ginger, carrot, apple) sounds tastey but definately not to be repeated, caused laughing fits on the downright icky taste, beetroot is off the menu for both of us!!!

The ferry was ... interesting!! i found it rather entertaining, discovering that I had sea legs, at least for this trip I did, the rolling of the boat was rather alarming in the characteristic rough sea that makes up the cook straight (between the north and south islands) but the captain telling everyone to hold on made me look around and take in the views of a rather green group of passangers all hurling into sick bags and clinging on for dear life! i ran to the end of the boat and battled through the winds to get to steve to see how he was, he was braving the elements for fresh air and he too was pretty green! haha however he managed to keep all his guts in while chatting to a lorry driver who does the trip several times a week (!!!) and I continued to shelter indoors.  Suddenly land looms up infront and you enter the queen charlotte sounds, huge penisulars and islands on both sides as you glide through turquoise waters and admire the huge forests on flat waters means that by the time we had docked here people were a normal shade of colour again. 

So yes the end of the north island for now...

A big congrats to my parents who have just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary - lots of love to you both!

Lots of love to everyone
P xxxxxxxxxxxxx
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