Wellington, New Zealand

After four months here, I finally made it up to the Capital. Wellington has quite a small city feel to it, which is quite nice. I was able to walk from one end to the other in about 30 mins.

Wellington is always known as ‘Windy Wellington’ and it was, but so much warmer. I rocked up in my winter boots, a coat and a scarf on, and I quickly stripped down to wearing a wee vest top with my jeans.

After checking into the YHA (I really ought to explore other hostels outside of the YHA arena!), which was packed full of little Thai school kids. I went for a wee wander. As I didn’t really plan this trip much, I went armed with a small map with a ‘must see in Wellington’ list on the back.

My first stop was at the Te papa museum, which is a fairly large place overlooking the waterfront. It has got many exhibitions, some of which are temporary. I had a wander around for a good hour or so.

One exhibition I went to was ‘earth, water fire’ (or something along those lines), which including a lot about earthquakes. They even have an earthquake house, called the ‘edgecumbe experience’
Edgecumbe is a wee town, somewhere in NZ that experienced a fairly large earthquake in the 1930’s. So you can go and stand in the house and listen to the story of the quake, then the house rocks about a wee bit. It is sort of realistic, but nothing in comparison to what a proper real big one here is like. I guess if you had never felt an earthquake, this would give you some idea.

After the museum, I had a wander around town. I went in the wee cable car, which takes you up to a lookout point, and the botanic gardens. Stunning views, particularly as it was a gorgeous day. My feet had begun to hurt quite a bit at this point. The boots I have obviously are not designed to deal with a lot of walking up hills. Which is one thing I realised .. Christchurch doesn’t have many hills .. whereas Wellington, I was forever trekking up and down them!

I went to see the beehive parliament buildings, as well as the old ones, and had walk along the waterfront, which is pretty stunning. They have all these wee arty sculptures along the place. Lots of photos (on facebook!)

Later I made the trek over to the Westpac stadium, which in itself isn’t far … a 30 min walk from where I stayed. I got there very early though, so had to sit through a lot of the pre match entertainment. The Westpac stadium is massive. Not sure of the capacity, but it was huge .. and all of the seats were not full, so to me it really lacked atmosphere. It was also quite hard to get into it properly, as I was on my own, and sitting with Hurricanes supporters, so when we scored (frequently) I was like ‘yay … flag wave’. Amazing game and score though 42-14. Happy with that.

I love being in a total rugby fanatic country. The UK doesn’t appear to be that into it. It is more a football nation, and so it is nice to come here and actually be able to talk to work colleagues about it, who have either been at the game, or watched it.

Back to Welly … I didn’t sleep too well in the hostel. I was in an 8 person shared dorm. Full of loud Americans, who came in 2 hours after I got to bed and woke me up.
I returned the favour of being equally as loud at 6am when I got up to get out in time to catch the bus to the ferry terminal 🙂

I am returning to Wellington in a few weeks time for a course for work, so will definitely look into private accommodation. A motel would be way better I reckon.

So I’ve done the Wellington to Picton ferry crossing, and it was amazing. I was able to watch the sunrise over Wellington harbour, and then I stayed awake enough to enjoy the scenery. Going through the cook strait and Queen Charlotte sound was just amazing. The water is so blue and the islands around it were gorgeous. Such a beautiful day and a smooth crossing.

I spent about 45 mins in Picton, after getting off the ferry and waiting for my luggage. I always getting nervous at luggage collection areas. One, as I fear someone will run off with my stuff, or two that it will have got lost. I think this comes from loosing luggage in Hungary and having to wait 3 days to get it back.

Picton is a small little place. Reminds me of Portstewart back at home – a typical little seaside town, which gets a lot of tourist traffic and has many old people that go to retire there.

The bus journey back to Christchurch did seem to pass fairly quickly. It was long (5.5 hours), and there was a crying child intermittently near me. However, I did sleep off and on, and we stopped in Kaikoura or a toilet stop, leg stretch and coffee break. I am always amazed at the sheer size of the mountains in Kaikoura – you look up and think you just see clouds, then the mountains are above that – incredible!

After my epic journey, I got back and my flatmate had a 3 course dinner made. Pumpkin soup stir fry and cheesecake. Wonderful.

Totally shattered today though. Just about made it through work. Although by 2pm I was flagging.

A nice wee 4 day week this week, thanks to Anzac day on Wednesday, then I am off to Dunedin.

May will definitely have to be a quiet month! Time to rest and save money, before the ski/snowboarding season starts (I say that like I am a pro – I wish!)

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