07.01.2007 - 08.01.2007 18 °C
7th January 2007
We got checked out of Aspen House and drove the hire car back to Auckland Airport - all very straight forward! Just like our flight no hitches flew straight into Wellington got the public airport shuttle which dropped us about a block away from our hostel.
We stayed in Downtown Backpackers - and old building that has somewhat faded from its former glory - considering HRH Queen Elizabeth supposedly stayed here in its heyday! Still you could see the granduer in that there was a candleliabra hanging in the main foyer!
The room was basic - the most basic we had stayed in to date! Not my favourite place but it wasnt so awful that l can actually complain about it! It cost us £25 to stay the night so we can hardly complain!
So after dumping our bags we had pretty much decided we would go to Te Papa Musuem. So we headed out into the bright but windy day with the first thought to be finding some food - EVERYWHERE was closed! I know it was a Sunday but still we eventually came across a little cafe and were able to grab some food!
Te Papa Musuem - the national museum of New Zealand - not very old and full interactive exhibitions for visitors to become immersed in. I must admit if you were visiting Wellington with kids l would thoroughly recommend it! I liked the volcanic exhibitions on which you got to see exactly was going on below the ground under New Zealand! You can go into the earthquake house and live through a minor quake, see Maroi exhibitions and about the immigrants who have come too New Zealand.
There are decent facilities, entrance is free and its huge!
So after going back for a freshen up we decided we would go for an Indian tonight and went looking for Cuba Street - we got there eventually. Whilst the food was good l have this thing - never trust or eat in an Indian restaurant that serves beef - surely this is forbidden and a sacred animal to the Hindu Indians? Or have l got it wrong again!
8th Jan 2007
Up early - which was a blessed relief - the room we were in was SO noisy - not from rowdy backpackers no we were kept awake by noisy plumbing and a rushing water sound!
We had a few hours to spare until we got our 2pm sailing to Picton so we thought we would get the Wellington Cable Car up to the Botanica Gardens and go for a wander around.
It started off quite cloudy but the clouds started to disapate and we were able to get a good view over Wellington City from the gardens. Wellington whilst windy it is very pretty and it must be the quitest capital city l have ever been in!
We were able to get the free interislander shuttle bus from the train station to the ferry terminal. The Ferry took 3 hours to get across the Cook Strait - due to the navigation around the Marlbourough Sounds. This journey felt like nothing - the views sailing into the Marlbourough Sounds were amazing again! There are some houses out here that you can only access by boat - how cool cut off from society unless a boat comes by!
So we were staying for 3 nights in Picton at the Villa Backpackers. It was great to see that the Villa came in their minibus thingy and picked us up! Saved having to pull the suitcases around (even though it really wasnt that far away!).
This was a lovely wee backpackers - a nice crowd in a converted bungalow, plenty of outside area and a hot tub if you felt the urge! It was a good mixed age group too so we didnt feel too ancient!
Had a wander around Picton and although there's not much to the place it has a nice seaside village feel to it. I found some really nice and different gift shops with wonderful cermaics which l definately intend getting back to!
For a change tonight we went mad and decided to cook a chilli and rice - makes a change from eating out everynight which we had done for the last 15 nights! But when we were up at the supermarket getting the ingredients and beer - I WAS ASKED FOR ID FOR BUYING ALCOHOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How good is that - made my day let me tell you!
After dinner we just sat outside in the garden drank a few beers and chilled out - the weather is due to take a turn for the worst over the next few days apparently!