One City to Rule Them All
13.01.2014 - 15.01.2014 19 °C
New Plymouth - Wellington (353km/219m)
Annoyingly the library didn’t open till 9am so had to set off later then normal heading there first to see if our laptop charger was still there from the day before. Unfortunately after waiting for it to open and searching everywhere for the charger we did not find it and was now late for getting on the road. Very irritated by the ditzy staff and the fact we would have to fork out for a new one (this is when having an apple product sucks as all the shinny, pretty white parts are expensive) we drove Nora to the Kiwi capital.
We made it to Wellington by 14:00ish finding our hostel, Worldwide Backpackers, easier then expected. Wellington is tiny I think Nottingham is larger so driving around is quiet easy. Dumping our stuff and finally figuring out the parking charges, we went in search for electrical store which would stock a charger and a park to sit and have lunch. We finally managed to purchase a charger at the third shop we tried and the hit on our bank account wasn’t too bad but would have paid for accommodation for two nights, poo! Now less stressed we went off to find a cheap coffee and plan our next day in the capital.
Up not so early after deciding that there wasn’t too much to do in Wellington, we ate our included breakfast (toast and cereal for a change haha!) and head out into a surprisingly hot capital.
We started off by heading to the Interislander Ferry Terminal to get an idea of what we needed to do for our departure. This actually turned out to be a waste of time as we didn’t find out anything we didn’t already know. However we got to do a nice 5km walk seeing the revitalised docklands (that is till we had to go under the highway).
Back in the CBD and at the waterfront we went to Ta Papa, a huge 6 storey museum and gallery, a must see in Wellington. It’s free and brilliant as it’s really interactive, great for big kids like Nick and I. We got to; go into a model house which shook to simulate an earthquake, see a 3D movie of a Giant Squid, jump on an interactive floor map to get extra info, walk round a bush garden over a very wobbly bridge, see cityscapes from the roof and best of all brought a pencil.
We only did 2 floors in the end spending 2 hours but we could have easily spent the day in there. Feeling hungry we decided to frequent another park, Wellington’s Botanic Gardens. This time we arrived in style going in the city cable car (well more of a funicular really) which for $4 (£2) takes you up the very steep hill in a red vintage carriage (similar to Hong Kong’s) to the viewing platform at the peak of the gardens. Finding a lovely spot in the sun looking out on to trees and pretty flowers we stopped for lunch and a spot of sunbathing, bliss!
We decided not to take the cable car back down, but instead follow the scenic walk down the hill through the gardens which was lovely and made us realise not only how large they were, but how steep a hill they are on!
Back at the CBD, we walked past Wellington’s famous Houses of Parliament which are nick-named the “beehive”.
A quick stop at the Department of Conservation (DOC) Visitor Centre to get some information about the South Island, and we were both in need of some caffeine so returned to a bar we had seen on the waterfront earlier in the day called The Crab Shack. It was really cool as it was housed in a former boat shed and all of the staff wore t-shirts saying “Have you got Crabs? Well, we have!’ Haha!
We strolled along bohemian Cuba Street with it’s vintage clothes shops, secondhand book stores and funky cafes and it’s famous Bucket Fountain which Elijah Wood reportedly pee’d in on a drunken night out while filming The Lord of the Rings! The rest of the afternoon was spent being generally lazy, mooching and chilling in the sunshine (it’s a hard life we know!).
It was early to bed as we had a very, very early start to catch our ferry across the Cook’s Strait to the South Island.