Friday, 20 April 2012


The plane ride was just a little bit late and took 1hr 40mins, before arriving in Auckland. I don’t appreciate Jetstar, with their less than average hospitality and excess baggage charges! We hopped on the park ‘n’ ride and arrived at the Formule 1 hotel a few minutes later. It was free and the accommodation seemed very nice for the price! We were also joined by the New Caledonian U17’s women’s football team, who seemed to take over the place.

We walked to Countdown supermarket, which is one of the major supermarket chains in NZ. This meant the prices were much more reasonable than the corner shops we had been used to on our travels. We dumped some stuff at the hotel before walking to the airport, to catch the airport express ($25 return).

The journey which was supposed to take an hour was only about 40mins at the most. We stopped in the City Centre and walked around until we found the Sky Tower (not hard to find). The views were mightily impressive, even if we did miss the sunset and had fairly shit weather. On the ground floor had several movie set items and life-size characters (which I took plenty of pictures of). Walking back towards the centre, we stopped at a Mexican restaurant for something different. We both had nachos (hand-made), which were the best I’ve had before and you could tell it was truly Mexican. The bus journey home took 30mins and we had a quick walk back to the Hotel from the domestic terminal.

Friday 13th April 2012

This morning we got all ready to go again and went down to make toast for breakfast, but were then swarmed by the football team. We returned to our rooms for 20mins before heading back down. Although it was a bit quieter, there were still loads of the girls taking up lots of the space. We checked-out and waited for the park ‘n’ ride, which took about 40 minutes to turn up. Just before we decided to walk it, the bus came and took us to the international terminal after 2 other stops.
This a view of Auckland from the Sky Deck

Me with Tintin and Snowy

The Sky Tower



Monday, 9 April 2012


My Favourite pictures are at the bottom of the post, enjoy.
Monday 9th April 2012

This morning we had a leisurely breakfast in the lounge, taking in the last views of Mt. Cook. We left around 9:30am, on the road to Queenstown, with a few unknown stop-offs along the way. The first stop we made was fairly early on, to the Clay cliffs (recommended by Lonely Planet). I was a bit sceptical at first, but they were more exciting than they sound and gave some impressive views! By this stage the sun was shining (approx. 20C) and we saw no signs of the forecasted drizzle!

After another hour or so (I was asleep), we got to a bridge with some lovely autumnal colours. We were at River Clutha and the colour of the trees, alongside the pristine water gave some good pictures (I hope). I guess we couldn’t go a day without my dad doing something hilarious, and I didn’t have long to wait. As we climbed up to the bridge on foot, he managed to fall over the barrier, ending up on his bum with a grazed knee. All of which I laughed at, from the bottom of the road.

With lunchtime looming, we set out to stop Lake Wanaka next. We had hopes of kayaking on the lake, but we assumed it was too windy. Instead, we ate lunch on a bench overlooking the lake, before a quick wonder around the village centre.

Feeling drowsy after lunch, I had another nap in the car. When I woke up, we were near the top valley. We parked up and the view of Cardrona Valley was awesome. We were at Pisa Observatory and climbed a bit higher, to get some ace views of the rolling hills.

We arrived at Earnslaw Lodge about 4:00pm and dumped our stuff, before heading up to the gondola. It cost $25, but the views of Queenstown and especially the “Remarkables”, were second to none! We all hoped to see the glorious sunset, but it never happened. Following that, we went in to town to find some food. Fergburger was highly recommended by multiple people, but there was an hour wait, and we were too hungry by then. We ended up at an Indian and it was lovely.

Tuesday 10th April 2012

Today was action packed to say the least! This morning I woke up, it was the big day that I had forgotten about! I was casually supposed to jump of a 43m high bridge in less than two hours! We arrived about an hour early, which probably wasn’t the best idea. We watched the live stream cams of people jumping and I was extremely nervous by this stage! When the time came to check-in I was even more nervous. I was weighed and then went to stand on the bridge. I had about 30 minutes to wait before being called to the edge to be strapped up. It was finally my turn and what had I let myself in for! I had the towels etc tied around my legs and shuffled towards the edge of the platform with my toes over the edge. In the words of one of the crew – “I think you have bitten off more than you can chew here”. That was pretty much what was going through my mind, as I stupidly looked down at the fast flowing river below! I had a quick pose for the camera, before the big jump. It was time, a quick 1,2,3, jump and I stood still. “Practice run” says the instructor jokingly. So 1,2,3 jump and this time I just jumped off in to a dive, which probably looked awful. Perhaps the worst bit was being pulled up and swung, not knowing where I was going. I was finally lowered down in to a dingy and then taken to the shore, awaited by dad. I got my DVD, photos, free t-shirt and certificate, and then we left for Arrowstown.

Arrowstown was a village that originated from gold mining boom approx. 150 years ago. It still brings a lot of tourists (Iike ourselves) to see the old, original buildings and pan for gold if you so wish. We bought some “golden nuggets” (sweets) and kiwi fruit fudge, before heading back to the accommodation for lunch. We had some quick lunch before heading out for our next adrenaline fix.

This afternoon we followed the River Shotover further upstream to the Shotover Jetboat HQ and checked-in about 3:00pm. Our ride wasn’t until 4, but we were early enough to go on a boat at 3:30. We waited around for a bit, before putting a waterproof long coat and lifejacket on and posing for pictures. We boarded the 12 seater, which was full, and sat at the back. The ride was fantastic, riding ridiculously close to the rock walls and over shingle, as well as doing 360 spins and getting soaked. It was probably the best bit of the whole trip, so far and I would thoroughly recommend it! You get about 25 minutes on the water (seemed much longer), before being offered pictures and on-board video footage of your ride.

The adrenaline action over for the day, we headed to the town centre to drop the car rental off. It was a nightmare trying to park, but we managed to get a spot outside in the end. Car gone, we walked down to Fergburger’s again for a burger. The wait was much shorter this evening and we even got a table outside. I had a “tropical swine”, which was no average burger. The ingredients were incredible, with a 1/2lb beef burger, cheese, bacon, pineapple, lettuce, relish and mayo. All of this, inside an incredible “fresh bread” type bun. All-in-all, probably the best burger I’ve ever had, even beating the previously recommended burgerfuel.

Feeling full, we took a stroll down to the Lakeside, where a beautiful sunset awaited! We managed to get a fair few decent pictures, with some awesome colours on the Lake and the Remarkables. We finished the evening at Pantagonia Chocolates, which was recommended in the Lonely Planet guide to NZ. Despite it being cold outside, we opted for a double scooped, coned ice cream each. Dad had mascarpone cheese with forest fruits and I had cream & caramel, plus banana split. It was incredible ice cream, in a lovely chocolate-bottomed, waffle cone. Completely full-up, we staggered home to bed.

Wednesday 11th April 2012

This morning was an early start, with the coach picking us up at 7:15am across the road. It was freezing (compared to previous days) and the prospect of a 12 hour day, mostly spent on a coach, wasn’t appealing. Even less appealing when you consider I was awake since 2am as Dad woke me up with his snoring! The first leg of the journey took about 2 hours (which I slept for), before arriving at Te Anau. There was little, except a Lake at Te Anau. We had a 15 minute stop, in which we went down to the Lake to stretch our legs and take some pictures.

Our next, brief stop was at Mt. Christina and then the Chasm. The coach wasn’t able to stop for long at places and didn’t stop at some of the places we could have with the car. We finally arrived at Milford Sound at 12:50, in time for the cruise at 13:15. Milford Sound isn’t appropriately named, as a sound must be a river shaped valley in which the sea has filled. A fiord (which is what it technically is), is a glacier formed valley where the sea has filled it.

The cruise was the full hour and a half, which went quite quickly. Unfortunately the sun was in the wrong place to take good photos on the way out to the Sea. That said, the views were still mightily impressive and well worth it. There were two permanent waterfalls, but many over small run-offs. The Sterling falls showed a great example of a hanging valley. That coupled with terminal murrain, was like stepping in to a school geography lesson! It was fairly calm on the water, even as we reach the Tasman Sea. On the way back in, the sun was behind us, so we could see a lot more. The highlights were the “seal rock” and the Sterling falls (which we got soaked at).

The coach ride back was much quicker, although I slept the entire way back. We arrived back, just over 12 hours later, at 7:30pm. After dumping our stuff, we walked in to town for some tea. Feeling hungry, we stopped at the “pub on the Wharf”, where we both had steak. They were cooked perfectly, tasted great and came reasonably quickly.

Autumnal trees at River Clutha

River Clutha

Lake Wanaka

Cadrona Valley from Pisa Observatory

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown

The Remarkables at sunset

Hanging Valley at Milford Sound

Milford Sound

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Aoraki/Mount Cook and Surrounding Area

We arrived at Mt. Cook village around 12:45, after the hour and a half drive from Lake Takepo. Check-in to our accommodation wasn’t available til 3pm, so we went straight to Hooker Valley for a walk. The walk was a 3 hour return walk, taking you fairly near Mt. Cook. We found a big boulder, casting a big enough shadow for us to have lunch in the shade. We continued on the mixed terrain, until we finally reached the iceberg lake. The weather was sunny again, with temperatures around the early 20’s (degrees Celsius). This meant it was perhaps a bit too hot for hiking, but at least gave me a better chance of getting a slight tan! The view of Mt. Cook at the end of the walk was fantastic, with many man-made rock piles, standing over 6ft tall.
In the evening I edited some of the day’s pictures, with help from Dad, to pick out favourites or photos to delete. We took a look at some menus (and prices) and plumped for the well recommended, Old Mountaineers Café. The food was lovely, with great portion sizes and friendly staff. Washed down with a few well deserved beers, it was a good end to the day. On return to the lodge, I took a few night time shots with my camera. Another guest at the lodge then showed us an outstanding night time picture of the church at Lake Takepo, which took him 30 minutes to take.
Sunday 8th April 2012
We woke up at 6:15 this morning and it looking as if it were getting light already, we rushed in the car to the Tasman Lake. We parked up and walked briskly up to the glacial look-out, arriving in 15 minutes completely breathless. When we reached the summit, the views were more than worth it. The sun was casting amazingly pink/purple light on the Tasman Valley, all the way to Lake Pukaki, as well as Mt. Cook itself. At the summit it was extremely windy/cold, but a bonus was having the 4 friendly Kea posing for photos! They are the only alpine bird of NZ and only found in the mountains of South Island.
On arrival back at the lodge, we had breakfast and chilled out for a bit. We had until 11am to kill until our 55 minute scenic snow flight, so I started to edit my many pictures. Shortly afterwards we were informed the flight may not go, due to extreme wind further up the mountain. We were given the option to do the same flight via helicopter at 9:30am, as long as the other couple didn’t show up. This was at 9:00, so we didn’t have long to finish getting ready and get to the airport. We made it in time and the other couple didn’t turn up, so we could either go or try and wait to fly later in the day. The helicopter was the aircraft of choice due to it being able to cope better with strong winds. We chose not to risk it later and I was certainly keen to go in a helicopter (for the 1st time). There were 6 of us in total, plus the pilot, which meant it was pretty cramped inside.
After all the warnings etc about the wind conditions, when we got up in the air the weather was better than expected. After a rise through the Tasman Valley and an orbit to view Mt. Cook and Mt. Tasman, we landed at the top of the Tasman Glacier. We landed for just over 10 minutes, which was plenty of time to snap away on the camera! Another 500ft above was a small mountaineer’s hut, which is used before ascending Mt. Cook. Once back in the air, we flew over Fox and Franz-Josef Glaciers (the next two biggest glaciers in NZ). This gave impressive views of the entire West Coast of South Island, right out to the ocean, as well as a different perspective of Mt. Tasman and Mt. Cook at summit level! The flight was spectacular and well worth the money, definitely the highlight of the trip.
Once we finally arrived back at the Lodge, we had no other plans for the day, except to rest. This gave me time to edit and upload the many pictures I’ve taken, as well as get up-to-date with writing blog posts! Later in the afternoon, we took a stroll up to the Hermitage (which owns almost everything in the Mt. Cook area! Rooms at the Hotel will set you back £300/night, but do have the best view of the entire village. We had a quick look around and the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Center was extremely interesting. It had many old photos and memorabilia, as well as a statue of the man himself!
For tea this evening, we went to the Chamois Bar and Grill. Two meals with two 745ml bottles of Tui came to around £30 and we enjoyed our food/beer, whilst watching rugby union highlights.
Sunrise over Tasman Valley
Probably my absolute favourite, taken from the middle of the glacial river
A Kea (only found in South Island NZ), with the sun coming up over the Tasman Valley
Me next to the Helicopter at the top of the Tasman Glacier (Largest in NZ at 29km long)
Wicked Ice formations near the top of Tasman Glacier

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Lake Takepo, Lake Pukaki and Mt. John Observatory

We left Rivendell Lodge at approx. 9:30am to drive to Mt. Cook. We stopped at Lake Takepo, which was only a short distance from the accommodation in Fairlie. We took a few pictures down by the lake, as well as the church.  At that stage we thought it would be best to take a look around the village centre. We bought souvenirs from the gift shop/info centre there, as well as groceries before heading to Mt. Cook itself, where everything is dearer.
The lady at Rivendell lodge suggested going up to Mt. John observatory, which had terrific views across Lake Takepo and the Southern Alps. At 750m above sea level and plains all the way to Mt. Cook, it is probably the ideal place to have an observatory. After a few photos, we headed down the road towards Mt. Cook. We stopped at the edge of the road, which winds around the banks of Lake Pukaki. The view of the Alps across the Lake was like a postcard and I managed to get a few decent photos, hopefully.
Three of the observatories at Mt. John, with Southern Alps behind
Lake Pukaki, with Mt. Cook etc
Lake Pukaki again with bush frame
Lake Takepo Village

Friday, 6 April 2012

Christchurch and Akaroa

This morning felt quite rushed, as we tried to organise transport to pick up our car hire (from their random city location). As such, there was slightly less time to get ready and take pictures as I’d had liked, but it was good to get out in the nice weather in the end. Before leaving, we had time to put our jail costumes on and have typical criminal pictures taken.

We picked the car up around 9:30 and headed straight for Akaroa, 80km away. On the way there we took the main road, saving the “tourist drive” and “summit road” for the way back. We passed Lake Ellesmere and then stopped at Lake Forsyth. Lake Forsyth gave an almost perfect reflection of the hills and clear blue skies, like that of a postcard. We stopped at several spots along the way, to take photos of the stunning views in the lovely sunshine!

Arriving at Akaroa just before 11am, we parked up and decided to have a good look around. It seemed to provide lots of activities, for all sorts of people. There were shops, restaurants, cafes, fishing trips, yachts, canoes, swimming with dolphins and a big beach to walk along. Dad and I walked along the wharf, then up to the lighthouse. There were some lovely views in this little French town, helped by the beautiful weather. Nearer the lighthouse, we found a tree of significance to Dad, when he was here with mum 20 years ago. After viewing most of what Akaroa seemed to offer, we went to find somewhere for something to eat. We ended up at a café and each had a breakfast Panini and drink, which were ridiculously priced, before being hit by a 15% surcharge due to Easter bank holiday. That said, we both enjoyed it and I had a lovely raspberry slice to finish.

Fed and watered, it was onwards and upwards! We started the ascent up the big hills (approx. 1200ft) with our rental car, along summit road and tourist drive. There were plenty of places to stop for photos, with some breath-taking views! We were joined by multiple cyclists throughout the day, although there were many on this road. Other than cyclists, the roads were very quiet, on the whole. The views of Paua Bay, Akaroa and the other smaller bays were incredible. Hopefully my pictures do the views justice, as those views were definitely postcard worthy! On the descent and on the return drive to Christchurch, it was about time for my daily nap! We stopped by Lake Ellesmere for dad, as he was tired, but I stayed in the car as there was little to see there.

We carried on and ended up in Christchurch in the early afternoon, hoping to have a quick look at the City centre. We parked along the River Avon, fairly close to the Hospital and walked from there. With many roads being closed due the earthquake repairs, navigating ourselves to the centre was a bit harder. In the end, we followed the river for a short while and ended up at the “red zone”. The red zone encompassed most of the city centres main buildings, including the Cathedral (which they plan to demolish soon). As such, there was little opportunity to take any pictures, with the only pictures being of some earthquake damaged buildings. As the weather stayed sunny, we took a leisurely walk back to the car, stopping for some ice cream along the way. The ice cream was great value for money at approx. £1.35 for a double scoop of flavours I’ve not even seen in the U.K. I had orange choc chip and candy floss, whilst dad had 2 scoops of boysenberry. Mine was delicious, the candy floss being my particular favourite. I tried boysenberry on the Chathams, so I also know this is super tasty.

As we finished viewing Christchurch, we continued down state highway route 1, towards Timaru. We were heading towards Fairlie, which is between Ashburton and Timaru, along the East coast. The drive took just over 2 hours, with the roads being very quiet. We arrived just after the sun had set on the mountains when we arrived in Fairlie. Unsure of the exact location of our accommodation, we asked for directions at the local supermarket. Rivendell Lodge (yes as in LOTR), was approx. 10km away and would be easy to pass by. The B & B appears very nice, with a pleasant host.
Upon arrival, we soon realised we would have to go back to Fairlie to eat out, before everywhere shut early (as it is Easter Friday). We drove back in to the one street town and stopped at the fish and chip shop. We ate in the restaurant and both enjoyed a cheeseburger and chips, before heading home for the evening. We arrived back at the B & B around 19:30 and had a quick cup of tea and chat with our host, before going up to our room.

Lake Forsyth with perfect reflection and some ducks
Me with Akaroa and the surrounding bays behind me
Probably the most noticeable building damage we came across

Me at the Jail House accommodation, Christchurch

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The Tranzscenic Rail to Christchurch via Kaikoura

Wednesday 4th April 2012

Dad and I were up early this morning, leaving the motel via taxi at 7:15. It was a quick drive through the centre of Wellington to the other side of the harbour. The check-in was much like an airport, for checking-in suitcases, although it was much more efficient. We then boarded straight away and found a window seat near the café! Unfortunately, due to the weather we couldn’t see much at all. The Kaitaki had 10 decks, although you could only roam a few of them. You could see a bit more if you stood outside, but it was still quite misty/rainy. The journey took 2.5 hours from Wellington to Picton and it wasn’t that bumpy.

On arrival in to Picton it was relatively easy to board the tranzscenic rail and the bags were transferred for us. The train to Kaikoura left on time and we stopped at a few places along the way. We get on the same train tomorrow and continue to Christchurch. The train views were very good, despite the weather. The open-air viewing carriage had the best views, but it was very windy and hard to keep hold of the camera! The train hugged the coastline for about 100km and had the best views, with a few seals along the way. As a treat, Dad and I had some pancakes on the train. They were heated up and came with manuka honey and cream, which were delicious.

We arrived at Kaikoura at 3:30pm and got a shuttle (taxi) to the youth hostel, where we are staying for one night. It is pretty basic, but it will do for one night. We are whale watching tomorrow morning, before boarding the train to Christchurch. We had some time this afternoon, so we chose to walk along to the seal colony at Kean Point. We found one fur seal on his own, about 500m or so from the rest of the colony.  I managed to get quite close (with picture evidence), without realising you should only get as close as 10m. We walked a bit further round the coast to the rest of the colony and I took lots of (quite close-up) pictures.

Walking back towards town, we stopped at a seafood shack on the side of the road. He had a whitebait fritter (sandwich with an omelette in the middle) and I decided to wait, as I didn’t want fish. For my tea, we stopped at the Pier House Hotel. It was obviously a bit dearer, but the food was amazing. I really enjoyed my “hog roll” and dad enjoyed a well-deserved beer. My hog roll was a huge serving of pork, crackling, apple sauce and gravy, with veg and potato. It was brilliant and was cooked to perfection. I also had a cheeky “homemade choc chip biscuit”, which was also amazing.

Thursday 5th April 2012

This morning wasn’t such an early start, having to leave at 8:45. So sod’s law, I woke up at 6:30 and couldn’t sleep any longer. It was starting to look like it might be a nice a day, so we waited outside for the shuttle bus. We arrived fairly early to the whaleway station, which is also home to the whale watch tour. It is run by a sole company that have 5 custom made vessels in their fleet, resembling the size of most life boats.

As we had over an hour to wait until we could even check-in, we had some breakfast from the café and sat outside on their terrace. I had some bacon and eggs on toast, whilst watching the huge wave’s crash on the steep-shelved beach. We finished breakfast and still had time to spare. We locked up our bags and suitcases on the train platform, for our journey this afternoon and had a look around the visitor shop.

After a safety/information video and a 5 minute bus ride, we arrived at the other side of the peninsula, on South Bay. There were virtually no waves on this side, compared to the huge ones from where we had just come from. We had also been pre-warned to take sea sickness pills if we were known to suffer, as there were 2.5m rolling waves further out. I tried to briefly take some pictures of their fleet before boarding alongside the 20 or so passengers.

Inside the ship, on the lower deck were all the leather seats – which looked comfy! As we got out to sea, it soon began getting quite rough, causing queasiness among many of the passengers. I wasn’t feeling nauseous at the beginning, but mid-way through wasn’t too pleasant. We saw two sperm whales, one of which we saw on two occasions. This was pretty good, considering they dive for between 40-60mins on average before surfacing for oxygen! They were named “fingers” and “Tiaki”, which are recognisable by their individually unique tail fins. The whales off the Kaikoura coast are usually male and these are up to 1/3 bigger than females.

Coming back towards shore we saw some seals and dusky dolphins. We spent some time with the dolphins, which seemed to be more than happy jumping about by our boat! I was even lucky enough to see the rarest type of dolphin in the world - a Maui dolphin which is the same family as the Hector’s dolphin. Wikipedia tells me there is thought to be only 55 left, all off the coast of NZ.

Whale watching over we had some time to have lunch and visit a (reasonably priced) Paua souvenir shop. Two hours later, we were ready to board the 3:28 tranzscenic rail service to Christchurch. I slept for the first half of the journey after another early rise and another sleeping/motion sickness pill!

The train arrived in to Christchurch about 18:45 and the luggage came out on a conveyor belt, which was complicated enough, without the Germans and their complete lack of social awareness. We walked out of the station, suitcases in tow, to the bus stop outside. It wasn’t the number we wanted, but when asking the bus driver where our stop was, he kindly took us to the nearest stop (free of charge). After another short walk with our baggage, we arrived at the Jail House accommodation! It was a converted jail that used to be for women, back in the day. The rooms were the converted cells, complete with the old, (heavy) metal doors and bunk-beds! It is probably the coolest accommodation yet, with plenty of “jail wardens” to help you out.

After a quick freshen-up, we went out to find some food along Licoln Rd. We stumbled across a few places, (one being the Millers – took a picture for Rachel of course) but ended up at a Chinese. It looked busy inside, which is usually a sign that it is a good restaurant. I had honey chicken, with egg fried rice and as usual I couldn’t even think about finishing the portion! The highlight was the novelty of multi-coloured prawn crackers, alongside seeing Dad knock over a Chinese woman.

Me and Sammy the Seal!
Pod of dusky dolphins in the V formation!
Whale fluke in Kaikoura!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

A wizz through windy Wellington!

Monday 2nd April 2012

When I woke up this morning it was nice weather, which means the flight was definitely going to leave today after all! Last minute packing done, I was already to leave. Christine took me to the airport and I had a bit of a wait before I could check-in. The flight was packed and I didn’t get a window seat, which was a shame as you could see the whole island as we left.

After my nap on the plane, we soon arrived in to Wellington and it was clear blue skies and no wind! I had a bit of a wait once I collected my bags, before my dad arrived. We took the airport bus in to town (cost $8.50 each) and then caught the number 7 towards our motel.

Once we lugged our suitcases up the hill, we arrived at the Carillon Motel Inn (apparently like Faulty Towers). The chap that runs the place was an interesting/weird chap who yapped for ages, although he was quite funny. He talked of his trucking days in Cornwall delivering fridges and freezers, always seeming to involve being pissed.  It felt like we had escaped once he finally let us go to our room! His final words before leaving us in our room were, “if you have a party, that’s cool, as long as I’m invited”.

After dropping our bags off and a quick freshen up, we decided to go up the cable cars as it was such nice weather. Phillip did show us a good shortcut in to town though, which was helpful. Wellington has two universities, so a high proportion of younger adults, which was noticeable. The weather was hot and sunny the entire evening. We took a leisurely walk to the cable car through the city centre. The cable car was only $2 each and the view from the top was pretty cool, especially as it was such nice weather. I’ve got some nice photos of views from the top and the botanical garden. We are quite close to where they filmed the talking trees in Lord of the Rings and some parts of King Kong. They are also now filming the Hobbit in the same hills.

We walked back in to the centre of town, alongside the Parliament buildings and sea front, looking for somewhere to eat. We ended up in Burgerfuel, on Cuba Street. Burgerfuel was amazing; the value for money was brilliant. It beat MacDonald’s hands down in terms of portion size, price and taste. They also had cool signs and friendly staff.

Tuesday 3rd April 2012

This morning we left the motel about 8:45 and found a bakery on the way to where we wanted to go. I had a freshly cooked “bacon bread”, which was amazing. We carried on, past Courtenay Place (where the big films are premiered – e.g Lord of the Rings) up to where some of the LOTR was filmed. We weren’t entirely sure which route was where they filmed, but I can say we were there. Anyway, this was all on the ascent to Mount Victoria, with arguably the best view of the Capital!

At the end of the walk, we ended up at Oriental Bay/Parade and the weather was lovely. We bought some drinks and had a cheeky sunbathe overlooking the beach/harbour. We walked a bit further, before getting a bus back in to town. We got an unlimited day bus ticket for $9.50 each and they have “snapper cards” (identical to oyster cards from what I can work out). I even got sunburnt on my arms, what an achievement!

On arrival back in to town we decided to stop for lunch and trusted Subway (didn’t disappoint). As it was so hot still after lunch, we went home to change in to our shorts and have a bit of a rest!

When we were finally ready to set off again, it had gone overcast and the wind had picked up. We risked the shorts anyway, but did take our jumpers. The bus ride to Island Bay took about twenty minutes and the bus was packed at the beginning of the journey. The weather was still nice when we arrived and I managed to get some decent photos before the weather turned to sh*t. There was also a man planting a geocache at Island Bay, but I didn't go over.

We took the bus back to Wellington and it started to drizzle as we returned. We walked over to the Te Papa museum, which was pretty big. We probably didn’t have enough time there, although we saw a fair bit. It is apparently the only place that has a colossal squid on show. I think it was the one that was on the C4 documentary: Nature’s Giants. Following that we walked towards home, stopping at “Heaven” for tea. It was a stone baked pizza, which was really tasty! We were asked if we wanted inside or outside, we opted for outside due to the hot evening. Outside was sheltered, with a wood fire and candle-lit tables. One would think it were quite the romantic setting, until realising you're there with your dad!

View of the Capital from the top of the Cable Car

Wellington Town Hall

The view of Wellington Harbour from the top of Mt. Victoria
Weird architecture, with interesting light