Friday, 29 January 2010

Welcome to Wellywood and the 1920's (Napier)


Well here's update part 3!

Catching the early morning ferry to a lovely sun rise we docked in Wellington early morn. Driving into downtown Wellington we parked up and spent the day on foot exploring all that Wellington had to offer. Walking down to the wharf we just meandered taking in the sights and looking at some of the public sculptures on display. We visited the NZ gallery of fine arts before making our way to Te Papa, the national museum of New Zealand, boy what a place it was. This museum is huge, 5 floors rammed full of interesting stuff! We didn't even have time to see all of it! It had a great section on kiwiana and Maori history.

Late afternoon we headed back into the centre of town, bought some dinner and went for a walk around the Botanical Gardens, which surprisingly were not all that impressive, not what one would expect from the capitol! Anyhow it started to rain so we decided to head back to the car and drive out of the city for the night; being mega cheap and decided to sleep in the car for the night!

Waking next morning to a lovely view across the bay we drove back into town parked up and checked into our hostel. In need of a wash and a bit of a rest we spent the morning lazing about before heading towards the NZ Parliament. It so happened that a tour of the Parliamentary buildings commenced just as we arrived! It was definitely an interesting place, very ornate and plush inside, it was also an interesting insight into the workings of the New Zealand government, very similar to that of the UK Parliament but they got rid of a two tier system, abolishing their equivalent of the house of lords. We spent the rest of the afternoon back in the Te Papa museum seeing the other half that we missed the day before! In need of a night out as we hadn't been out in a while we headed back to the hostel to try and rally some troops but no one seemed really up for it as they said that Wellington would be dead! Not believing them, c'mon this is the capitol!, we headed out anyhow to what became a dead evening. NO one was out and about, all of the bars and pubs were completely empty, in the end we just sat having a quiet few on the benches outside a pub before heading back.

Wellington was also the point at which Steve told me that he was having to leave New Zealand early and that he'd be leaving on the 22nd of December, this came a a bit of a shock to the system as you can imagine! Well I thought that the best option would be to head to Napier and try and get some work. Napier being the destination, we headed off in short order the next day arriving by late afternoon. Well Steve and I spent the next two days checking out all that Napier had to offer as well as cleaning out the car of all of Steve stuff. Napier is a architecturally a rather nice place; after the 1931 earthquake, which practically destroyed the whole town, it was decided to rebuild the town in accordance to strict planning regulations, dictating that all buildings should be re-erected in their original art-deco style. As a result the town is now a modern testament to the art-deco period, all things relating to the 1920's.

After one more last night out in one of the local pubs we said our goodbyes and split!

Here comethe the next chapter of my journey.

Hello Abel

Hey all

I guess this is the second part (OF MANY, help me!) of my monumental update effort seen as I am so far behind on this blog! I'm glad that I can remember all of this!

So after leaving the west coast we headed inland toward Nelson through the beautiful Buller Gorge towards Nelson and out towards Abel Tasman National Park.

We stayed in Nelson itself for a night, seemed like a nice enough place, its meant to be the sunshine capitol of the New Zealand. I would have liked to stay here for longer but we had only a few days in which to see Cape Farewell, Abel Tasman and to get back over to Piction in time to get our Ferry.

Well after leaving Nelson we drove along the coast to Cape Farewell, the drive was lovely although it was a tad overcast, shame. Along the way we stopped off at the worlds clearest fresh water spring, Pupu spring. It was quite an amazing sight, the water was so clear that it looked as if the water was only a metre or so deep when infact it was up to 6m in places. Six different spring sights pumped anywhere between 12m cubed and 23m cubed (averaging 14) of water a second! A monumental volume of water! Leaving the springs we continued the drive up towards Cape Farewell, stopping shortly at the base fo Farewell spit to walk around the park before heading back to to Nelson.

The next day we drove out to Abel Tasman national park to do a short day walk as I felt I could not miss this out being the one of the if not the most popular national park in New Zealand. It was beautiful if only spoiled buy the sheer number of people in the park. The track followed the coast either along the orange sand beach or paralleling the sea in the rainforest. The walk itself also included a water crossing at low tide across an estuary, a neat experience! Finishing the walk late afternoon we figured that we'd not make it back to Nelson by night fall and as such we ended up camping at Harwoods Hole, the largest in the southern hemisphere. Waking early the next day in order to avoid the warden we packed up and walked to the hole along a path right out of the Lord of the Rings! The hole itself was not all that impressive as you could not get close enough to the edge in order to see the bottom.

Leaving Abel Tasman we drove back towards Picton camping on the beach in the Marlborough sounds before catching the ferry the next day.

Right here comes the next update!

Adios only temporarily!