Week 29 — New Zealand pt. 1

  • This week, Abby and I have been travelling around New Zealand. We left Sydney on Monday night, and got in to our hotel in Aukland early on Tuesday morning. Our itinerary consisted of 2 nights in a hotel, and a booked car for 10 days. Where we went after those 2 nights was all up in the air.
  • We spent Tuesday wandering around Aukland, seeing what there is to see before popping in to Wētā to get a look at how film props and sets go from concept to build.
  • For years, Abby and I have been talking about going to visit the glow worm caves at Raukuri, and today we finally made good on that! We picked up our hire car and stopped by on the way out to our first stop before Wellington. The caves themselves were amazing; full of stone structures that took hundreds of thousands of years to form. From the caves we shot over to an alpine resort for the night. We were the last ones in, and just managed to get a meal and a beer before the restaurant and bar closed. We finished off the latter in front of the fire before heading back to our room to watch the Matildas play against England.
  • On Thursday morning, we realised we had been snowed in! The road out of town was closed until at least 10am, and our tiny little city rental car was under about 10cm of snow. We took this time to have a slow breakfast and enjoy the view of Mt. Ruapehu and Mt. Ngauruhoe (Mt Doom) from our room's patio. At around 10 we checked out and tried our luck getting out of town. The car had a hard time with the snow and ice, and needed a bit of a push to get free of the car park, but once we were out, we were able to get out of town and back down to the main highway pretty easily! From here, we visited the first and only city to be designated a UNESCO city of design, Whanganui. It was pretty cute! Some nice buildings and spacious streets, and some good lunch places. But before too long, we took off to Wellington, in order to get in before dark. Which we did, and were able to take a quick (and invigorating) walk up to the Botanic gardens before turning in.
  • Friday and Saturday were largely spent in and around Wellington. Friday was a long walking day, taking us through Wellington's museum, Te Papa, and through a bunch of the shopping districts. Saturday was spent visiting and paying respects to Abby's relatives, as well as visiting her old house. In the afternoon, we took a stroll through Zealandia, a wildlife reserve whose aim is to restore its habitat to the way New Zealand was before humans arrived. We were hoping to see a Kiwi, but alas, they were particularly shy that evening. We did hear some, but this just means we'll have to come back and try again :D
  • Today, we started our slow trip back to Aukland. The first stop, is Taupō. We got in just after lunch, and popped in to see a couple of natural landmarks in the geothermal seems and a rather vigorous waterfall.
  • Tomorrow we're off to Rotorua for a couple of days before heading back to Aukland and Canberra!

Movies watched

This week, years ago


by Daniel Nitsikopoulos

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