Monday, 4 January 2016

Wellington, NYE and off to the South Island!

Our journey down to Wellington was around 6 hours, we stopped on the way at a couple of cafes, a children's play park (it was the most awesome playpark ever - hamster wheels, ziplines, massive slides, tons of swinging tires etc, I think all the adults were like, why are all these backpackers on our children's play park?!) but it was entertaining!
We also stopped in a town where it was famous to do a Gum Boot competition, where you see who can throw it the furthest (gum boots are Wellies for us). Lars from the Netherlands won it and it was a Jaeger Bomb (a shot) tonight from Possum our driver. Oh we also stopped for a bus photo op on a tank outside the army museum!

When we arrived in Wellington we checked into the hostel we would be staying in until 4th Jan and then just went off on a wander with Roberto and Daniele (Daniel) both from Italy. Our hostel provided a light meal each evening for free but Possum had told us the wrong time and so it had finished when we got back but instead we all cooked and then went to get ready for our goodbye leaving drinks with Possum as she and a few others were continuing on to the south island. The evening was top notch, it was held at our hostel's bar Blend, next door; there were several games of beer pong, we won the bar wars against the G Adventures bus, and lots of dancing on tables - best backpacker bar in New Zealand so far!

The next day was a little hungover but us and Roberto decided to check out the Te Papa museum, apparently one of the best in the country, it was OK but I'm not a big museum person, the highlight was the earthquake simulator - as Wellington is on a massive fault line and there's small earthquakes/tremors almost every week in some parts of the city.

Evenings were mostly spent playing cards and watching movies plus our nightly free meals which were small but tasty and free so we weren't complaining. Things like lasagne, Shepard's pie, curry etc.

With the rest of the group who were staying until after new years - Lars, Vito, Stijn, Roberto, Hester, and two newbies who were in our room Laura and JJ both from the Netherlands - we went up Mount Victoria for a 360 view of Wellington - its actually a very small city! Then on the way down we went to the beach at Oriental Bay for the rest of the day.

We also another take took the cable car up to the botanical gardens and walked back to the city.

And in the new year me and Pierrick went to the Weta Studios which is where they made props for movies such as Avatar, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit etc. And the next few days it was raining so we just stayed in.

New Years Eve we went to the bar next door with a big group of us, re-met Guillaume from the Coromandel, met Alexia and Fletcher (Argentinian and Kiwi), and we partied the night away at a Florescent Party. Alexia came 2nd in a bar wars so she got a $20 bar tab woo! Then at midnight we went to watch the fireworks at the Harbour, which were the shittiest fireworks I have ever seen, even bonfire night fireworks at someone's house would be better than these were - you could tell they had spent $26 million on changing their flag this year so left no budget for fireworks!! I then met Chelsea, an old school friend who was here which is so strange! So after the rubbish display everyone decided to go to another bar which was an error!! As it was relatively quiet in Blend Bar but elsewhere it was packed and one in one out, so we ended up in a really expensive shit place that no one really liked so at 2.30am we all decided the best place to be was McDonalds!! So we called it a night. New years day was just a write off as I was soooo hungover, as were a few other people. We went to burger king in the evening but that's about it! Lol

Then it was time to say goodbye to most people between the 1st and the 3rd. As they were all off to the south island!

We departed on the 4th on the 2.30pm ferry. The crossing over the Cook straits is one of the most dangerous crossings in the world due to the wind it can get from the south island (Wellington is one of the windiest cities in the world). What happens is the wind from the Tasman sea, hits the mountains in the south making it super cold and the first place it hits on its way up is the cook straits and Wellington. Some days wind speed can get up to over 150km hr!

That day was a little windy but it was super choppy on the seas so Pierrick got quite sea sick. It was a 3hour crossing so not a very quick one either but it was beautiful as it takes you through the Marlborough and Charlotte Sounds before stopping in Picton.

We spent one night in Picton, nothing amazing there really just a small town ferry port. We would try and do the Marlborough and Charlotte Sounds when we come back around that way. As for now it was off to Nelson and the Abel Tasman National Park!

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