I'm practically in the antarctic...
Trip Start Nov 11, 2007
9Trip End Jun 2008
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
Anyway, it was well highlighted that the drive form Taupo to Wellington boasts some absolutely fantastic scenery, as it meanders around lake Taupo and the Tongariro national park. Inkeeping with my recent run of luck, the entire day was a complete grey-out, with low cloud, drizzle and more, unwelcoming cold. One could argue that its an ideal day to do 5 hours of driving - afterall its not as though you're going to be out in the weather. But that 'one' is a complete knob.
5 hours of going up and down hills and mountain sides and not being able to see a thing is a bunch of cock.
However, I must say the last 150 Kms or so seemed to clear up a bit, the further south I was from Tongariro I drove. Anyhoo, arrived in Wellington and greeted with even colder weather and more rain. Only now with wind thrown into the equation.
After a momentary mishap, relying on the Lonely planet's map of the city I managed to miss my turning from the motorway, but found lodgings at the YHA no probs in the end. Bloody hell what a hostel. It was like a four star hotel only with dorms and bunks. Obviously, families and school children a plenty, but no Christians this time. Hmm?
Unfortunately despite the YHA's best efforts there was nothing they could do about the stench emanating from my room-mate's trainers. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I thought mine were bad. Henceforth, forthwith and therefore it was straight out to do shit and see stuff. I drove along the Oriental Parade before heading off up to the Mount something-or-other view point. Great twisty turny road with countless houses built right into the steep, steep hillside - a common theme on Wellington's surrounding hills.
At the top it was bloody freezing and bloody windy (again, yawn...) but made for great views of the city. Watching the Kiwi-Experience bus pull up with 30-odd 18-22 year olds, provided mild amusement, as they were all shepherded off the bus, up to the lookout, then back to the bus, all in under 10 minutes. Felt mildly vindicated in my decision to travel independently and not by such means.
Shit, what else did I do? Oh yes, took more photos, drove down the hill and found a parking spot to leave my car for the next few days. Quick respite at the hostel - fed and watered - then out for tonight's entertainment: the Cinema. Oh my life it has to have been the best cinema I have ever been to. For the screen is larger then, er, Brazil and the building itself is actually old. Very old, its one of those classic cinemas from yesteryear, lovingly restored in all its glory. The kind of cinema parents would watch cartoons in, when they were children.
The film was Indiana Jones. If I ever meet George Lucas, I'm going to punch him in the face.
Day two was city exploration day. The weather was the same as yesterday, only wetter. Ney mind. Off I trudged without map and proceeded to loose myself in Welly's streets. Complete fluke when I end up at the cable car I was vaguely hoping to reach. Full of the joys of being a tourist in a rain-sodden town I proceeded to extend my merry mood upon the good clerk handing out tickets; I took my money from my pocket, held it in my teeth before requesting a return ticket... still with the cash in my mouth. The dumbarse didn't see the funny side and replied "I cant understand you, you have money in your mouth" I KNOW NUMBNUTS!!!
Anyhoo, got on the cable car which runs east-west from the city, out. The thing was full of commuters and students, mostly heading to the university stop half way up. Also aboard were one young lady and her dog - the amusingly named 'Munter', no less. I'm not sure what this lass was on exactly (glue?), but a dainty creature if ever I saw one, who carried herself in the manner of, er, well, David Walliams from Little Britain. Yes, that's it, she was David Walliams from Little Britain, when he's dressed up as a 'Ladeey'... "Oh Munter stop it, you're so wild and impetuous" she announced to the carriage as the dog pulled her around. She also kindly informed us that Munter was on heat. How terribly informative of you? I swear I saw Munter's cheeks redden at that point. Poor thing.
Sooo, yeah, got to the top and guess what: still cold, so warmed myself up with a coffee. Then, having established that the Cable Car Museum really isn't worth the journey, I wondered back down taking full advantage of the scenic downhill route through the botanical gardens. How nice.
Wellington boasts a highly controversial goverment building known as the Beehive, because some say its shaped like one. Absolute bollocks. It looks like a Dalek and therefore probably gets my vote owing to kitsch / irony value.
Proceeded to make my way, rather snap happily, along the main shopping streets, following the good old lonely planet walking guide. But not before long it was time for a tactical retreat to the hostel for a really rather awesome cuppa-soup - only the second of which experienced in the last few years. Wow, now there's a statistic.
Rejuvinated, twas back out into the cold and over the road to the excellent Te Papa Museum. Everybody raves about this place and rightly so. Its a knid of natural history museum exclusively about New Zealand but its presented in a really contemporary, relevant and interactiove manner - yes, flashing buttons and pretty colours make James happy. Ugg. Oddly enough I whiled away about 2 1/2 hours in the place. Any interesting things I learned? Probably. Whale skeletons are massive and Maoris are pretty cool.
And thats about it for Wellington. Flying visit really, but have to head north because there's a confounded trek that I'm desperate to do...