We get up early and start our drive towards Wellington. We are trying to time it so we will be in Wellington (with internet) in time for Andrew to do his very important football draft. The day starts off good, and then about an hour into our drive we pass a sign that indicates that we have been driving the wrong way! We must have made a wrong turn out of the gas station back in town. Our plan is now to stop in another small town along the way to pick up wi-fi for the football draft. Oh the things we have to do for football!
We make it to Wellington (finally!) mid afternoon and check in to the Travel Lodge hotel – by booking through a last minute site we were able to get a pretty good deal. It looks like rain for tomorrow so we decide to check out some of the outdoor sites today. First stop, a drive up Mount Victoria for awesome views of the city. Very windy and cold up here!
Next, we check out the Wellington Cable Car, it takes you from the bottom of the city to the top, pretty neat way to travel around. It is surrounded by gardens, which we take a quick walk through due to the cold before spending some more time walking around the harbour and the city.
The rain is here. Luckily, there is lots to check out indoors in Wellington. Our first stop, the grand Te Papa Museum. Newly re-opened with $317 million dollars of renovations it is a site to see. The museum consists of a number of different exhibits from Maori culture, to land, sea and earth demonstrations, to the war, and the famed giant squid exhibit – the only giant squid in the world to be on display. The best part of this museum is that it is absolutely free to visit – the best ones usually are. If you are planning on visiting allot at least half a day easily, we spent 4 hours there and still didn’t see everything.
Next stop, the Parliament buildings, another must see in Wellington, and again tours are free, running on the hour every hour. Beautiful old buildings, that have been restored due to a fire that burnt a portion of the buildings down.
The next best thing to stay out of the rain is to check out the outdoor malls. There are lots of pedestrian only promenades that have long eves to take shelter under. We check into the YHA hostel for our second night in Wellington, I highly recommend this as a place to stay, it is located right on the water, and across the street from a grocery store- what more can you ask for? On top of that the rooms are pretty nice and clean as well.
Since it was a weekend, we did want to go and check out one of the many pubs that are down the street from the YHA, but the cold and rain won and we ended up watching a movie in the common room, all in all, not a bad day for our first rain day in NZ.