New Zealand you say, huh? And why dreaming? Everybody has bad days in their lives and when I had mine I wished to escape from reality and go as far away as I could and New Zealand was the furthest place I could think of. Luckily the grim days are not so common now but the country has remained my number one place to visit of all times. The remoteness mixed with the contrast of the subtropical North Island (north of the north) and the colder, rainier and mountainous South Island are what makes this part of the World so special and unique. And yes, I did watch The Lord of the Rings! 🙂
The journey starts in the capital city, Wellington. A rather quiet, modern capital where the wind never stops blowing. Much like Liverpool, but warmer. So it almost felt like home!
I am a sucker for houses with nice views! I shall live in one someday 🙂
I started the day in the right place, a local food market ! The selection was decent with mostly European food. Nothing exciting, but I wasn’t looking for much on my first day. Some Greek food set me up rather well for the day.
Wellington does not have a big city feeling, but you have Auckland for that. It’s super easy to relax in though and strolling around the city on your feet is very doable.
I absolutely loved the small architecture in the city. Little things but they make exploring new places even more interesting!
Kiwis are proud to be Kiwis 🙂
The seaside location makes people do water sports, much like Sydney.
Remembrance Day commemorations in the capital city.
I swear the street was San Francisco-steep! Must be hell for brakes.
There is a pretty spectacular view of the city and it’s surroundings from Mt Victoria. It’s a fairly easy walk and only takes about 45 mins to 1h when walking from the city. You can also get there by bus or car. It’s sooo worth the trek!
You can slowly see the city in the distance as you climb up the hill.
I love how it feels quite remote and wild, but you turn around and…
See this! Oh what a view… coming back to my “house with a view” comment – they must be going for millions. Seriously!
Sneak peak of said houses.
Nearly at the top. You can see the whole of the city from the peak. The view is pretty unobstructed.
My first contact with the local fauna. Hello!
This is where my feet will take me next. To the port.
A Maori statue (Pou).
Back down in the harbour. A beautiful day like this just asks to be spent out discovering new places.
Windy or calm? Strong current?
One of the must-see places in Wellington is the Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa). It’s free to enter and very entertaining. Although it made me feel guilty as a European…
And here is why. It does not show our fellow European settlers in a good light!
New Zealand has a unique ecosystem with many endemic species. This is why the country has very strict laws on what can be brought over and what cannot. Foreign seeds are the number one enemy, and this is why you cannot bring any fruit or wear hiking shoes with soil on them.
Gallipoli: “The Scale of our War” is a pretty intense exhibition showing scenes from World War I, but in a very direct way. The giant (like really, really big!) models allow the visitors to feel like they were a part of the conflict back in the 20th Century making it feel very personal. It has touched me, too.
Back outside. I do not remember it being this warm, but it must have been! I kinda feel sorry for her when she hit the water…
I am having an ice cream so it must have been warm enough 🙂
The Sun is slowly setting (you can tell by the warm colours below), but there is one more place I want to visit before I head out of the city…
The famous Wellington Cable Car! I have seen this on many, many postcards and pictures from Wellington and I could not miss it. It does not go up any crazy heights like in Hong Kong, but the view from the peak is great nonetheless.
Sitting on a bench and enjoying the views.
Hello my friend! This bird was not afraid at all! I think this guy was more interested in the food I was eating and not me personally 🙂
Apart from the great views of the city, visitors can also check out the Space Place at Carter Observatory and the beautiful botanic gardens. Unfortunately I only had a chance to visit the gardens, which I truly recommend. The nice weather of course did help, but still it was a wonderful walk among various local and exotic plants and trees.
Hello another Stranger!
A cemetery with a view. Don’t get me started on houses with a view because this is somehow linked together ! 🙂
A not so busy evening in the city centre.
Them houses again…!
The next day, next morning in fact. Vast, safe and developed. And the desire to see as much as possible. All those things pushed me to rent a car. For the first time in my life I hired a car and drove on the left hand side of the road and on my very own. Stupid, reckless but, oh boy, so rewarding!
So here we are, leaving Wellington behind for now (I will be back as my flight home leaves from Welly). By the way I was super cautions taking pictures while driving. But still – call me stupid… but I could not resist when seeing all that beautiful landscape…
New Zealand boasts a great number of nature walks and anyone visiting the country should do at least one. I opted for a surprise one (first) and one well known (second). The first one was an easy, 1h walk to Hemi Matenga. I did not do much research on it, just saw it was on the way to my main walk, so I thought I would stop by. No regrets! Although it was a bit difficult to find so perhaps it’s not being advertised as a tourist attraction really. The entrance is located on the edge of a neighborhood, in between two houses, so, yeah, I see why.
It starts off beautifully!
Houses with a nice view again?! 🙂
The bush walk was not too difficult, but I did stop a few times to admire local flora.
A bench to take a break.
We are just about there.
Here we are.
The views were breathtaking. Definitely worth the little hike.
A memorial bench for someone special.
And this is the view she loved.
Must be rather windy up here. It wasn’t on that day.
Time to head back. I’d read that the beach down there is a nice place to see as well, so let’s see it.
And that’s a spacious beach! Called Peka Peka Beach is a go to place for horse riders and 4×4 drivers 🙂
The weather got a bit on the grim side but luckily I only had some driving to do before heading to sleep early. There was an early morning waiting for me to do a longer, but oh boy so awesome walk in Tangariro National Park.
The weather was so bad, but…
You turn your head and see this! Rainbow and sheep. Sooo New Zealand!
I always wondered if there was treasure at the end of the rainbow.
And there was treasure! Amazing memories from a fantastic day in New Zealand 🙂
Thanks for stopping by!