Published: January 1st 2012January 1st 2012
Museum with the cool 'Earthquake-proof' foundations
Welcome back to Wellington. Got a bit of a shock as I'd only been in the hostel for about an hour when we had an earthquake. The epicentre was actually 60km down just south of Picton on the south Island, so quite a way away but the building definitely rocked! Te Papa, the museum in Wellington has 'quake-proof' foundations and they have a display where you can see how they work. It's pretty cool actually. I wonder if they intend to rebuild Christchurch on them, or perhaps they should just move the city a few kilometres? I thought about going to the theatre but got confused with the dates of when the show I fancied seeing was on. Ah well. Wellington is a bit of a sprawling city so just kept to the waterfront, as usual drawn to the sea again. Found out that the last Helpx host I was going to be staying with in Taupo didn't even receive my request and isn't available so I'm looking again. After a couple of nights in Wellington where I did a lot of nothing I moved on to Turangi. I could have done the Tongariro crossing which takes 6-7 hours but I
thought better of it as my knee was playing up - like I needed an excuse! Unless your into trout there isn't much else in Turangi so I just hung around the hostel and did jigsaws, how boring am I? but getting towards the end of my trip and also the end of my money so need to be very careful from now on. Chatting to Ian, the hostel owner I discover that he has a house in Taupo that he sometimes lets out whose garden is in need of some tlc, so it's off to Taupo for 4 days. The house is lovely but a 40 minute walk from town, difficult especially with a heavy backpack but once I discovered the buses no problem. Ian and family came to help out one day and he very kindly offered to take me to the hot water pools which run into the Waikato river. Spent an hour soaking my legs which was a very weird sensation, hot on top and cold beneath due the proximity of the river. Like Rotorua the waters are said to have healing properties but I may need more than an hour. Moving on to Hamilton and
One of the Lord of the Rings locations
we drove close to where the village of 'Hobbiton' is now a permanent tourist attraction now that the filming of the Hobbit has finished. You can see why it was chosen as the landscape is ideal. Again my hostel was on the outskirts of town so I didn't get to see the statue of Richard O'Brien, for those of you looking confused - Richard O'Brien played Riff Raff in the Rocky Horror Picture Show and was the original host of the Crystal Maze. Light Bulbs on?! Hamilton had a beautiful Christmas tree in the square but I didn't like the city as much as Nelson. Back in Auckland at Base hostel. Not great as I was in an inside room and it got a little stuffy but it wasn't as noisy as some people had told me so I managed to get some sleep. Bought a couple of souveniers from the Rugby World Cup store sale, if I had more money I could have got some real bargains but then I would have had to somehow fit them in my rucksack as well and that would have been a struggle. Husband and son will just have to be happy with
what I did get! Managed to find a cheaper way to get to the airpoirt other than the shuttle and it didn't take much longer either so it worked out OK. Bye, bye New Zealand - for now!
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