We were up very early to catch our boat. Laura was not looking forward to trip as she had heard that the crossing can sometimes be a bit rough. Most of the journey was fine there was some good views on the way out and it only got a bit rough when we were out in the open ocean which was only for a hour and luckily Laura was fast asleep.
We arrived into Wellington and the only place to stay that is right in the city is this small car park with showers and toilets that has been opened as a place for campervans to stay the night. We were a bit surprised when we had to sign a disclaimer saying we accepted the risk that we could be robbed etc etc! Despite this it was actually fine. The toilets and showers were clean and most importantly it was right in the middle of the city.
We spent our first day walking around the city. We went on yet another funicular railway or cable car. This trip seems more like a tour of every cable car in the world. We seem to always be going
to see one. After the cable car we went on to see the Te Papa museum. The museum is huge and we spent hours walking around the different exhibits learning loads about the country.
We were invited to dinner with Andy and Becks and there two sons Ryan and Arlo who we had met while on our trip on Halong bay. We drove to there lovely home and got to meet all the family as it was Ryan's birthday. We were treated to a lovely dinner which was topped off with a really nice cake and then some toasted marsh mellows over the fire. Everyone was lovely to us and we ended up having a brilliant night with them all.
That night we got to see why they call this place windy Wellington. The van was rocking from side to side with the wind for the whole night we thought it was going to get knocked over. Lucky we didn't book the ferry for the day after we did, god only knows how bad of a crossing we would of had.
The following day it was still extremely windy and cold but we wanted some fresh air
and were a little tired of museums so we hit the zoo. We had such a lovely day wandering around. That evening we decided to head out of the city and stay the night in a small park. It was a DOC site so there was very basic amenities but we just cooked dinner and enjoyed the peace. That night when Laura was going to the bathroom at 3 in the morning she woke me up shouting to come out and look at the stars. I struggled out of bed and couldn't believe the amount of stars we could see. The sky was that clear and with no light pollution we could even make out the milky way it was just unreal! We also counted 3 shootings stars!!
In the morning we got on the road to Whanganui. We had wanted to go on a kayak trip the following day but we were told that we wouldn't see what we thought we would see on the 1 day trip so we decided against it. We decided instead to drive the Whanganui river road. Most of the road was sealed so that was fine but a big chunk was not
which was not the most comfortable in the van. The views again were amazing and there was some cool points to stop along the way.
We continued on to Tongariro national park after the river road to see the volcanoes. We ended up staying in a really nice holiday park in Wakapaka village. There are loads of walks you can do around the volcanoes here for a couple of hours to days. There is also a chair lift that you can take up to a view point on Mt Ruapehu. There is a big restaurant up there and once there you can do a couple of long walks to get close to the crater which requires walking through some snow. We decided against going up as the ticket for the chair lift was pretty expensive. We spent the day walking around the volcanoes on the trails and got see some cool waterfalls. Ian even managed to get 9 holes of golf in that evening as it was pretty cheap. We were pretty beat come 9pm that day!
Tomorrow we drive to Taupo which we are looking forward to.
Bye for now
Laura and Ian
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