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June 6th 2012
Published: June 6th 2012
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The last leg of our journey, staying a week with family in Wellington –David, Moana, and daughter Katrina. Day 1 was chill out day, time to reflect on what it would be like to live in New Zealand.

Living costs in New Zealand. Housing -The definite plus side is that you generally get a lot more house for your money here compared to the UK. As the population is just over 4 Million and the land area is greater than the UK, you tend to get a bigger plot of land for your house. It is common, instead of buying a ready built house, to buy a plot of land in a location you want, and get the house of your choice built on it. Builders will either build a house from a standard plan in their portfolio of plans, or you can pay more to have a unique design. Corrugated steel roofs are the norm, which is strange, but overall, you get much more than a standard UK 3 bedroom semi! Things that seem cheaper – meat, petrol, diesel. Things that are very much more expensive, tea,
Road north out of WellingtonRoad north out of WellingtonRoad north out of Wellington

Quite a climb on the way north from Wellington
coffee, processed food and tinned foods, shoes and clothing. Electrical goods are similar in price to the UK. I suppose it all depends on your income of course.

Day2. Trip to Cape Palliser

Much of the countryside in the North Island is very similar to the UK, but it does have mountain ranges This trip went though some of the more mountainous regions. We drove through the town of Martinborough which must have been designed by some former Brits, as its centre layout is based on a Union Jack - a central square with eight roads radiating from it. It was a nice town, with new executive housing being build around, but a bit far out from Wellington. Driving on towards the cape, we came across three lots of cattle being moved on the road, and one flock of sheep. Strange that your progress could be inhibited on a main road by this, but as traffic was light, I suppose it made sense for the farmers to do this. The sheep must have been in the process of being moved a long distance, as they were still being driven along on our return over an hour
The Wild WestThe Wild WestThe Wild West

One of three cattle drives we came across on the main road on our way to the cape.
later! We stopped for lunch at a pub in Lake Ferry, having fish and chips and a beer, overlooking the sea pounding in on the coast. A quick walk on the beach, and on towards Cape Palliser. We passed through a couple of fishing villages on the way, and the preferred way of launching boats was with a bulldozer – tractors would just not do! When almost there, we stopped next to a colony of seals and took a few photos before moving on to our final destination at the Cape. The Cape is actually the most southerly point of the North Island and is further south than some towns on the South Island, e.g. Nelson and Blenheim. At the cape we climbed the 250 steps up to the lighthouse for the view, which was great, but was supplemented by a praying mantis on the platform. First wild one I have seen. After a thoroughly entertaining but tiring day, we returned back home to Whitby. The distance from Wellington to the Cape Palliser is about 100km each way if anyone wishes to attempt it. Home for a rest.

Additional photos below
Photos: 16, Displayed: 16


Lake Ferry BeachLake Ferry Beach
Lake Ferry Beach

Deserted beach for miles.
The spit at Lake FerryThe spit at Lake Ferry
The spit at Lake Ferry

A huge spti of gravel separating the sea from a lake.
Fish and Chips at Lake FerryFish and Chips at Lake Ferry
Fish and Chips at Lake Ferry

It was warm enough to sit ouside even though it is winter - nice.
The Wild Sheep West?The Wild Sheep West?
The Wild Sheep West?

Sheep protest - they kept blocking the road.
A good pub/restaurant name?A good pub/restaurant name?
A good pub/restaurant name?

The Pukemana at Martinborough
Where Tractors won't do.Where Tractors won't do.
Where Tractors won't do.

Boat launching on the beach, with buldozers!
Cape Palliser LighthouseCape Palliser Lighthouse
Cape Palliser Lighthouse

Cape Desolation might have been a better name.
Walk up to the seals.Walk up to the seals.
Walk up to the seals.

Ready to run back though
New Zealand Fur SealNew Zealand Fur Seal
New Zealand Fur Seal

One of many at the colony.
250 steps.250 steps.
250 steps.

When you are there, you see the 250 steps, not the lighthouse!
Praying MantisPraying Mantis
Praying Mantis

On the ground outside the lighthouse.
From the lighthouse.From the lighthouse.
From the lighthouse.

If you want to get way from it all - try here.
We made the 250 steps.We made the 250 steps.
We made the 250 steps.

Note the construction of the lighthouse - cast iron on a contcrete base. How did they get the bits up there in 1897?

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