New Zealand 2016: week 2

Iā€™m posting daily photo collages on Instagram, which Iā€™m linking here.

Already we’re more than halfway through our trip, but that’s something I’m carefully not thinking about. It’s been absolutely wonderful so far – I loved showing my mom around the South Island, and now we’re in “my” Wellington for a week, which makes my soul just smile. šŸ™‚

After a lovely morning in beautiful Punakaiki, topped off with pancakes at the Pancake Rocks, we stayed for 3 nights in Nelson in the cutest little hostel, Honey Suckle House, which has only 10 beds and lovely hosts in Rob, Lyn and their fluffy cat Poppy.

On the first day, we walked into town, along the river Maitai, and then up to the Centre of New Zealand and then took the long way down, which offered us some lovely views. (It also aggravated my Achilles tendon, with which I’ve been struggling for some weeks now, so our first stop back in town was a pharmacy, for an ankle bandage and some advice.) It was a lovely sunny day, and we ended it in an Italian restaurant at Church Hill.
Nelson Nelson Nelson

Our second day was spent at the nearby Tahunanui beach. It was perfect timing – the morning was gorgeous, and we got to just walk in the relatively warm water, lie in the sand and mom even went for a swim while I read. Later it became more windy, but we walked for quite a bit before finally heading back.

The next day was rainy, but that was okay, because we spent it traveling to Wellington. I’d been dreading the ferry from Picton a bit, but they had a gigantic window that offered a clear view of the horizon with some nice seats at the back, which we immediately claimed. Once we arrived in our lovely flat (with two separate bedrooms! *g*), only 5 minutes from the city centre, right below Mt. Victoria, I headed out again and met up with my old flatmate Rathy and friend Michelle. It was only for a short bit, but felt like the perfect “welcome home”… šŸ™‚

Thursday, the weather was simply miserable, so we decided to spent most of it inside: first brunch at Fidel’s, then a quick walk down to the waterfront (with a stop at Roger’s Tattoo Art, where I made an appointment for the next day) and to Te Papa, probably my favourite museum ever. We took a short guided tour, which was really informative, and checked out the impressive Gallipoli exhibition (with exhibits made by Wet Workshop).

On Friday I headed to Cuba Street to get my tattoo while mom ran some errands. After getting two little cartoon birds (for my nephews Elias and Till) on my back and a semicolon on my wrist, I met up with her at the waterfront to head up to the Botanic Garden, another one of my favourite places. We spent the rest of the day around there and down at the water, just enjoying the glorious sunshine.
Wellington Wellington Wellington Wellington

Yesterday we used the blustery but nice morning to walk up Mt. Victoria and enjoy the view over Wellington from the lookout. For lunch I met up with my friend Meredith, who now works for Weta Digital. Thanks to her I got a 50% discount on the Weta Workshop tour, which we did after getting soaked through after our lunch at Scorching Bay (in was was previously the Chocolate Fish Cafe, now Scorch-o-rama).
Wellington Wellington Wellington

This morning I took my mom to CRC, the church I went to while studying at Vic. It was so good to see several familiar faces, and after a service with a lively Christmas presentation by the children we enjoyed a pizza lunch with my friends Rachel, Nate and their family. Afterwards the joyful meetings continued, as I met up with my dear friend Celia. We spent a wonderful afternoon just catching up while wandering through rainy Wellington. On Lambton Quay there were some stalls and acrobats for the “Very Welly Christmas” celebration and I picked up some cookies from Mrs. Higgins, a long-time favourite. šŸ™‚

Now we’ve got 3 more days here with nothing much planned. I’m hoping for some nice weather, so I can show my mom some of beautiful natural scenery close to Wellington, but no matter what, we’re just enjoying our time here immensely.