We arrived in Auckland at about 4pm on Saturday, bought a SIM card for the phone/modem (priorities, you see), picked up the hire car and headed off to Hamilton.
We stayed at a motel with an indoor heated pool, so Caitlin and Tom went for a swim while Adam, David and I played half a game of Killer Bunnies (somewhat hampered by extreme tiredness and most of the dice having been left at home). For dinner we found a very nice Indian restaurant and did our best not to fall asleep at the table. Getting going the next morning was a massive effort, there was snoozing at the breakfast table.
After brekky we made our way to Hamilton Zoo
North Island Weka
A slightly indulged Serval, all it needs is a fireplace to lounge in front of
We had lunch at the zoo and then headed to Waitomo to see the Glowworm cave
|Waitomo Glowworm Cave boat tour|
After the cave tour we drove to New Plymouth where we had some of the best fish and chips ever for dinner at Seafood on the Beach, stayed the night at the Copthorne Hotel and then had breakfast the next morning at a cafe called Chaos, which was quirky and friendly and delicious!
After breakfast we were back on the road and heading for Mt Taranaki/Egmont
View from the lookout near the Visitors Centre
We did a short nature walk near the Visitors Centre but declined to embark on the 8 hour return hike to the peak.
Back on the road again heading for Wellington. In Stratford we caught the tail end of the glockenspiel clocktower playing the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, found a supermarket and had lunch in a park. In Wanganui we stopped for long enough to find a lookout and look at the view.
In Wellington we are staying in a 3 bedroom serviced apartment and Caitlin is very glad to be sleeping in a proper bed instead of a roll-away or sofa bed.
Today we took a ferry ride out to Matiu/Somes Island for a picnic lunch and a walk around the island.
Mokopuna Island just off Matiu Island
Te Papa O Tara - Shag Rock
There were little viewing boxes beside the tracks which you could open up and see the wetas tucked into their holes behind perspex and annoy them by letting all the light in.
The lighthouse on Matiu/Somes Island
Adam found this on the path, we added her (I believe) to the collection of interesting things found by visitors on the window sill of the Whare Kiore, a hut which every visitor to the island stops in on arrival to check there are no unwelcome pests lurking in their bags or on their shoes.
On the ferry on Wellington Harbour
This afternoon we caught the Wellington Cable Car up to the top of the Wellington Botanic Gardens.
And then walked downhill all the way back to the city.
Ow, my knees, my feet, my everything.
We're having a fabulous time and there's still days and days of it to go!
If, for some strange reason, that wasn't enough photos for you, there are more on my Flickr.