The next morning at Picton, after a well deserved sleep, we had another lovely breakfast. This time we had eggs benedict. We also had the chance to briefly meet another couple staying their. Two British who were on vacation / eloping. They will be eloping in Queenstown, which was currently receiving snowfall. We had luckily missed the cold weather.
We then packed up and got a ride from Janet down to the ferry terminal.
The Interislander was a ferry service that ran between Picton and Wellington. Due to a strong Antarctic front the sailing was on hold the night before. Luckily when we arrived the sailing was going ahead, albeit with rough conditions noted. 5m swells were forecasted in main channel between the two islands. The 4 hour crossing was very long and Amy was appreciative of the land when we got to the other side.
We caught a cab to our hotel. That is correct, hotel, not hostel. The hotel was as cheap as the YHA in town. The room was small, bed not that comfy, cold, and somewhat noisy being downtown, but it was still a hotel, and it was at a great location right in downtown Wellington.
Daryl treated Amy to some spa time as a late birthday present. After the ferry ride and hike the previous day she was very happy for it. In the meantime Daryl looked into things to do around the city.
All that was left was picking up some groceries and having some DIY room service back in the hotel room for dinner.
We headed down Cuba street the next morning, known for its culture and variety of great foods. We had a lovely breakfast at Floriditas before heading down to the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa. (Meaning container of treasurers).
Exhibits included Awesome Forces, experiencing the powerful geological forces that have shaped New Zealand’s landscape and natural life. Mountain to Sea, a sample of New Zealand’s incredibly diverse animal and plant life.
Air New Zealand 75 years, exploring the national carrier’s story of growth and innovation.
Daryl led the way to the next destination. He surprised Amy with afternoon tea at the Hippopotamus Restaurant. The restaurant was part of the Museum Hotel, a luxury boutique hotel with some very interesting decor.
He also surprised Amy with a final late birthday present, a sterling silver fern necklace.
The late afternoon was spent walking around town along with some shopping.
Dinner was again at the hotel but this time some tasty burgers were grabbed first. Ekrim Burgers, essentially a food cart, served the best burgers in town. Amy had a Monique (Beef, Guac, Pineapple, and Jalapeno Salsa) while Daryl had a Stemps (Beef, Hashbrown, Bacon, and Beetroot Relish)
Breakfast the next day was at The Hanger Cafe. We then made our way to the historic Wellington Cable Car. After climbing 120m in 5 minutes we were up at the top with some stunning views over the city of Wellington.
A quick stop in the Cable Car Museum.
We then made our way around the Wellington Botanic Garden. (We checked, Botanical and Botanic mean the same thing). They were very well laid out with all kinds of little pathways and sights to see.
After the gardens we headed to the Carter Observatory, small but with a number of cool and interesting exhibits. The big bang, galaxies, our solar system, a heritage telescope, and much much more. We also got to see a planetarium show on the current Google Lunar X Prize competition and the goal to return to the moon. There was also a brief lesson on the stars visible in New Zealand and how to find the Southern Cross. (Amy is excited to go do it once we leave the city).
Another cable car back down into the city and then along to the City Gallery. Some interesting exhibits including a video of 16 people performing and singing Michael Jackson songs and video interviews of twins/triplets and how they feel about each other (individually interviewed and then stitched together as if they were talking to each other).
For dinner we tried something different and went to Ombra, a Venetian Bacaro. It was tapas style so we were able to try all kinds of tasty dishes including a smoked yoghurt & guanciale crostino, venison meatballs with almond fondue and a pea puree, lamb cacciatori with garlic, rosemary and red wine, and a risotto with basil pesto and sundried tomatoes. Yum!
Until next time…