The road to Wellington delivered some winding roads and pretty views, with bright green rolling hills and sunset over the sea as we drove along the coast.
We heard that there was a rugby match on that night in Wellington, so those of us that wanted to go, quickly checked into our hostel, dumped our bags and headed back out. Our bus driver Rhys very kindly offered to drop us as close as he could in the coach, so we piled back onto the coach and then walked over from the train station to the stadium. It was a great atmosphere as so many people were heading into the stadium.
Wellington’s own Hurricanes team were playing against the South African Stormers. We all managed to successfully get tickets, buy a cider from the bar and pick up a Hurricanes flag before kick-off. Seeing a rugby match in New Zealand was definitely something ticked off my bucket list! The Hurricanes won too, so the locals were happy as well as us.
The next day, we made the effort to get up and out relatively early, so a group of us headed out walking towards Mount Victoria, a great vantage point over the city. It was a lovely sunny day, rare in the Windy City according to the hostel receptionist. We walked up the steep streets and hill path, eventually reaching the top, all of us slightly sweaty and out of breath. But the 360 degree view was certainly worth it.
After strolling back down the hill, we wandered along the waterfront, passing a very impressive fireman competition. They had 25kg worth of equipment and had to complete a course in the heat, which included dragging an 80kg dummy and running up and down stairs, all in 2 minutes! Again, there was a great friendly atomosphere. We all sat on a pub bench and had a drink in the sunshine on the harbourfront. Katie, Rhianna and I picked up Hawiian toasties for lunch (from a gelato shop, go figure) and we really oggled the ice cream as we were waiting – backpacker life, oops.
After our refreshment stop, we headed to the amazing Te Papa national museum. An especially moving exhibit was about the Gallapolli war in honour of ANZAC day. It included some incresible giant model figures that were so lifelike – even down to hairs on the man’s hands. It was so moving, and I found out a lot that I didn’t know about New Zealand and Australian involvement in the war.
They also had an exhibit on plate tectonice which included an earthquake room – pretty fitting for New Zealand.
After a good wander round the museum, we walked back to the hostel for our free evening meal – now that’s a decent hostel perk. We had veggie pasta bake, which was okay but fairly burnt so not the best, but it was a free meal nonetheless.
There was a street food market just around the corner so we headed there for dessert/ more dinner in the case of the boys. Kate and I had a delicious waffle – mine was ‘apple crumble’ and ice-cream, and hers was chocolate and banana.
The nine of us had planned a night on the town so we headed back to get ready and play some cars. The bar attached our hostel was shut(!) so we went another hostel bar which had $5 drinks. We stayed there for a couple of hours before moving on to another ‘trendy’ bar (Wellington had plenty of quirky bars to choose from). A great night was had by all.