From the Tongariro National Park we headed south down to Palmerston North en route to Welly.John Cleese once said of Palmerston North that '...if youever do want to kill yourself, but lack the courage, I think a visit to Palmerston North will do the trick.'After John's kind words they felt it befitting to name their rubbish dump after him.Shhhh don't mention the tip!
Just outside of Palmerston North is Manawatu Gorge, we were going to attempt the 6 hour trek along the gorge but as the rain was truly set in we opted for a quick photo and continue on our way to Welly but not before a quick detour to the wind farm observatory which was almost as exciting as the Raurimu railway!
The rain continued as we arrived in Welly and continued to get worse for the following two days.The rain didn't stop me from exploring, I spent a few hours in the National Museum which is pretty amazing, the highlight of which was definitely the colossal squid, the only one on display in the world!
I met up with Christy and her boyfriend Paulo, an American girl I'd met whilst I was in Alice Springs, we had agreed to catch up when I got to Welly after walking the base of Uluru. We started at an open mic night and then went to a few bars around town, it's always good to have a guided tour to the hot spots in town!We had a cracking night & agreed to do it all again when I get back down to Welly in a few weeks with Liz.
The following day we headed out to Weta Cave, which is the special FX studio for the Lord of The Rings and a hundred other films.It wasn't quite the behind the scenes tour as described in the brochure, more of a small museum, a twenty minute DVD and the obligatory souvenir shop.I await the hate emails as I admit (proudly) that I haven't seen any of the Lord of the Rings Films, so some of the geeky stuff was wasted on me but none the less it was quite impressive to see what they have achieved out of this small studio tucked away in a residential street thirty minutes outside of Wellington.
Saturday morning came about and I got up at the crack of dawn to drop Niall off at the airport.I'm sure he won't mind me saying that I was pretty glad to see the back of him.I know the feeling will be mutual, although neither of us actually said anything we were both finding it tough, stuck in a camper van 24/7 with someone you know, but not quite well enough to tell them to f*** off without causing offence!
Saturday was a glorious day, so I did the walking tour of the city, saw the 'beehive'(the parliament building) walked 196m up Mt Victoria to see the botanical gardens and caught the famous red tram back down to the city.
Looking forward to the drive back North to pick up Liz.I have two weeks, so I'm going to get a bit of trekking in, some mountain biking including the famous 42nd traverse, some kayaking but most importantly some R&R before the final two months of my adventure kicks in to action!