We arrived into Napier with the sun shining out over the long beach. Enjoying the good weather we took a stroll round the town centre to see all the Art-Deco buildings. The town and a lot of the surrounding area had to be rebuilt in the 1940s after an earthquake devastated the region. The fashion at the time was Art-Deco, so many of the buildings where built in this style! We didn't actually spend the night in Napier, instead driving a little further along the coast to a government owned reserve, where you can camp for free right on the beach front. We spent the night gazing through the sun roof at the hundreds of stars!
Next morning we headed to neighbouring Hastings to sample some of the wine at the many vineyards. The plan had been to hire bikes, but discovering the vineyards were quite far away, Becky got roped into driving, so James could enjoy all the sampling! He even treated himself to a ridiculously expensive red wine! We visited 3 wineries in total, each very different in style, but with the same attitude towards new age wines.
Our time in the North Island was coming to an end, so we headed down to Wellington, New Zealand's capital, ready to catch our ferry to the south. Wellington is a small city, especially considering it's the capital, and we were greeted with more wet and windy weather, so we didn't really find much to do here. There is, however, a great museum on the waterfront, displaying everything from volcanoes and earthquakes to ancient Maori carvings and an interactive graffiti wall. The whole museum was interactive and hands on, so we got to try lots of different activities along the way round.
Bizarrely, the day before our ferry we had arranged to meet a supply agency rep for a UK based agency! We had a short interview and were able to start the process 4 weeks earlier than we had hoped, so fingers crossed, we should be able to start working pretty quickly after getting home!
Bright and very early the next day, we lined up with all the other campervans, cars and lorries to board the huge InterIslander ferry to get to Picton on the south island. The journey took roughly four hours and was pretty scenic along the way, although we seemed to spend most of the time sleeping in the very comfy recliner chairs!!