We didn't feel that Wellington was very welcoming in the first place. The weather was grey, there was much traffic going on and our hostel smelled as if they have mopped the carpet (which they probably have). We tried to stay away from the hostel as long as possible and therefore we visited the national museum "Te Papa" which is highly spoken off. The museum was decent but not really extraordinary. Nothing was really exciting, except for the giant squid. The afternoon on the second day passed without anything mentionable. In the evening, we went to an irish pub, had a drink, played 5 games of pool (Oscar 4 - Dominic 1, which was pure luck on Oscars behalf) and enjoyed the live music.
On the next morning, we had to catch the ferry to Picton which lies on the south island. We were very happz to leave Wellington although its second impression was better than the first one. The journey on the ferry took about 3 hours which went by fairly quickly because the scenery around the ferry was very beautiful. Oscar forgot his pullover in the car and therefore he was covered with goosebumps, trying to find a sunny spot on the ferry's veranda.
We stayed for two night in Picton in a great hostel, called the "Jugglers Rest". It was a lovely house with juggling gear on the outside and they baked their own bread every morning. They even made their own jam which was delicious. Oscar didn't really think the bread to be that good. (Oscar missed the bread on the first morning because he didn't want to get up when I woke him. Maybe that's why he didn't like the bread on the second day). We met two fun people who were from ... Germany (of course). They had no car, so we took them with us for a hike in the "Queen Charlotte Sounds". There was no cloud on the sky and especially the bays were beautiful. We walked on a hilly track and admired the ocean on our left and on our right. All of us were having a great time.
We all were hungry on the way back and decided to have a BBQ. It took Oscar and Fabio 10 mins in front of the meat section to decide which and how much meat they needed. The result was about 1 kg of meat (for two persons). In addition, we had vegetable sticks, salad and garlic bread. I don't know how Oscar didn't burst after everything he had eaten.
When we left Picton, we gave Steff (the german girl) a lift to Nelson which was on our way to the "Golden Bay". Nelson seemed like a nice little relaxed city, so we decided to stay there for one night after we get back from the "Golden Bay". The hostel "Shambala" (which means "Paradise" or "state of consiousness") is surrounded by nature. An unmounted road leads to the hostel. There is a meditation room as well as a tea room in the garden. On two days a week there is even a yoga class taking place. The atmosphere was pretty relaxed.
We heard that the "Wharariki Beach" would be a wonderful beach. The different landscapes were so close together: grass hills, bush, sand dunes, strangely shaped rocks and the beach. We combined our trip with a detour to the "Farewell Spit" but most of the spit was not accessible to humans because it was mostly reigned by birds.
We left the Golden Bay with the intention to rent a kayak near the "Abel Tasman National Park" and paddle around the south island within a day. The road we initialy wanted to take was closed due to heavy washout. There we had to take another road and drive around the peninsula. When we finally arrived at a kayak rental store , the grumpy, unfriendly woman said that we were too late and can't just rent a kayak right then. As we wanted to leave, Oscar discovered on the map a place which was called "The Split Apple Rock". According to his two friends (Anders and Anton) who had been to New Zealand a month ago, the "Split Apple Rock" was a really cool place. So jumped in the car and headed off to this rock.
It was a 10 minutes walk through the bush from where we parked our car. We couldn't trust our eyes when we walked out of the bush. Everything was just perfect. We were so excited to be standing on such a wonderful beach with a funny shaped rock in front of us. It felt like being in the caribbean . We exchanged our shorts for our bathing trunks and swam in the blue-green water to the rock. That was certainly one of the best places in New Zealand, from what we had seen so far.
We are staying right now in Nelson, in a small, homey palce. As I am writing these lines, Oscar has just finished his second dinner (apparently a pizza wasn't enough for him, so he needed to buy two pieces of meat to cook. He claims that he's always hungry and I'm starting to believe him.) We are sitting around the table and talking to Dr. Glorius (such a cool name). This doctor is a 25 year old german girl who finished her doctor theisis only a month ago. It's astounding what kind of people you meet along the way.