Thursday 21st - met up with some more relatives today - Jean Taylor who is Audrey's step daughter. Her partner John came to pick me up and drove me to their house in Porirua, which is about a 15 minute drive from Wellington. Met Jean and her daughter Stef, who is just about to drop, and Stef's son Nic. Chatted for a while over tea and cakes, and then went with Jean and Nic to Karori Wildlife Sanctuary. It was a really nice day and the sanctuary is beautiful. They are trying to get the flora and fauna back to how it was being people came to NZ and brought mammals like possums and cats. They have a 500 year plan to do this! Later on I went out for dinner at a Japanese restaurant with Jean, John, Stef, Nic and Stef's husband Ross. The food was really nice which suprised me cos I wasn't really sure if I would like it. I went back to Jean and John's house for a while and then John took me back to my hostel. They were really nice, and invited me for Christmas if I'm still in NZ then. Friday - the Palliser Bay and Lotr trip which was cancelled was back on so I moved my Rover Ring tour to Saturday. There were three other people on the tour which was led by a woman called Allison. Our first stop was up to Mt Victoria, first to the look out and then to a location where Frodo shouts 'get off the road'. It was only a general location as she wasn't sure exactly where it was filmed. Next stop was the Dry Creek quarry which was where Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith were filmed. There is absolutely nothing left of the sets now, so you literally are just looking at a quarry. Then we went to the Hutt river which is where the close ups were shot of the Fellowship in the elf boats on the Great River Anduin from the first film. Then it was on to Kaitoke Forest Park. This is place is absolutely amazing and beautiful. I went over a swing bridge which was cool cos it bounced when you jumped on it. Over the other side of the bridge was a section of rainforest, so I went for a quick walk in it, it was really nice. Kaitoke is also the location for Rivendell (where the elves live). Again there was none of the set remaining, but the scenery was lovely. That was the end of the lotr bit of the tour, so we set off across the Rimutaka hills to a little village called Featherstone where we stopped for lunch. I had a breakfast and a chocolate and raspberry mousse cake (it was included in the price so I had to make sure I got my monies worth). Then it was off the Martinborough to do some wine tasting in the Te Kairanga vineyard. The first wines I tasted were really nasty, but then I tried a Reserve Noble Riesling 2003 and was really surpised because I didn't hate it and it was drinkable! After that we went to a little fishing village called Ngawi. There isn't a harbour there so they get the boats into the water by putting them on a trailer and using a tractor to tow it into/out of the sea. Some of the tractors are painted and named ie. a pink one called Babe and a green one called Kermit. Then it was off the Cape Palliser and Palliser Bay - the furthest point south on the north island. There is a lighthouse they which I climbed up to - 251 steps (I counted). I was knackered when I reached the top, but the view was worth it. By now it had turned into a really nice day - very warm with lovely blue skies (the day started off grey and cold). They we went to a local cafe and I had a really big cookies and cream icecream. We headed back to Wellington which took 2 hours and got back at 8pm - we were very late, the tour was supposed to finnish at 5.30. Went out into town with the guy who was sharing my room called Paul. We first went to Theo's Greek Traverna and I had a lovely lamb kleftico. Then we went to an Irish bar in Cuba Street which had live music. The band was really good, but the people who were dancing at absolutely no rythem, it was very funny to watch. Had a few drinks and got back to the hostel about 1am - a late night for me. Had a really good day, the tour was excellent, and it was nice to go out in Wellington at night.