We left the freezing and snowy National Park and started on our way to a place called River Valley, a lodge in the middle of nowhere. It took a while to get there but was a really nice place to be, big fire in the lounge/bar with a river running outside that you could white water raft on.
After River Valley we headed on to Wellington which was a long day of driving away. On the way we stopped at a place called Bulls. So called because they were the first place in the world to make a bull produce milk and still do so you can have a more manly glass of milk. They were obviously very proud of this a bull based puns were everywhere, the community centre was called social-bull, the police station consta-bull, the toilets relivea-bull, estate agents livea-bull to name a few!! After a brief stop here with lots of photos taken we went on to Wellington.
We got to Wellington quite late and checked in for the night. We had four nights here so a nice stop for a little bit. We were woken up early the next day with our first earthquake (5.8) which was pretty scary but mainly afterwards because at the time we didn't really know what was happening. We had a wonder into Wellington (having to buy a new camera because ours was dying) and spending some time down by the waterfront. We went to Te Papa which is a huge NZ museum showing everything from Maori culture, to wildlife and even had a colossal squid which was very cool.
No earthquakes the next day which was good. We walked to the top of Mount Victoria where you get some great views of all of Wellington and a good chance to play with the new camera. We also took the famous Wellington cable car up to the top and had a wonder around there.
On our last full day we were woken up by another earthquake in the morning (5.2) before having the really big one about five o'clock (6.4). Although we were fine we felt it for about a minute with everything shaking around a lot and there were a lot of after tremors all evening and night so no one slept very well and it turns out there was a lot of damage done to buildings and the airport and trains were shut down and people were told not to come into the city the next day. This wasn't such a problem for us as we were getting the ferry down to the south island early the next morning although there was a huge crack in the harbour. So moving away from shakey Wellington now and heading towards the South Island (which is where the centre of the quakes actually were so will have to see what happens down there!)