MATT: Another few km's and a scenic drive down to Wellington...every corner you turn this country gets more beautiful.
Our camp for the next couple of nights is a car park behind a motel on the motorway that runs into Wellington...definitely our most pikey experience so far...but is is close to the ferry we will take to the South Island in a couple of days, and a quick bus ride into the city centre.
Before we get to the campsite however - we take a little detour through Wellington and into the hills behind the city...we have seen it on the map and now must see it in the flesh...Mount McKerrow and the McKerrow Track. Unfortunately we do not set foot on it as it is a nine hour hike through the bush to get there (not today)...but we do see it in the distance. We also drove through Wallaceville to get here and it is right next to Mt Matthews...coincidence?
Eventually we actually make it into Wellington...the bus ride has us thinking it is a bit more industrial than Aukland...but when we get into the city centre we realise just how cool it is. A city of 160,000 people has an awful lot of well dressed, trendy, affluent young people (and students) - and the restaurants and bars to match.
We take the opportunity of being back in the big city to have a bit of a night out - we go to the local cinema...the very cool "Embassy" and see Slum Dog Millionaire...which is the best film we have both seen for a while...we don't make it to the Watchmen premier though (whice we will later find out is no great shame). The Embassy Theatre hosted one of the Lord of the Rings premieres and is a beautiful old building - not your average cinema.
We finish the night with sushi and drag ourselves home.
The next day we have a full day in Wellington...coffee on Cuba street (cool) the afternoon at Te Papa Museum (Maori cool) the evening at the cool bars (beer) a great meal at Cafe Bastille (delicious) and a night at the Wellington Jazz festival to see Fat Freddies Drop (hmm...jazz)
The next morning and we are heading for the ferry south, hungover, tired but looking forward to the next stage...