I had a fantastic drive from New Plymouth down to Wellington. Last time we had taken the coastal route (Surf Highway 45) west of Mt. Taranaki so I opted for the inland route this time, going around Mt. Taranaki on its east side. I stopped a couple of times to enjoy the mountain views, then later in Wanganui for a coffee break, in Foxton to explore some second hand book shops (and the world’s best Goldie shop – a true must-see!) and in Paraparaumu to see the beach.
It gets dark quite early over here so when I got into Wellington just after five it was already night-time – which doesn’t really help finding your way when you don’t know the city very well. Plus, Wellington seems to only have one way streets so you better know your way around when you get there without a GPS. A map in one hand and the steering wheel in the other one I tried to find a specific street in Te Aro when all of a sudden power went out all over the city. Within seconds everything went dark – completely dark and that also affected traffic lights. A hilarious situation as it seemed like all car drivers were confused and overwhelmed by so much uncertainty on the streets.
I eventually found my way, parked the car and headed towards Cuba Street for some people watching. That is at its best in Wellington and all the crazy, funky and artsy people seem to gather in New Zealand’s capital. I found myself a perfect spot in the window of Midnight Espresso – with ginger beer and good views on both the street and the bar. A bit later Seth picked me up, we headed to the top of Mt. Victoria (another mountain of happiness and with 196m the best look out of Wellington) and later to a fancy waterfront restaurant at Oriental Parade (great views!). Excited to see what happens tomorrow! I have a couple of hours before I need to go on the ferry, crossing over to the South Island.