New Zealand: Part 1

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

(Wellington, New Zealand)
The Huz and I went on a huge trip, then I got home and work was crazy and I was playing catch-up with everything and didn't really post about it at all. So here is much belated post! I'm going to post about it all week long, so sorry for bombing you all with pictures!
 (Wellington with the Huz)
After a couple crazy long flights from the Midwest to the west coast of the United States and then all the way to New Zealand we finally made it to Auckland. We lost one bag, then missed one flight before making it to Wellington. At that point we could have been cranky and too tired, but we were so excited to be there!

(Gollum welcoming us at the airport.)
We checked in, dumped our bags and hit the town. Wellington is a gorgeous little city on a bay. Everything is within walking distance and we could have spent two weeks just hanging out there. We took a cable car up for a view of the city and bought lunch from food trucks.

(Lovely bridges and art in Wellington)
We had perfect blue skies for the entire time we were there. We spent a couple days popping into shops, bookstores, museums, breweries, cafes, etc. They have an espresso style coffee there called a long black that I had every morning.
(Te Papa Museum)
I took a Lord of the Rings tour, which included some trips to a rain forest and other areas outside the city. It was a fun way to see more out the area surrounding the city.

(Mount Victoria, the best view in Wellington)
The city was so dog friendly. One morning we got up early and jogged along the waterfront. I'm not normally an early morning jogger, but I loved seeing the city before it had really woken up. There were pieces of art dotted through every park and walkway too. 
(The Huz in the Botanical Gardens)
There's also a great walk through the Botanical Garden that gives you a few spots to view the city. Any Lord of the Rings fans, or just movie buffs in general have to go to the Weta Workshop. You can tour it and see real props from LOTR, Avatar, King Kong, District 9 and tons of others. The nerd in me was giddy the day we went!
 (Weta Cave)
When we finally left Wellington we took a ferry across the Cook Strait and rented a car in Picton. We drove to Nelson and passed vineyards and rolling hills the whole way. Nelson is a quiet little beach town and we had an incredible dinner on the water while we watched the sunset.

(Me on the Swing bridge over Bueller Gorge)
The next day we drove to Lake Rotoiti for a picnic. There is so much to see along the drive. We drove all down the west coast and the mountains were amazing!

(Lake Rotoiti)
 Half the fun of the drive was stopping every hour or so to pull over and see another gorgeous view. It's insane how beautiful the whole country of New Zealand is. Since we got home we've talked about what we want to see the next time we go. It's just one of those countries that you can't help wanting to return to.
(Crazy mountain roads in New Zealand)
In New Zealand you drive on the opposite side of the road, so that was terrifying. I drove for about 20 minutes one day, but the Huz drove the rest of the time. When we got home it took him a minute to switch back to right-side of the road thinking!

(Me at Lake Rotoiti)

We stayed in a few different little hostels down the coast. Each one had a unique feel and new people to talk to. It was pretty chilly, but every day we had great weather. We stopped at the Pancake Rocks before reaching Greymouth for the night. There were half a dozen dolphins swimming the the water around the rocks!

(The Pancake Rocks)
It's hard to explain just how much we loved New Zealand. It was beautiful every single day, the people were insanely kind, the food was great, we just wanted to stay longer! I've only ever truly fallen in love with a few countries. I've enjoyed many, but there are just a few that steal a piece of your heart. For me that's England, Italy, Hungary, and now New Zealand.

Photos by moi. Please do not use without permission.


Sarah said...

Looks like a lovely time! The scenary is one of the big things I missed about home. Can't wait for part 2!

Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

*green with envy* Lake Rotoiti in particular look beautiful. Looking forward to more photos!

annieb said...

Great post, Melissa!

Cleo said...

Sigh! Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos. I would just love to visit New Zealand one day. I've heard that Wellington has some of the freshest air on the planet.

Now I'm off to mentally plan ....... :-)

Meg @ write meg! said...

Gorgeous! Looks like you had an amazing trip, and looking forward to checking out more of your adventures!

jmisgro said...

very cool!!

Trisha said...

I went to New Zealand when I was in high school and I can still remember how amazingly beautiful it was!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Again, this is a dream trip, it is just so gorgeous. But NO WAY IN HELL I would have gotten on that swinging bridge! I almost puked just looking at it!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

It really was insanely beautiful. I almost got sick walking over that crazy swing bridge too!

Anonymous said...

New Zealand is simply beautiful! I've never been to the north island, but I just know I'd be a complete nerd and do the whole Lord of the Rings thing. Your post definitely made me want to go back! :)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

majoringinliterature - It truly was just gorgeous! I definitely geeked out at the WETA Cave.