Our final stop on the north island before we headed down south was the city of Wellington, which is at the southern tip of the north island. Everywhere we drove throughout the trip was breathtaking, here is one view we couldn’t help but stop at on our way to Wellington:
Wellington was a hustling and bustling city, full of good food, culture, art, views, and people. We checked out a couple of museums (all of them were free by the way, isn’t that great?) which each offered something different. One of our favorites was the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa, which really opened our eyes to the rich Maori culture in New Zealand. We loved learning about the history of this amazing country and about the people who made it into what it is today. There were also some pretty cool exhibits of Maori art, as well as modern art.
One part of Maori culture and art is the carvings that Taylor is standing next to. These are very sacred in their culture, and represent different parts of their family heritage. They are intricately carved and very detailed. We actually saw quite a few of these throughout the country in different spots.
The city had a very San Francisco feel to it. We kept thinking to ourselves as we explored the city how much we felt like we were in the city by the bay. A few parallels included: it was next to a bay, had sail boats, was very hilly, was full of good art and food, had tons of interesting people to meet, and even had cable cars! Below is an example of some amazing food we found next to the bay. I still talk with Taylor about how much I loved these sliders!
One of our favorite pics from our trip follows. I just love all of the different colors of the victorian houses on the hill, the beautiful church overlooking the bay, and the sailboats right behind us. Little did I know how strenuous of a hike we had in front of us right after we took this picture up Mount Victoria (the hill behind us in this picture).
The beginning of our journey up Mount Victoria started with these steps. We stopped to take a picture with this lovely artist who’s studio was right next to this staircase, she was very nice and welcoming to us and I loved her art!
We definitely weren’t prepared for the journey that it was hiking up Mount Victoria. It was very steep and very hot, and all I had on was flip flops! We also didn’t have enough water, but we met a nice lady on the way up who let us into her house and gave us a cold glass of water. I was against the idea of asking strangers for water at first, but Taylor talked me into it. The view at the top was well worth the journey to get up there, it was absolutely breathtaking looking down on the beautiful city of Wellington.
My explorer planning our next adventure with his trusty map:
I just fell in love with the roses in the above rose garden we found. Taylor was getting a little annoyed because I was taking so many pictures, but aren’t they just beautiful? They smelled amazing too! We had to take the cable car to get there, which provided another, different view of the city. We are so glad we got to experience so much of what the north island has to offer, and Wellington was a great way to finish our adventure up there. Now, onto the wild frontier that is the south island of New Zealand!