Friday, January 23, 2009

South Island Road Trip - Chapter One

We started our South Island adventure on Wednesday, January 21st and after about 9 hours on the road, we saw the first snow we've seen in a year and a half! Four hours later we arrived in Wellington, the Capital of New Zealand. Located at the very South end of the North Island - 41 degrees South, it was our last stop before crossing to the South Island. One of the fun things about driving in New Zealand is the wide variety of farm animals you see along the way.

The first time we've ever been stopped for a 'cow crossing'
We packed alot into our one day visit to Wellington, starting with a cable car ride up to the botanical gardens where we got to see some very beautiful flowers. Surprisingly one of our favorite things there was the playground, where the girls enjoyed the slides and zip line and we all had a good go 'round the teeter totter go-round!

Girls with one of the wheels propelling the cable car in Wellington.
Beautiful hydrangeas

These beautiful pink roses are beautifully and naturally arranged.
Jocelyn on the zip line in the botanical gardens
Slip slidin' away!
Super fun teeter totter thing
Next, it was off for a tour of the parliament buildings. Unfortunately, we had to check our cameras at the door so all I can offer is a picture of the outside. Inside we saw some amazing architecture and leared much about New Zealands political practices.
Parliament Buildings
Following the visit to parliament, we just had to stop at Kirkaldie and Staines, New Zealands answer to Harods or Holt Renfrew. This very posh store has a doorman and a pianist and the salespeople are very lovely and gracious.
Kirkaldie and Staines
Downtown Wellington has some very beautiful buildings and fun areas to explore.
Beautiful stained glass at Old St. Pauls church

One of the many shopping arcades
One other notable stop was Te Papa, one of Wellingtons many free museums. This amazing museum has a collosal squid measuring over four metres in length - very cool and unusual.
Friday morning we boarded the Interislander ferry for a three hour trip across cook strait to Picton where we had a quick picnic lunch before driving to Nelson where we'll spend the night.

Church Hill - Nelson

A very cool VW bug in Nelson

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