Monday, December 4, 2017

Neville's 70th B'day Down South

Last weekend Andrew's family went down south to Dunsborough to celebrate Neville's 70th birthday.

A beautiful house with beach views, Vasse Felix, Eagle Bay, SUP at Meelup beach, Cullen, and there were even bunnies on the running track by the beach. It was "officially paradise"!

Neville’s 70th at Vasse Felix

Neville’s 70th at Vasse Felix

Neville's 70th Down South

Neville's 70th Down South

Neville's 70th Down South

Neville's 70th Down South

Neville's 70th Down South

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

New Zealand - Last day in Wellington

We're currently at the airport waiting for our flight back through Melbourne. Today we made the most of the QT Museum Hotel with a big sleep in an a lazy morning.

We had some great coffee at Hangar where Andrew got a "coffee three ways" paddle, really cool. The gluten free pistachio and cardamon cake was wicked. I have to say that the gluten free culture here is really awesome, so much better than Perth! Everywhere has clearly labeled options and the choices are not token crappy alternatives to the regular menu, they're actually what I would choose regardless.

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

The walk to the cable car was windy, and it was even windier up the top. We (let's be honest, just me) lasted about 10 minutes and almost got swept away down the mountain. The cable car was really cool, and we really enjoyed how many noises it made. There were a couple of dings when the doors closed, a couple of bells when it was about to move, a little tune when we were ready to go, then a bunch of bells every time we passed a station but didn't stop. I think it would be Andrew's ideal job.

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

We had a beautifully presented lunch at Hippopotamus and enjoyed the view of the harbour one last time.

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

What an amazing trip! I love the idea of a half skiing, half exploring holiday, it really makes it feel like two holidays in one. New Zealand it such a cool place with welcoming locals, liveable cities of just the right business surrounded by the most spectacular natural beauty I've ever seen. I'd love to come back and explore some more, especially in the north island where we didn't get to spend enough time.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

New Zealand - Wellington

The QT Museum Hotel is something else, I've never seen anything like it. The room itself is wicked, but the unique part is feeling like you're living in an art gallery, it's so stylish! We're also lucky to have a view of the harbour from our room.

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

Last night we had one drink at the hotel restaurant, Hippopotamus, then went to kitchy cool Leroy's Bar for "dinner" and a drink. Because we'd more than eaten our $55NZ worth on the ferry from Picton our dinner was some tacos and kimchi loaded fries, yum.

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

This morning we work up with a coffee from Mojo's, then headed straight to Te Papa's museum. We budgeted 2 hours but ended up staying about that in the Gallipoli section alone. The Gallipoli exhibit was so well put together, with spectacularly realistic displays by Weta, and fantastic visual representations of what happened from different perspectives. We absolutely loved it, but needed something a bit more light hearted so we spent a couple of hours in the natural history sections to bring up the mood, and what better way to lift the mood than to see the only preserved specimen of a giant squid.

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

We even managed to find the dead horse! (We were too embarrassed to ask because Phar Lap wasn't on the maps).

New Zealand - Wellington

The next part of the day was a bit of a struggle. I'd gone to the gym in the morning and had an apple and a coffee for breakfast so was fast running out of energy. Anyone who's seen me after not having food knows things get dire; I don't get angry or in a bad mood or anything, I just literally can't function and am liable to get hit by a car or something. After the 30min walk to Garage Project and arriving at 1:30pm, we realised it was closed until 3pm. Andrew acted fast and managed to get me to Grill Meats Beer for a gluten free burger post stat, and it really was just in time. We then went to Tuatara around the corner for a beer and a chat with the brewer, then made the slow walk back to Garage Project (we'd traded the low energy slow walk for the we ate too much slow walk) for a couple of tasting paddles.

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

Man NZ beer is wicked! Tuatara has been a surprise source of consistently good beers, and Garage Project was really cool although a little left of center with it's quirky beers and interesting sea weed snacks. After the interesting selection of the day's special tasting paddle we got one more paddle to share of the favourites including the absolute favourite, Death From Above.

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

After Garage Project we braved the rain and headed back towards Cuba Street where we decided to go see a play, the Pickle King. I won't stay too much about it (because Andrew might disapprove of me being mean), but I will say that it was not my thing. The cast was really talented and I was really impressed with the production, and overall I really enjoyed the experience but I think that type of theatre is lost on me. I found myself asking "is this real life?" on more than one occasion. Maybe it was the beer.

New Zealand - Wellington

Dinner was ramen and yakitori at Kazu and it really hit the spot, especially in the rainy weather.

New Zealand - Wellington

New Zealand - Wellington

I can't believe tomorrow is our last day! We have late checkout so we're going to make the most of the hotel and possibly grab lunch at Hippopotamus.

Monday, September 4, 2017

New Zealand - Nelson to Picton to Wellington

This morning I went for a run in Nelson but it unfortunately got cut short due to the rain. Luckily that was literally the only moment of rain the entire day and we've had beautiful weather for our drive to Picton and our ferry trip to Wellington.

We didn't get to see much of Nelson, but we made the most of the DeLorenzo's studio apartment we stayed in by using the spa bath, and watching Lord of the Rings which was amazing because all the places looked like things we'd seen!

The drive to Picton was lovely, and because we were running early we took the scenic route. 

New Zealand - Nelson to Picton

New Zealand - Nelson to Picton

We said goodbye to our trusty rental car and checked in at the interisland ferry terminal, and waited for our boat, the Kaitaki, to arrive over a coffee and some indoor bird watching (the Pier Cafe has some local birds that fly in from the outside and hang around singing happy tunes to the customers). The whole process of returning the car and catching the ferry was really convenient because it was all in the same place. It's a really nice way to travel and definitely beats flying between locations.

New Zealand - Nelson to Picton

New Zealand - Nelson to Picton

We decided to pay the extra $55NZ for the Premium Lounge on the Kaitaki and my god it is worth it. The lounge is pretty small, but not filled to capacity so you get your own little area to yourself. Also, you get to know the people there so you can happily leave your belongings and not worry when you want to go above deck and check out the view. 

New Zealand - Picton to Wellington

New Zealand - Picton to Wellington

The view is spectacular, but goes between mildly chilly to "I'm about to loose my ear warmers" in a matter of seconds. The sea conditions were listed as "moderate" which was the center of the 5-point scale but I guess since "moderate" means a gentle lovely rocking, "extreme" probably just means you might feel slight movement since the boat is so fucking massive (we looked it up, it's about half the size of the Titanic).

New Zealand - Picton to Wellington

New Zealand - Picton to Wellington

New Zealand - Picton to Wellington

New Zealand - Picton to Wellington

New Zealand - Picton to Wellington

I'm currently still on the ferry in the premium lounge relaxing on the couches over a Tuatara beer (all drinks are included) and a beautiful ocean view. I can't believe we were tossing up whether on not to pay the extra, it's seriously worth it. I'm really looking forward to checking out Wellington tonight!