Hey all! Currently writing you from my first of two planes down to Queenstown. Since I last wrote I had my last day in Rotorua and then 2 nights and one full day in Wellington. The last thing I did in Rotorua before I left was check out the Rainbow Springs Nature Park so I could see some kiwi birds. Unfortunately, kiwis are nocturnal so we weren’t allowed to take any pictures of them but I can tell you that they were extremely cute! There was a 45 year old female and a baby. When we first got there the baby was behind a plant and then it popped it’s head out, which was probably the cutest thing ever. The nature park also had many other birds, a few reptiles and some fish.
In the evening I flew to Wellington and was actually able to meet up with an old camp friend, Anna, which was really nice. When I got back to the hostel that night it looked as though all the beds in my room were taken so they put me up in a private room for the night. It turned out that house keeping had just cleaned the wrong bunk, but I was definitely happy to have gotten that an upgrade for free.
The next day was my only full day in Wellington so I really packed in a whole bunch of things into the day. For those who aren’t aware, Wellington is extremely windy so I was doing all of these things in pretty strong wind conditions. I started off the morning at the Te Papa museum, which is a museum about New Zealand that covers everything from NZ’s history, to its animals and plants to its geological activity. They also had an outdoors section to show the different plant life and caves that are common in New Zealand. It was really interesting to learn about NZ in so many different ways. It was also quite sad because I learned that through the settlement of New Zealand a lot of the native plants and animals quickly became extinct to the point where much of the plant and animal life currently here are things that were brought over from the rest of the world. It definitely makes you think about our role in the world and how important it is for us to be aware of the potential consequences of our actions.
After the museum I grabbed some lunch and caught to bus over to Island Bay to do the Red Rocks walk. The walk starts about 30mins from Island Bay, but the entire thing is along the coast line so it was a nice beginning to the walk. This hour and a half (one way) walk was absolutely incredible. I’m not sure if it had to do with the weather, which looked like it would start raining any minute (though it didn’t!), or if it’s always like this but I passed maybe 10 people total throughout the whole walk and was completely alone for most of it. I had wonderful views of the ocean and mountains for the entire walk. This was definitely one of the most beautiful walks I’ve ever done.
The furthest point I went to was Sinclair head where there are lots of fur seals. I was able to get pretty close to them and one even sat up and looked at me. There was also a seal on the path on the way back that took me by surprise.
After this big walk, you’d think I’d be done for the day but I had been told that walking to the top of Mt. Victoria is a must. So I made the 30min walk up and it did not disappoint. The Mt. Vic (as the locals call it) lookout had beautiful 360 degree views of the city of Wellington.
I was definitely exhausted afterwards since to get to the lookout you’re essentially walking up a really steep hill. I didn’t do much else that evening besides grabbing dinner and meeting up with Anna again for some drinks. After that full day with two big walks I ended up having taken 35,625 steps, which is the most steps I’ve ever taken in one day since I started tracking my steps. I’m almost glad to have a break from walking on my flights to Queenstown today. Well, that’s all for now and all for the North Island. Keep an eye out for my next post about Queenstown and the South Island!