We left Napier on 20th Jan for Wellington. Nice drive through the countryside. Saw a sign for "Rivendell" so had to give that a looking at. Turned out to be a nice walk through the trees to see the movie locations. Also did a walk down to the river and watched people jumping from the bridge into a pool. Must have been about 10m. Not for me!
Found the AirBnB in Wellington easily enough and what a great place it was. Fantastic views overlooking the city. The walk to the city was 20min downhill but we elected to go for Uber on the way back. Set me back nearly $8! Money well spent. Went for an Indian meal that evening. I asked the waiter whereabouts in India the chef was from and without a word of a lie he said "well actually he is from Leicester". Emigrated in 1983.
On Sunday we had a stroll into the city and ended up in Te Papa (the National Museum). Spent about 4 hours in there - great Gallipoli exhibition. We then took a walk to the Botanic Gardens, the long way as it happens, as we had heard that they were having an open-air concert. Bought some goodies and beer from the local supermarket and enjoyed a very pleasant evening although the music was a bit dull!
On Monday 22nd we booked to go to the Weta Cave Workshop where they made all the props for Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit amongst others. We decided to get some exercise so walked the 8km there - very nice it was too. The tour was interesting and lasted the best part of 3 hours. We then got an Uber into Wellington (not so cheap at $46!). Nice walk around the sea front and ended up at Wagamama's with a view over the harbour. Our AirBnB is on top of that hill somewhere (see photo).
Set off for the South Island on Tuesday 23 Jan. As luck would have it the weather was great and the crossing was one of the smoothest ever. Brilliant. Next update from Marahau near the Abel Tasman National Park.