Australia, New Zealand · 4 Days · 11 Moments · March 2017

Pip, Craig & Kym's journi to New Zealand

12 March 2017

After saying goodbye to our lovely driver Chris we boarded our flight back to Brisbane! What a great trip!!!
After another delicious dinner at the Martinborough Hotel we awoke to our last (and still rainy) day in NZ. We didn't have much time before heading back to the airport so we made a quick stop at the Olivo Olive Oil farm to do some tasting. It was so interesting! I must confess I didn't know much about olives or olive oil before going there so I now know what cold pressed means and that green and black olives are actually off the same tree but just at different times! We then headed back to Wellington for yet another delicious lunch at Shed 5 down on the wharf. If you're looking for something a bit more casual head for the Crab Shack - it looked so fun! They are connected.

11 March 2017

FUN FACT: Did you know that NZ has loads of wild hedge hogs?? Cute!
Today we headed to Greytown which is about 20 mins drive from Martinborough to have a look at the shops and buy some chocolate from the great little chocolate shop there. Tom and I went in to the Museum which was so interesting! We then headed to the Martinborough Brewery for some beer tasting followed by lunch and wine tasting at Murdoch James. The Brewery was fab. Great beer and lovely service. The winery was also great but I think they were a tad understaffed due to the Harvest Festival that is also happening today. The winery had a gorgeous big deck which I imagine would be lovely to sit on if the sun was shining.

10 March 2017

FUN FACT: Did you know that NZ is almost completely reliant on renewable energy? Wellington runs in wind power the majority of the time and backed up with hydro electric. They only have one coal power station that is in the process of being decommissioned. Interesting!!
Tonight we dined at the restaurant downstairs at the Martinborough Hotel. Good food!! The chef was such an interesting guy with a mixed background but he hails from Canada. We could have stayed and chatted whilst eating and drinking all night. Luckily we are eating there again tomorrow night so we can try something else off the menu!
After having some unexpectedly delicious fish and chips for lunch we headed North to go East to Martinborough - you have to go around the mountains. It is a very windy road but it comes with beautiful scenery. Everything so green and lush! We soon arrived at the Martinborough Hotel, our accommodation for the next 2 nights. A beautiful old pub that has all been done up to have rooms upstairs and a restaurant and pub downstairs.
After we finished our Wellington Sightseeing we headed to the Weta Workshop to see how lots of cool stuff in movies is made. I honestly didn't think I would be overly interested but it was really interesting!! I forgot to mention that at the Gallipoli display they had these huge figurines or soldiers and also nurses and no matter how close you got, you could not tell they weren't real. We'll those were made at Weta! No wonder they were so awesome. Each hair is individually stuck in with a pin. We met the girl that does it, she used to be a hair dresser. I won't even go in to how cool Tom thought the full size working order warthog was from the Halo game franchise! Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take any photos in the workshop because so much of it is too secret business! Great day so far!
This morning we were picked up by our knowledgable driver Chris in our luxury van and taken to the Te Papa Museum to see the Gallipoli display. Wow! It is so well done. It tells the story of what happened well and really make you understand what they went through. It was interesting to see the story from a New Zealanders point of view. It tugs on the heart strings and makes us thankful for everything we have today in Australia and New Zealand. After quick look around the rest of the Museum (you could spend a whole day there) we headed to the Wellington Lookout. What a view! There is very rarely not a breathe of wind in Wellington and today we were spoilt! A sunny 25 degrees with no wind! We then headed to Cuba street for a coffee (good coffee!) before heading up to the top of the Cable Car to suss out the view from there. Still so sunny and no wind!

9 March 2017

We stayed at the Bolton Hotel in Wellington which was a great choice! It is a little further to walk down to the Harbour but the service was amazing and the rooms nice and big with kitchens in them. We had dinner at the hotel because it was included in our package, the restaurant was called Artisans. Not on was the food delicious but the staff were fabulous. Laughing muscles got a good workout!
The Virgin Australia check in was self check in at the Brisbane Airport. Very easy to use. You print your own boarding passes and luggage tags then proceed to the baggage drop counter where they double check it all and take your bags. Security took forever to get through which has never happened to me at Brisbane before. Goes to show you should always check in and proceed straight through immigration and security so you can then relax on the other side and not be rushed! Landing at Wellington, immigration and baggage was all very efficient but we did have to line up for customs for quite some time. A few flights had come in at once and it's not a very big airport. It was a really long line but it moved quite quickly.