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Day 15 – Ohakune to Wellington

October 30, 2012

We woke to a glorious morning and the temperature already around 15C. We had a fabulous view of Mt Raupehu from where we were staying and because it was a cloudless day the view was better than yesterday! We really have been blessed with some stunning views from the sites we have been staying at.

Our journey today would take us through some lovely countryside, quite different in many ways to that which we have experienced during the previous days.

We travelled initially through the region of Manawatu Wanganui following state highway 1 – again not very busy with traffic for the majority of way. The towns we went through were Tailhape, Mangaweka, Hunterville, Bulls, Foxton and Levin where we stopped to pick up some lunch. Earlier our coffee break had been at a lovely cafe called Sugar Plum which was near to Marton. Again we experienced a great cup of long black coffee and I had a delicious savoury muffin. The views were outstanding and again the air was being punctuated with the songs and calls of different birds.

One of the things which has taken my interest on our journey is the style of large trucks, most of which are carrying the large pine logs to either the dockyards to be exported or timber mills. These trucks intrigue me as they are of the north american style and they look mean and intimidating and full of attitude, but there is something about their character I like. This is a picture of one which had been following us for some time so I asked Brenda to take a picture of it from the rear window of our camper-van. Not quite sure what the driver would of thought of why she was taking a photograph!!!

As we approached the vicinity of Wellington we noticed a definite increase in the amount of traffic and also the aggressiveness of some of the drivers. However we were pleasantly surprised when our sat nav directed us away from the main carriageway just after Paraparumi and out on to a steep and winding ascent but this time the road was really quite narrow.

But what a sight we were greeted with as we reached the summit! We got our first view of the South Island which we will arrive at on Thursday. However, the view back up the coastline was breathtaking. I don’t think the picture does it justice but it at least provides an idea of what I am trying to convey. While we were up there the temperature peaked at 28c – it really felt hot as there was very little breeze even at that height!!

Once we had descended down through the valley the rest of our journey took us through suburbia and we eventually arrived at our destination in Lower Hutt which is where we will be based for the next few days. The site is a real oasis alongside a busy industrial area. However, it is very quiet and the locals were out to greet us! These 2 ducks were our welcoming party as we drew up to our pitch and couldn’t wait for us to get of the van!! Before long we had other visitors with one set of proud parents boasting 11 ducklings – there must be something in the water!!!

Once we had settled in we sat around enjoying the the late afternoon sunshine – it was still in the 20’s.

This evening we took ourselves off into the city of Wellington by bus – we are about 30mins drive away. What a great journey it was as we entered the city alongside the bay. We enjoyed our walk around, acquainting ourselves with area around the waterfront and ended up at a lovely eating area. We shared some green lipped mussels for starters they have to be the best I have ever tasted. Brenda once again went for the lamb- this time lamb rump and I had panfried Blue Warehoe a real fleshy fish which was delicious.

Tomorrow has lots in store for us as we take ourselves back into Wellington and explore the city. We are also hoping to meet up with some people we know for a coffee some time during the day. So we come the end of another wonderful day that has offered us so many different experiences – what memories we already have!!

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  1. Did you think of pulling over to let the poor man driving his lorry get past you. No, I didn’t think that entered your mind! Caravan drivers of the world unite.

    • We were both doing just below the national speed limit which is 110kph and I got up the hills quicker than he did. Anyway I did eventually pull over to let him through to which he thanked me for!!!

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