Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Day 314 - Wanganui - Wellington, New Zealand

Day 314 – 18th April 2006 +11:00 GMT Total Miles 61247

Well for the last time in a while we packed up our stuff and loaded the car, I got talking to the owner of the hostel who is about to put the place up for sale and he showed us around the place again including is apartment on site.

Wanganui River in the morning

We the drove south, the traffic was quite heavy for the first time since I have been in New Zealand. We arrived back at Wellington around 1:30pm. The car has been fantastic for £200 it has taken us 2900 KM without any problems, what a bargain. We unloaded the car and made ourselves at home back in Maple Lodge. We spent the afternoon sorting our stuff out and catching up with friends.

Jill and I

In the evening 13 of us went out to a restaurant for a meal, to celebrate birthdays and people leaving etc. We had fantastic food and were allowed as an exception to bring our own wine in free of charge as a couple of the girls who work their stay in our hostel.

Out To Dinner

After the meal went back to the hostel to catch up on sleep.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Day 313 - New Plymouth - Wanganui, New Zealand

Day 313 – 17th April 2006 +11:00 GMT Total Miles 61130

We packed up our bags ready for the last leg of our trip. We loaded the car and drove the coastal route around Mount Taranaki then headed south until we reached Wanganui.

A lighthouse

We checked into Tamara Backpackers which is located at the side of the river, it is a huge house with fantastic rivers views.

Tamara Backpackers

The garden is huge and had a trampoline, there is camping space at the back and also a separate chalet with 4 bedrooms each with en-suite. We rested for a while and Jill had a go of the guitar and we chatted with the owner. We then had a walk around the town and also visited the Art Gallery, Sarjeant Gallery.

Looking up at Sarjeant Art Gallery

The gallery was fairly impressive covering a lot of local artists.


Waganui River Steamboat

Wanganui River

Wanganui River

We then went back to the hostel and I spent the evening in the TV room chatting with other guests and then found I could connect to wireless in there so spent several hours well until after midnight, talking to my brother and my friends back in England.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Day 312 - New Plymouth, New Zealand

Day 312 – 16th April 2006 +11:00 GMT Total Miles 61026

Happy Easter, we decided we would drive up Mount Taranaki and have a walk so we made some sandwiches and then drove for about 40 minutes to the South East side of Mount Taranaki.

Mount Taranaki

We drove up the steep road until we reached the visitor centre. After a quick look around we had to a walk to Dawson Falls an 18 metre high waterfall.

Me at Dawson Falls

Dawson Falls

We took some photos and then ate our food and then drove back to New Plymouth. We parked at the waterfront and had a walk along the boardwalk and then across a park and into the town.

At the waterfront

Maori Sculpture

We then drove back to the hostel and spent the night chatting with other guests and watching television.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Day 311 - Auckland - New Plymouth, New Zealand

Day 311 – 15th April 2006 +11:00 GMT Total Miles 60964

Got up early and packed up our stuff, this is becoming an easy routine. I made some tea and sat and chatted to the hostel owner Campbell, he insisted that I only pay for 2 nights stay which saved us $120. The hostel was superb and I would highly recommend it to anyone staying in Auckland. The rooms are big and airy and the fittings are top quality. Wee chatted for about an hour and then we had to leave as we had a long drive ahead of us. We headed South on the Highway 1, we drove for about 3 hours and stopped at Te Kuiti for some lunch, I felt the food was over priced, $8 for a sandwich. We got back on the road and carried on south for another 2 hours or so until we reached New Plymouth, we checked into the Shoestring Hostel. This place has a huge living room and a huge dining room and a conservatory. We went out for a walk down the main high street and did some food shopping as all the shops are shut tomorrow. We then went out and ordered some Pizza from hell (Hell being a really cool New Zealand pizza chain) We then had a bottle of wine and sat and watched a movie.
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