Woke up and the sun was shining. There were some darker clouds hanging around, but mostly it was sunny and warm today. One of the first things we did was book a B&B for the next two nights in the town of Nelson, about 2 hours from where the ferry will drop us off tomorrow.
After breakfast (cereal and yogurt) in our B&B we drove our car back down the long narrow street and headed into town. We went right through the town centre and found a rare parking spot right near the Te Papa Museum, one of the top attractions in Wellington. There was a big fruit and vegetable Sunday market on the parking lot, and it seemed to have attracted quite a few shoppers. We left that for later and walked over to the Te Papa Museum.
For being such a major famous attraction, we were surprised to learn that the museum had free general admission. We went in and spent just over an hour looking at some of the exhibits. The included a big display honouring New Zealand’s military efforts in WWI; a section devoted to the unique birds, animals, and sea creatures of New Zealand; a section about earthquakes and volcanoes, and a section on Pre-historic animals in New Zealand. Pretty impressive displays and the exhibits were organized in such a way that it was easy to go through at your own pace.
After the museum we walked back to the car, and checked out that Sunday Market. Although we were tempted to order lunch from one of the many interesting food vendors, we slowly wound our way along the waterfront behind the museum and listened to buskers and watched other people.
We finally stopped for our lunch at a craft brew pub right on the harbour. We met a couple from Seattle who were just on their way UP to the north island after spending a number of weeks hiking and kayaking and exploring the south island.
We meandered around a bit and then got back into the car and drove to the other end of the downtown area. Parked the car and went to see a movie, “Moonlight”. We thought it was okay, but not as good as “Manchester by the Sea”. We’ve only got one more ‘Best Picture’ movie to see and then we’ll be all set to cheer on the Oscars.
After the movie we went for a long walk down Cuba Street, all the way down to the waterfront area. We walked over the famous “City to Sea Bridge” with its wooden sculptures adorning the top.
We found our way back to the car and headed for home. We made a pit stop for another bottle of wine at a grocery store along the way. We sat around in our room, reading the Fodor’s travel guide chapters about the South Island.
At around 7pm we walked back to the area where we went yesterday for supper — about a half hour walk one way — and ended up at an Indian restaurant where we ordered a couple of ‘extra spicy’ dishes. It was nearly dark when we walked back up the hill to our B&B.
We heard the ferry blast a couple of warnings before setting sail for the South Island. Tomorrow we’ll need to get up early enough to be packed and at the Ferry Terminal before 8am.