Wellington…yes, I seem to remember I went somewhere called Wellington. Excuse the sparse pictures and details, my time in Wellington is covered in a slight fog that seems to have a British accent for some reason.
The day after finishing the QCT, I hopped onto the Interislander Ferry to make my way over to Wellington. As we cruised through the sounds, I was snapping photos like a maniac. I will say, I have now learned trying to take good photos holding your camera on a ferry is futile. As we got onto open water, I went back inside to demolish a bag of day old pastries I had bought for $5. Some waves started and I thought to myself, “Oh it’s a good thing I don’t get sea sick.” I used to have an iron stomach, take me on all the spinning rides at the fair after I eat 12 dozen mini powdered donuts, I am a god! Age messes you up apparently. The waves picked up and I started feeling like my Mom always looked after spinning fair rides. “Ok head between the legs and breathe, you can’t puke you have a date in a few hours! I have a date in a few hours…PANIC, IT’S TIME TO PANIC.” The waves just kept going, but I managed to hang on, which is more than I can say for some of the other passengers.
Much to my relief, once on dry land I immediately felt better. I took the bus from the ferry terminal into town and decided to walk to my hostel, stubborn as ever not to spend $3 on the bus. I arrived at my hostel…wait Melissa what hostel? You said you were staying in a tree house near Wellington?! Yeahhhhh, turns out the treehouse is 1.5hrs outside of Wellington, not really convenient when you want to visit someone in the city. I had changed my accommodation bookings last minute while in Granity, and wrote in my journal that, “This will either be the best or worst decision of my life.” I really wanted to stay in that tree house *sigh*. After getting checked in and organised, it was date time. I’m not nervous, I always shake uncontrollably HAHAHA.
I had been talking to Chris for about a month at this point, and even though we were travelling in the same area of New Zealand, we kept missing each other by a day or two. In the end, it took some rearranging on both our parts (his more than mine) to make this meeting happen, so that maybe added to my nerves. We met on a street corner by my hostel in case either of us happened to be a serial killer. But let’s be honest, I would probably be the most likely one to be the serial killer. As I was sitting there texting my best friend in a panic, and getting myself all worked up, there he was. I won’t get into details (besides, if you speak to me in person I will bore you to death with them anyways) except to say, it did in fact turn out to be the best decision of my life.
Most of my time in Wellington was spent wandering the city with Chris, enjoying each other’s company. Hence, the lack of photos and details. Damned accents, always so distracting. One of our days we walked up Mt. Victoria, and not only did we get an awesome view of the city, but found where they filmed the scene in LOTR where the hobbits hide under a tree from a Ringwraith! Of course, we had to take photos pretending to be hobbits. Nerd alert.
The one big thing we did do was visit the Weta Cave & Workshop where they did all the prop work for LOTR and The Hobbit. Literally my childhood dream come to life. The Weta Cave itself is free, it’s basically a glorified gift shop with some props here and there. The Weta Workshop tour however was $25 and worth every penny. You watch a little video about Weta and how they got started before they take you back into the actual workshop. The space itself isn’t huge, but every single square inch has something amazing to look at. I got to see Sauron’s suit of armour, which should say it all. Of course, you can’t take photos inside, but they had some trolls outside I gladly posed with. Should I win the lottery, I will be buying one for epic selfie purposes. If you like LOTR and find yourself in Wellington, you absolutely have to check it out!
After Wellington, my plan had been to hike the Tongariro Northern Circuit and then continue on to Taupo and Rotorua. That was still my plan, it now just had a plus one attached to it. Chris assured me he had the gear to hike and camp Tongariro, he said he was going to sleep in something called a bivy sac our first night. It might be time to laugh at someone other than me finally :P