Thursday, 8 December 2011

New Zealand; the first five days

                                            From the airplane window...landing in Auckland

So, New Zealand. Wellington to be exact. The past five days have been a flurry of activity, zipping back and forth around the city getting as much as our lives set up as our energy would allow. We are currently staying with our beautiful friend Cristina in Hataitai village some five minutes away from Wellington central. Staying with her has made all the difference in our being able to do all that needed to be done.

We have bought a car, which Elsje has named ‘Dorothy,’ but since she’s 22 years old I have dubbed her the ‘Blue-Rinse Bomb.’ Anyway she’s proven to be reliable so far and has served us well on our flat-hunting missions.

So, Wellington. Since the past few days have been a blur, I haven’t really seen much of the place. The weather has been absurd; it’s cold and rainy! I’ve told all the Kiwis I’ve met so far, ‘Mmm, nice summers you have here!’ They smile sheepishly (sorry…) and assure me that one day soon there will be sunshine. I live in hope. It’s not really bad though, it kind of reminds me of England. Apart from the earthquakes of course, the first of which we experienced yesterday. I thought that it just a really heavy truck going past the window until I noticed the room swaying slightly. It was pretty cool. Especially since we are essentially on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The land here is alive in a way I’ve never experienced before; earthquakes, volcanoes and hot-springs. Apparently the strip of land joining where we are to the peninsula didn’t exist until an earthquake pushed it up and voilà! a new piece of land. I do like that. This place is not at all what I expected, although I’m not sure what I expected; a small Australia I suppose – it’s not like Australia. Oh yes, things are expensive here, wow! I mean absurdly so. If you keep converting to Rands it makes your heart sink, so I’ve stopped doing that. Just another thing we have to get used to.
And also things are priced strangely, for instance bath towels are rude expensive, but consumer electronics are almost absurdly cheap. Weird.

Regarding the Kiwi people, well we haven’t really had much time to interact with them so I can’t comment at the moment. Generally they seem to be a happy-go-lucky bunch. There also seem to be a lot of immigrants from all over, which is pretty interesting. I haven’t seen too many Maoris yet, although we saw a guy with a full moko (facial tattoo) yesterday. I’m really interested in the history of NZ and will endeavour to find a book about it, because if I’m not mistaken it only became a formal colony in the 1840s or so, which is quite recent.

Oh yes! On our first day here we were taken to the WETA cave to see all the cool stuff that the WETA workshop has created – for all the troglodytes out there WETA did the special fx and props for ‘Lord of the Rings’ and are currently working on ‘The Hobbit.’

(Henry! This is for you!) 
This is our friend Steven. He made the Gandalf collectable that he is holding as well as the Rivendale miniature.

We visited the Weta cave:


An Urukai

Taking a drive...the never ending green of Wellington:

All the houses of Wellington are nestled on the hills. If you look quickly it looks like Hobbiton...

(Riley! This is for you!) 
We found a little Ponyo house right on the cliff overlooking the sea. We were very close to taking it, but felt that it was too overpriced in the end. One day however!

 The only way of reaching this property is by walking down many moss covered stairs.

 Tuesday; We went driving to Upper Hutt to buy a car that we found on the Trade Me site:

And here she is; Dorothy. Our 22 year old blue bomb. We love her. 

Angelina proudly showing us her beans.

A Summer day in New Zealand. We have been assured that the sun will come out one day! This was taken from Cristina's flat.


  1. Awesome! I'm glad you guys made it safely!
    We miss you over here...:)

  2. I want a Ponyo house!!! that's awesome guys!

  3. Gorgeous place. Lovely. love, Val