07.08.2014 - 08.08.2014
On the drive to Wellington we stopped on route to get a picture of Mount Doom, and at Mokai Gravity Canyon, which is essentially a grown up playground in a huge canyon. The three of us did the flying fox joined together, which is a giant zip line which sends you flying head first through the canyon at 160kph. It was good fun but turned out to be a bit tame, a good warm-up for more adrenaline later in the trip! The Gravity Canyon workers seemed to be on kiwi time so we didn't make it to Wellington until around 9pm. It was Aileen and Alex's last night so we went out for dinner to a Thai restaurant. Lauren says she had the best soup of her life, a Vietnamese rare beef pho. Wellington is our favourite big city so far, it's lively but without being overly busy like Auckland. We headed to a bar planning to have a few drinks and an early night but after a few jugs of sangria the shots came rolling in and eventually we headed to a bar with good music and a decent dance floor. Arrived back at the hostel after 4 and had a well-deserved rest after being up since 6!
Our night out didn't stop us from getting up fairly early to check out Te Papa, New Zealand's national museum. We learnt lots about Maori culture and saw war canoes and ancient meeting houses. Definitely the coolest museum we've ever been to. At midday we all met back up and went for a tour of Wellington, including a sea-view brunch in the pouring rain. We went to Weta Studios Cave, the studios which are responsible for the special effects in the Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Hunger Games, Avatar, King Kong and many more films. They let us in to a few secrets, like that they've just signed up to do two more Avatar films and 100 new Thunderbirds episodes. We had a chilled night in the hostel in preparation for an early ferry ride to the South Island the next morning.