Our Journey South

The next stop on our trip was a visit to Napier and the region of Hawke’s Bay. Part of our time here involved visits to wineries, but I want to do a separate post about all of the wineries/wine regions we’ve visited in NZ, so I will just talk about everything else we did for now.

We drove to Napier via a route referred to as the “Gentle Annie” but officially known as the Taihape-Napier Road (taking the 41 to the 1 and then turning off just about 15 Kilometers past Waioru). There is a sign indicating that this road goes to Napier, but there isn’t much of a warning and could be easily missed.

This drive turned out to be incredibly beautiful…from pretty grassland over rolling hills to canyons and mountains with a fading view of the Tongariro National Park behind you.

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Until today, I did not understand what everyone had been saying about there being so many sheep in this country…I had only seen a lot of cows. The sheep started appearing today, and kept on coming!

Yes, those are all sheep. We stopped to listen to them...which was entertaining, but loud!

Yes, those are all sheep. We stopped to listen to them…which was entertaining, but loud!

For lunch, we stopped in Havelock North at a little cafe, and enjoyed the setting of the cute little town nestled between wine regions. To reach Napier, we drove along the the coast and admired the beautiful Hawke’s Bay. The green color of the water was mesmerizing to me! Not sure that the camera does it justice…

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Tristin expressing affection toward our Smurf

T cleaning our increasingly dirty Smurf

Once we arrived in Napier, we walked down the main Street, Marine Parade, and then through the Art Deco town. The town was leveled after an earthquake in the 1930’s and reconstructed in the Art Deco style.

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On our way to our accommodation, we stopped at the Bluff Hill Lookout for a view over the bay.

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We stayed in a studio in the back garden of a home that had beautiful views of the surrounding hills just above Napier.

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For dinner, we decided to try Indigo, which turned out be be absolutely delicious Indian food. The curry was amazing and the naan was so soft that just writing about it makes me want to go back…

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From Napier, we drove down to Wellington to stay night before catching a ferry over to the South Island. On our way, we stopped at this cute coffee shack for a cappuccino and to stretch our legs.

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Once we arrived in Wellington, we walked around the city, took the cable car to the top of the hill for a nice view, even with the rain.

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We also checked out the gardens and had some fun in the rain getting to this tree house.

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After descending in the cable car, we stumbled upon a Crepe stand that I could not resist, of course. Life is short, eat dessert first, right?

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Plus, how awesome is this French guy??

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After our crepe, we actually went to dinner and ate Malaysian food for the first time at a place called Little Penang. Although we didn’t have a lot of time in Wellington, we felt like it was enough to enjoy the city a little bit and get a feel for the culture there, as it was quite a bit different from what we had experienced in New Zealand so far.

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Excited for the expected incredible beauty of the South Island, we drove our trusty Smurf (our loving name for our rental car) on to the ferry to embark on the second part of our journey through New Zealand.

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The views of the Marlborough Sounds on the ferry weren’t a bad start…

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2 Comments

  1. Pingback: New Zealand Wine Trail | Fit To Wander

  2. Pingback: New Zealand: North & South Island Itineraries | Fit To Wander

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