Yesterday was uneventful, really.  We left Napier after a great breakfast at the Villa Vista B & B and headed south to Wellington, the capital.

We stopped along the way in Paraparaumu (say that 5 times quickly).  It’s a fast growing suburb of Wellington that has a resort feel to it along the beach.  You can see the South Island at a distance and Kapiti Island (supposed to have lots of kiwi birds on it) is just across the way.  The water did seem warmer here than up north on 90 mile beach.  Both these beaches are on the Tasman sea.

south island in background kapiti island in foreground
paraparaumu beach

Wellington has a lovely port, something like Vancouver, but smaller.  We spent the afternoon walking around the downtown area and mostly at the Te Papa museum.  After a drink and munchies at a chic bar (it was an old ambulance station), we were back in our room to catch up on work and laundry.  So now we can face the rest of the country with clean underwear (Phew!).

This morning, we returned the car at the ferry terminal and boarded the ship to get across the Cooke Strait to the wilder side of the country.  The ferry is similar to the ones we have from Vancouver to Victoria, except is has a swankier lounge and bar.  Quite cozy.

Once we get to South Island, we will pick up another car and make our way to Kaikoura, which I know nothing about.  I’ll leave you in suspense until we’ve experienced it and report back tomorrow.

I almost forgot – as we travelled along the backroads to Wellington, we came upon a town called Dannevirke.  Sure enough, it was settled by a group of Danes and Norwegians back in the 1800s.  I had to stop and take a picture.  We did see quite a few blonds walking on the street.