Day 4 - Whakapapa to Wellington

Technically I'm just on the outskirts of Wellington tonight, but I'm counting it all the same.

I had the realisation this morning that after seeing the Hobbiton set, and Tongariro National Park; pretty much everything else I want to do in New Zealand is on the South Island (with the exception of Mount Taranaki; but heading out that way was going to be a 3 day trip in itself). So I made the call to just drive the rest of the North Island in one sitting, and catch the ferry to the South Island tomorrow.

On the course of my drive, I pretty much witnessed every kind of weather I think New Zealand can offer me at the moment. Starting off with snow this morning as I came back down the mountain, I soon ran into torrential rain, which gave way to beautiful sunshine, which gave way to rain again etc.

All told, I ended up driving just over 300km; arriving at tonights accommodation "Camp Elsdon" just before sunset. This puts me about 20 minutes outside of the ferry terminal, which I'll drive to at around 7am tomorrow morning.

Now I know, I know - that means I'm skipping Wellington entirely. When I really think about it though, I haven't come to New Zealand to see cities. I have no doubt in my mind that Wellington is beautiful - and I'm certain I'll see it one day, but this trip is about seeing the natural side of NZ. An extra day wandering around the side of a snowy mountain sounds about 100 times better than walking down a busy street in Wellington.

Depending on how things go, tomorrow may end up being my first night off the grid entirely, too - so nobody fret if I'm not heard from in a couple of days!

Edit - After all that, I just received a text saying it looks like the Ferries may be closed tomorrow due to the weather. I may just be seeing Wellington after all.

Photographer from Melbourne's Eastern Suburbs. I like coffee, and doing internet things. Nice to meet you.