We caught the ferry to Wellington in bright sunshine and fairly calm sea conditions. And so, for now, we say goodbye to the South Island. It has been an interesting few days, mainly re-visiting area that we have been to before, but with some new parts thrown in.
Now onto North Island and the journey up the west side, which will be wholly new for us, as before (once) we have travelled down the east side via Hawkes Bay (Napier and Hastings).
We have decided not to tarry in Wellington, even though it would be interesting to explore. Probably want to escape from people again. We have rented a bach opposite Kapiti Island. It might be fantastic, it might be OK, it might be awful. We shall see!
Well, Ann has booked us into the authentic NZ Bach (pronounced ‘batch’) experience. We are opposite Kapiti Island, actually on Raumati Beach which is near Paraparaumu, and we are right on the beach – just a few steps down, with two araucaria trees in the garden providing shelter.
The South Island hills of the Marlborough Sounds are viewable in the distance (today at least, which is a very clear day it has to be said). There is the continuous background sound of the waves crashing on the beach.
You can walk one way along the beach, then you can walk the other way. At the moment the beach is deserted – we walked earlier and saw just one other person.
There are things to do around here. We might take the car out later for an exploration, but equally it is an opportunity to do very little and recover from the considerable amount of driving that we have been doing.
The bach itself is a typical kiwi beach house, obviously loved by the owning family and equipped with all the things you would expect to find plus a few others.
A quick trip to the supermarket on the way and we had everything we needed for a perfect stay. Spent our time lazing around, gazing across to Kapiti Island and the South I stand in the distance.
We did venture out a bit and had a drive around Paraparaumu. Walked to the Waikanae Estuary along the beach looking at the seabirds and admiring the myriad shapes of driftwood washed up on the beach.
Then after a struggle discovered one of the area highlights: a 40 foot statue of the Virgin Mary erected in 1958 on a high grassy knoll by a local priest. It seems very out of place but is apparently quite a sight at night when illuminated. Getting up to it was not easy. – quite a climb up with numerous crosses on the way depicting events on Jesus’ journey to the cross – just to remind you!