Cruise, Sydney to Southampton – Wellington

Friday 13 March – Wellington.

Wellington Harbour with ferry to South Island
Wellington Harbour with ferry to South Island

We weren’t overly impressed with Wellington the last time we visited in February 2013 (www.thereadrovers.wordpress.com) but it seemed to be better this time as we see more of the centre of the city.

An excessively expensive shuttle bus cost of £4 per head per journey to get into city for what really was about a KM ride most of which was around the one way system in the harbour.

As so many passengers had obviously complained about the charge these were cancelled by P & O later on.

The Beehive (NZ Parliament building) - photo taken in 2012 by Nick - D and taken from Wikipedia.
The Beehive (NZ Parliament building) – photo taken in 2012 by Nick – D and taken from Wikipedia.

One thing we hadn’t done last time (lack of time) was a tour of the Parliament Building although we had walked past it last time on our way down from the summit and after visiting the cathedral.

The tour is excellent and well worth the time, especially as it is free.

We were in a small group, two young boys being taken around by their grandparents were very knowledgeable.

They came from Invercargill, where Sarah’s friend Sarah Thorne lives with her partner and children.

Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos inside which is a shame as there was a very good wooden staircase still being used.

We were shown the chambers, the Maori room amongst others but down in the basement, we were shown the work undertaken when the refurbishment (1992-5) took place which separated the buildings from their original foundations and replaced them on more than 400 rubber bearings using base islolation techniques with the aim of reducing the transfer of earthquake forces and hopefully save the building from destruction in a large earthquake.

Lunch afterwards and a visit to a shoe shop and our NZ pre paid card is now maxed out – it somehow contained NZ$200 last year for some reason, I thought I had used it up in 2013 so this was a bonus.

NZ north island coastline
NZ north island coastline
Inter islander ferry in front of us.  Who would have thought a storm was brewing?
Inter islander ferry in front of us. Who would have thought a storm was brewing?

Heading off up the West Coast of NZ instead of up the East Coast and across to due to imminent arrival of Cyclone Pam near East Coast.

Lovely views of rugged Bass Straits on leaving Wellington.

Onwards Northwards now to avoid Cyclone Pam and our next port in 5 days time.

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