Napier to Wellington - 268 kmFebruary 22 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C
The news today. Auckland's longest dry spell on record has finally broken. Rain started falling in Auckland this morning, the first time there's been more than 1 mm of rain in 47 days. There are cloudy skies but still no rain in Napier.
Today, we are heading south to Wellington, the capital city of NZ. Donna will stay another day before starting her trip back to Auckland and then back to Canada. It has been fun travelling with her, once again.
The drive to Wellington takes about 4 hours and there are a couple of ways to do this drive. Several people have said that the drive through Masterton is a nice drive so we decided to go this way.
Driving on Hwy 2 was a breeze compared to some of the driving we have done. Very few twists and turns and a good road.
We stopped for an hour, just north of Masterton, at the Puhaka Wildlife Centre. In 1962, the centre was established to breed and release endangered native birds. The first birds that were cared for were the Takahe, a very rare bird, thought extinct, but rediscovered in Fiordland. Then the brown teal, buff weka and kākāriki were released.
In 2001 an. entire forest, 942 hectares, became part of the wildlife reserve. About 100 km of trails were cut and thousands of traps and bait stations were scattered, setting up an area for wildlife with low predator pressure - opossums, rats, mice, feral cats.
We walked around the short trail, checking out the numerous aviaries and were fortunate to be there for the daily feeding of the massive eels that live there. The ranger was very informative and enthusiastic. The eels were like her pet puppies. We now have a completely new perspective on these amazing creatures.
Wellington was only a short trip away through mountains. The hostal we are staying in is called the Dwellington and what an organized and well-managed place it is. The room we have is spacious and clean and even though there are a lot of travellers here, there seems to be room to roam. Everything that a traveller needs can be found here. Breakfasts are included, laundry facilities, tennis courts, bbqs, a well-stocked kitchen with refrigerator bins and boxes for each room and even a movie theatre! We watched the 2020 Oscar winning Parasite movie.
We are here for 4 nights before crossing over to the South Island. For car insurance conditions, we have to return our car to Apex and pick up a new one 24 hours later. A day without a car in this city is easy, as there is a lot to do.Read more