Macca and Lisa flew over and arrived late Thursday night. Friday we drove to the Wairarapa Valley about an hour east of Wellington. We went for a slightly muddy walk up the Waiohine Gorge and had a picnic lunch beside the river. The river was so amazingly clear – and cold! After that we drove into Carterton where we had a cottage booked for Friday and Saturday night.
Saturday, we drove out to Castlepoint. A pretty amazing place on the east coast. There were some awesome geological formations and since we are all geologists we spent several hours wandering around being geology nerds discussing the fossils, sediments and faults. On the way back to Carterton we stopped at a couple wineries. The Wairarpa Valley is famous for its wines, particularly the pinot noir. We tried a whole range of different types – unfortunately my favourite, the pinot gris, were sold out at several wineries, but we did find one eventually.
Geo-nerds at Castlepoint
Sunday, we drove down to the Putangirua Pinnacles. Another really cool geological place. Also the back drop for the Dimholt Road scence in the Return of the King. We spent a few hours here walking and exploring. Then we headed along the coast past Ngawi – a fishing village with more bulldozers per capita than any other place in the world. They don’t have a dock or anything so they use the bulldozers to pull the boats out of the water on to the pebbly beach. We ended up at Cape Palliser where there were several seals sunbathing on the rocks below the light house. The seals seemed oblivious to our presence, and were pretty smelly.
Monday, we wandered around Wellington. We went into town and caught the cable car up to the top of the Botanical Gardens. Then we wandered back into town and home for lunch. After lunch we walked up Mount Victoria and past the Gelato shop on the way home.