Te Papa Museum, Ferry Ride and Queen Charlotte Track
Te Papa Museum, Wellington, New Zealand
I loved this! I had been so curious about New Zealand culture and history and this answered a lot of questions. However, much of New Zealand's history is still a mystery. It has only been inhabited for the last 800 years and the Maori's had no written language for most of that time. New Zealand also had no indiginous mammals. It was mainly an island of birds. And, wow, they had some crazy birds. Sadly, most of the coolest looking one's are extinct, like the Moa. I can't imagine what it would have been to come upon one of those babies.
Ferry from the North to the South Island
This was stunning. We had been told it was something not to be missed and it was the absolute truth! The day was crystal clear, the water was a perfect shade of turquoise blue and the sun made it sparkle like diamonds. I was surprised at how little time we spent not seeing land.
P.S. The kids thought we were the coolest thing next to sliced bread when we drove our car onto the ferry. Imagine their faces when they discovered the movie theater and playground on board!
Queen Charlotte Track
Todd was bound and determined to get out by ourselves at least once during our time in NZ. His parents were kind enough to sacrifice a portion of their time to watch the kids. So we headed off to bike the Queen Charlotte track....one of the most popular tracks in New Zealand. This track was incredibly beautiful. We did a very small portion (13 of 71 km) as we only had an afternoon.
We tried to find a little lunch before the big adventure, but against our better judgement we drove out of the port thinking surely there would be a little store at the start of the track. WRONG! So instead we picked up our bikes and headed out with empty stomachs. Supposedly there was a small general store about 12-13 km in. NO biggy I thought. Wrong again. The trail was uphill for most of the ride. About 11 km I told Todd I wasn't going to make it and he should just charge ahead and grab something and I would just wait for him. I seriously thought I was going to pass out and throw up from drinking only water. So off he went and I took a break. It lasted about five minutes before I felt like a total wimp on our only "date" in New Zealand. So off I went. I got to the trail fork and had no idea which way the store was so I picked the downhill version of course. After another km down to the ocean, no general store and no Todd I figured I must have picked the wrong fork. So back up the hill I went and waited. I was dying by this point. I waited and waited and no husband. I started to worry. Worry for him, and for me alone on this random track. I decided to head back to where I originally stopped hoping somehow we had passed each other. About a km in he came charging around a corner wondering where in the heck I had gone to. We had totally passed each other! Fortunately, he had found sustinance in the form of a Reese's Peanut Butter cup and KitKat bar. It was some of the best junk food I had ever tasted!
The trek home was so much nicer! Downhill and a little protein in the belly can do wonders for a girl! The views were amazing. We both kept commenting how this might possibly the most beautiful bike trail we ever take!