Friday, 27 July 2012

Getting to South Island by Interislander

Early in the morning after we checked out, May and I boarded a bus to the ferry terminal. We checked in our luggage and boarded the scenic cruise(Interislander) to Picton, South Island.

Two of us enjoyed the picturesque panorama along the voyage leaving the Wellington Harbour behind and sailed across the Cook Strait, before we finally enjoyed the spectacular Marlborough Sounds . The cruise actually took us approximately 3 hours before arrived in Picton.
Please visit the official website or call 0800 802 802 to get the latest price and booking details.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Half Day Sightseeing in Wellington

One of the best ways to explore a city or place is by walking. Holding the city map on hands, May and I managed to visit some interesting places on the day. I was accustomed to do a little bit of research every time before I headed to a new place and also visited the local I-site. All the time I could get details map and information about the local tourism from there.
A tour in Wellington which you might be interesting is the Open House, it's the Parliament Experience. There are 3 historical buildings for you to explore: Parliament House, the Parliamentary Library and the Executive Wing which looks like a beehive. These buildings are close to each other and located in the heart of Wellington. There are gardens, statues, architecture...for you to sightsee. During the visit, a speaker of the House of Representative will guide the tour and provide the details of the buildings. If you are not that attracted by the tour, then you might fall asleep as it takes up to an hour. The good thing is there's no admission charge. However, you should check for the tour sessions prior visit.

The Beehive

Parliament House

Parliamentary Library

One of the well known attractions in Wellington that I highly recommend you to visit is the Museum of New Zealand named Te Papa, situated at Cable Street. Te Papa, in Maori language, means 'The Earth'. I know the word 'museum' may sound boring to some of you, but this one is somewhat different and more exciting. I'm sure you'll find something inside the large building that catch your eyes. How much is the entrance fee? It's free! :D

New Zealand's National Museum - Te Papa

There are about 20 galleries inside the museum and many collabrative displays for you to explore including the land, ocean & wildlife.

I have learn something about the ethos of Maori...

Te Hono ki Hawaiki(The link back to Hawaiki)

Heke(The rafters - the ribs of the ancestor)

Feature above: Tekoteko(Carved figure standing at the apex
of the badge boards)
Feature below: Koruru(The image of the ancestor's head)

Poupou(The carved figures representing the ancestor's various descendants)

Tukutuku(Decorative woven panels)

Some other displays of Maori culture...

Ahhh...Golden Days! I personally love it so much! I was brought back to the old days in the mini cinema, surprised by those moving features.

After the visit to Te Papa, we had a short walk to the harbour and took few more pictures before we got back to the hostel.

Monday, 16 July 2012

A Stopover in Wellington, The Capital City of New Zealand

After staying 6 weeks in Hastings, I decided to move to South Island before the weather there turned too cold for me. I was initially planning to come back North Island and stay during winter as I was being told that it's much warmer. But, I ended up the other way round. Once I was able to adapt the environment in South Island, I just loved that beautiful part of NZ too much and I refused  to leave , even the winter came. Okay, it's a later story, let's move on!

I have planned leaving to South Island by ferry, Interislander. The connection is from Wellington to Picton. Together with May, I took a ride on nakedbus for nearly 5 hours with a stopover before we arrived in the capital city from Hastings. Well, we knew that we'll revisit Wellington later when we return to North Island. So, we only stayed overnight there just for a transit this time. Anyhow, we still made the most of it.

We stayed in the Downtown Backpackers hostel, situated just opposite of the railway station. Downtown Backpackers is the closest hostel to the Inter-Island Ferry Terminals and this is the core reason we chose to stay there. Besides, it is also within walkable distance to some attractions of the city and central shopping area. If location is your main concern while selecting budget accomodation in Wellington, perhaps this hostel can be your choice too.

The green building is the Downtown Backpackers

Railway Station 

Wellington CBD

Wellington CBD

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Visiting Napier

In 1931, an earthquake had happened in Napier. As of the incident, many buildings in the city were rebuilt in art deco styles. Knowing as I do, Napier is known as the art deco capital of the world these days.

MASONIC Building

ASS Building


A vintage car was passing by the Art Deco Arch
Some of the highlighted build features in Napier are Tom Parker Fountain, Pania of the Reef sculpture, Veronica Sun Bay, The colonnades and sound shell.

Pania of the Reef sculpture

Veronica Sun Bay


People relax on the field in front of the sound shell
One of the tours without needing you to pay is Sheepskin Tanning & Factory Tour. You may seek information from local I-site. Usually, there is a free service to pick you up from the I-site to their site. These are some of the pictures I took from the tour. You may buy some souvenirs especially sheep skin products from a shop there.

Both Napier and Hastings have weekend markets held in the morning every week in summer and winter. Go to Napier Sunday Market or Hastings Saturday Market for a walk to scout for food, coffee, crafts or whatever you like.

Napier Sunday Market is located on Marine Parade. This is the largest market in Hawke's Bay, so it is well worth visiting!

Need more information about the markets? Easy... just click through

Some of the things in CBD stopped me for some shoots...

If you'll be here during summer, you'll be surrounded with the happenings atmosphere. One of them is the well-known Pask Winery Great Long Lunch. The event is held at the Marine Parade Domain, hosting about 800 guests with a 250-metre long table. I was really admiring those people dressed up beautifully, enjoying their meals and wines, dancing in the garden, being entertained happily all together.

I was wondering how much it costs for such a wonderful event. How much do you guess? It turned out to be $100 for adult. Hey my dear backpackers, I believe you can organize to enjoy a long table meal with the other backpackers with just $10 each, don't fancy the environment would be as grand as that though :P

Monday, 9 July 2012

Napier – Neighbour of Hastings

When May and I were in Hastings, we paid a few visits to Napier. From Hastings to Napier, you can drive your car(if you have one) or take a bus. It only takes about 15 minutes drive in between two cities. Napier and Hastings are neighbouring towns in the same region, Hawke's Bay. In fact, they share some similarities in terms of the sunshine, buildings, people and lifestyle.

One of the famous cafes in Napier CBD

Before I decided to stay and work in Hastings, I considered both places. Napier is the largest city in Hawke's Bay, seems more happening and excited for its CBD developed with many restaurants and bars, galleries, fashionable stores...Since Hastings is the hub for scouting works in farms, orchards and vineyards, and has great choices in accomodation, so I chose to stay there. If you have ever thought to come to Hawke's bay and work, you may wonder which place is better? Hastings or Napier? It's really up to your choice. Afte all, they are near to each other. Some stayed in Napier and worked in Hastings and vice verca. It's not a big deal.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Some Attractions in Hastings

While May and I worked hard, we didn't forget to discover interesting places and activities to do in Hastings as Working + Holiday = Real life experience!

Hastings Town Area:
It's normally quiet in town on Saturday and Sunday since most of the shops closed. Most buildings with unique architecture design could be seen throughout the city.

One of the recommended and must-go tours is the Cape Kidnappers Safari Experience in Hawke's Bay Gannet Colony, New Zealand.

Gannet Safaris Overland - Cape Kidnappers

This is the coach we jumped on it. It brought the passengers traversed riverbeds, wide rolling pastures, native bush, steep gullies...before we reached the gannet colony. Along the trip overland, we managed to catch some photos. Stunning ones!

Ahhh......The world's largest accessible gannet nesting place is here! They were the heroes and heroines of the day...

This is the well known Cape Kidnappers. If you are interested to visit, you can get more information from i-site(visitor centre) when you are in Hastings or visit online at and

Te Mata Peak:

Drive through the place and you will be amazed by the panoramic views.

Rush Munro's Ice Cream – 100% natural ice cream and one of the best in New Zealand. The fruit ice cream made with REAL fruit, I love it really much!

Rush Munro's in Hastings

Everyone loves ice cream! Daddy & son were enjoying their delicious ones
in the ice cream garden.

Rush Munro's 100% natural ice cream made in New Zealand since 1926

Rush Munro's Ice Cream Garden – Open 7 days, all year round. Address: 704 Heretaunga Street West Hastings, Phone: +64(0)68789634

Sometimes, I like to take this sort of funny pictures when nothing much to do.

The big apple & the baby apple

The big pumpkin & its baby

Twins pumpkin! I wonder if it tastes better?