Two of my cool kiwi friends & decided to take a wee road trip a few weekends ago. It was fun to say the least & unforgettable to say the most. I'm sure this has come across in previous posts, but Wellington is (in my opinion based on my short time & travels here...) in it's own little bubble. It's just different than any other place in New Zealand. The weather is different, the culture is different, the layout is different, it's different. I love it and in fact every time I leave to do a bit of traveling I miss it. But unlike anywhere in the States, in New Zealand you can drive a few short hours in one direction or another and literally be in a completely different climate. This makes getting away for a few days all the more fun. So...one of my flatmates, Abi, grew up in a small-ish town about 5 hours drive Northwest of Wellington called New Plymouth which is part of a region known as Taranaki. Abi, our friend Emma and I decided to take a trip up to hang on the beach & pay a visit to Abi's cool Nana. In the 'Naki' as they say, you'll find the Surf Highway which is just that, miles of black sand beaches with some of the best surf in NZ. There is also a lone Mountain called Mt. Taranaki that can easily be summitted and back in a day. The weather was amazingly warm and there wasn't a sun-less day. The whole weekend was just plain fun. One night we decided to overindulge on many levels and hit up a schnazzy 'All You Can Eat' Buffet. Not such a novelty in America, but here it kind of is. We definitely went in hungry, definitely spent over 2 hours there, definitely got our money's worth, and definitely didn't regret it. Well, Emma might've a wee bit. Abi showed us all of the good spots around town, including an amazing park where they did some of the filming for 'The Last Samurai' and it also hosts big outdoor concerts during the summer (the photos of the bridge & flower were taken there...). Nana proved to be great company and a lovely host as well.
I loved New Plymouth and of all the places I've been this definitely ranks high on my list of favorites.
Love Love Love,