My Dad’s NZ Visit – January 2016

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Back in January my Dad came out to visit, and we had an amazing three weeks together. He did a similar trip to see me while we were in Canada so I guess now it’s a tradition! Here’s how we got on during his stay. This time felt a little different, when he visited me in Vancouver I’d already been away for 8 months. Back then we Skyped a lot less often than we do now, so I’d been feeling more disconnected from home.

This time it felt a little more surreal, as I hadn’t been away that long. I still hadn’t found a job or made many friends. It felt like I hadn’t yet made a life here, it still felt like I was on holiday! But I was still super excited to see him, my Dad and I are closer than ever.

So I made my cardboard sign (its traditional now!) And dashed to the airport to get him. Over the three weeks we got up to all sorts of antics. My Dad’s the adventurous type, and he wanted to go out and see and do lots while he was here, and I think we had a pretty good crack at it.

Shenanigans

I did take the odd day to do some job hunting, as I was still unemployed at this point. The first day I took him up Mt Vic. This was probably a mistake as he was still tired from jet-lag, but I had wanted to show him Wellington from up there, and the walk we which I love so much. (See previous post for the view of the city from the top of Mt Vic.) So we powered up the hill and got to see Wellington in all its glory. While chatting a lot and caught up.

Dad Wellington New Zealand
View of the Lower Hutt from the top of Mt Vic

Matui/Somes Island

Another day we took an excursion over to Matui/Somes Island – which is a nature/conservation reserve and in the past has been used for human and animal quarantine and used as a point of defence during World War II. The island is accessible by a boat, and you have to go through a bio-security hut to make sure you don’t bring any plants, animals or insects onto the island. I managed to get some amazing photos, and we saw loads of wildlife including skinks and gecko’s, a red-crowned parakeet/kākāriki, ducks and even some Weta. (From which Weta Studios get their name!)

Following our morning on the island we got back on the boat and went over to the other side of the inlet near Wellington and spent the afternoon over at Days Bay, had a picnic and wandered around, taking in the stunning scenery. (At this time of year the weather was gorgeous, and factor 50 sunscreen was a must!)

Dad Wellington New Zealand
Matui/Somes Island

 

Dad Wellington New Zealand
Days Bay and people kayaking!

Another day we took the famous Cable Car up to the suburb of Kelburn and explored around the top of the hill. We had a look at the Cable Car Museum (I love stuff like that, it makes me feel like a kid again!) And walked through the Botanic Garden, through the Rose Garden and back into the city via the most gorgeous cemetery!

Dad Wellington Cable Car
Wellington’s Historic Cable Car

 

Dad Wellington New Zealand
Dad wandering through the Wellington Botanic Garden

                     

Exploration

My Dad also decided he wanted to see a bit more of New Zealand, and as I couldn’t really afford to myself/I needed to job hunt, he went on an adventure of his own for a few days. Flying down to Christchurch to check it out down there. He took an adventure tour, so got a train west across the country and took some amazing pictures. I’m pumped to go down there myself now!

We had a few wet weather days as well, where we visited Te Papa (New Zealand’s national museum.) Or just met up and had food and spent time together. We had quite a few curries, lots of walking, showed Dad our favourite beaches, drank lots of beer and generally enjoyed each others company.

At the end of his stay my Dad was going to spend a few days up in Auckland as well. So he took the same Northern Explorer train that we did when we first arrived and had recommended. But in the opposite direction of course. He spent a few days in Auckland as well, saw some family up there and went up the Skytower and explored the city, before the long journey back to England.

I love the time I get to spend with my Dad, and I love being able to be adventurous with him, seeing new things and exploring. He’s a great travel companion. Curious, energetic and fun to be around, and I think and hope that he enjoyed his time here. I miss him already, and am looking forward to catching up on the other side of the world, when we return!

 


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