Travelling period: June 2015, I was 10 years old
It was a sad goodbye to Napier and Hastings as we got ready for the long drive to Wellington. The bad news was that our trip would be ending soon. My next adventure might be one year later or even more. But don’t worry! I’ll talk about how’s life like in Singapore. My homeland.
Here is our itinerary for the day. We’d have breakfast somewhere along the road, would stopover a wind farm near a busy city called Palmerston North for lunch. If there are no good opportunities there, we would go to the nearby towns and eat. After this, we would then go to one of two orchards to pick apples which we would eat later.
After checking out, we started our long journey through the fields, forests, hills, wind farms and mountain passes for the last time as we entered the capital city of Wellington after finishing our itineraries. I also tried to enjoy our car, although it had a lot of disadvantages.
As we saw what we usually saw in all our road trips, we hadn’t seen this one unique thing for one year or more. Wind mills and large population of sheep farms! Which mommy snapped some shots as the car drove. A few kilometres before arriving at Palmerston North, we found two good lookouts. One of them was along a mountain pass at SH3 (State Highway) overlooking the Manawatu River. The lookout is the start of the Manawatu Gorge track. Here, you can walk a 4-km loop track. However we didn’t try it because we heard a siren which we’re not sure for what. The second one was a lookout to a wind farm. According to Mr. Google, there are 158 giant turbines in this wind farm. This turbines help to generate electricity up 90 homes. We took some time to observe the majestic machines!
It took us around 5 minutes to reach the city centre of Palmerston North. Daddy went to do his business at one of the public toilets near a car park. We browsed the “TripAdvisor” website for a good place to eat. But we eventually couldn’t find the place in our GPS.
With that shock, we left the busy city and looked for a place along the road. We found a place to eat at a town near Leville. The name of the restaurant is Horseman Cafe. After our lunch, my mom visited a shop to the next cafe. It’s an antique and souvenir shop. She bought some old-English-designs dining wares for her food photography.
As we drove by SH1 as stated on our GPS, it did not remind us that we had already passed our stopover. So, we had to drive back a few yards but turning back was quite a challenge to Daddy our driver. It’s a busy road and quite hard to change to the opposite lane. My mom was also worried that the fruits might be on the same condition as what we’ve seen in Napier where most of the fruits were rotten and have dropped to the ground. I was afraid I would miss this fruit picking experience.
When we reached the orchard, the farmer said that we could still go fruit picking. We got an empty bucket near the entrance to the orchard. We actually still could pick apples even though the trees and fruits weren’t that bountiful. Though we only spent little time to explore the orchard, I still enjoyed this experience.
After the apple picking, we went back to the farm store where we paid for our picked red and green apples. We also bought some nicely looking apples from the stores.
As Daddy wanted to do his business again and this time badly, we headed to the nearest town. Unfortunately, we saw another antique shop before we saw any restroom. So daddy held his bladder while mommy browsed the store. Eventually, mommy found a few items in no time. Within five minutes she was back in the car and allowed us to continue driving.
After finishing his business, we took off the 4th exit of a round-about not far away and had the one last push to Wellington. I actually realized that in New Zealand, you would only experience motorways near the biggest cities. Unlike Europe where they are everywhere.
As we merged into a busy road in Wellington called Greville road, we got stopped on our tracks by a short traffic jam. We saw our hotel and parked our car. We finally arrived at our last hotel, Copthorne Hotel Wellington in this trip. After checking in, we went to our room and I was surprised with the view. We had an amazing harbour view of Wellington from our balcony.