Archive for October, 2008

October 13th and 14th: Southern Wairarapa

October 22, 2008

Last week we spent a couple days in the southern Wairarapa area, at the southern tip of the North Island. We visited Cape Palliser and Aorangi Forest Park, hiking into the Putangirua Pinnacles to check out the badlands structures along the riverbed. They were pretty impressive, though we still favor South Dakota’s version.

The sculpted badlands of the Putangirua Pinnacles.

The sculpted badlands of the Putangirua Pinnacles.

The area was teeming with sheep, some so overloaded with wool it looked like they might topple over, and some newly shorn and looking cold, naked, and startlingly clean. And lots of cute baby lambs. Also in the background of the picture below are some mountains on the South Island, possibly the Kaikouras.

Look at those faces. And Jonathan doesn't understand why I want to take one home.

Look at those faces. And Jonathan doesn't understand why I want to take one home. It could graze on the Mall.

In order to better see the South Island, Becky climbed on top of the car.

Becky is king of the world!

King of the world!

Cape Palliser is famous for its fur seal colony, one of the only mating sites in New Zealand. The road runs right along next to the water, so when we pulled over we were right in their backyard. Jonathan was a little terrified when one just a few feet away opened its mouth to make a noise we interpreted as either a cry of attack or a yawn. “Big teeth! Pointed right at us!”

These beasts are clearly fearsome.

These beasts are clearly fearsome.

We also climbed our way up to the Cape Palliser lighthouse on a long, rickety, steep staircase that felt like something out of Indiana Jones. (Okay, not quite, but only because there were no Nazis chasing us.)

they built the lighthouse *before* they built any access to this ledge. Crazy much?

Fun fact: they built the lighthouse *before* they built any access to this ledge. Crazy much?

Advertisements

October 5th – 7th: Napier, part two

October 13, 2008

As promised, more pictures from our time in beautiful Napier and Hawke’s Bay.

Taking inspiration from the National Tobacco Company factory.

Taking a cue from the National Tobacco Company factory.

The gorgeous ceiling in the National Tobacco Company lobby.

The gorgeous ceiling in the tobacco building lobby.

Another cool Art Deco building in downtown Napier.

Another cool Art Deco building in downtown Napier.

Hawke's Bay from the highest point in Napier.

Hawke's Bay from the highest point in Napier.

The Hawke’s Bay area is well-known for its vineyards, so we spent a day on the wine trail. We also stopped at a nearby olivery, where we gorged ourselves on all the different varieties and bought way more than we planned, and at a creamery. We tasted a bunch of smelly cheeses, and Becky even discovered that she can eat some kinds of blue cheese.

Say cheese!

Say cheese! (Click on the picture for more foolishness.)

On the drive home, we caught another spectacular sunset. We just can’t get enough of this New Zealand countryside.

A lonely tree under dramatic skies.

A lonely tree under dramatic skies.

October 5th – 7th: Napier, part one

October 9, 2008

Becky finally got a few days off, so we drove up the east coast to Napier in Hawke’s Bay. The city is best known for its Art Deco architecture, courtesy of a major earthquake in 1931 that left most of the city needing rebuilding. Many of the buildings have been preserved to showcase the unique style, leaving it with the highest concentration of Art Deco structures in the world.

The local newspaper office from the 30s - it's now a realty company, but the art deco design is preserved both inside and out.

The local newspaper office from the 30s - it's now a realty company, but the art deco design is preserved both inside and out.

A mural on an alley wall - check out the streetlight emerging from the painting.

A mural on an alley wall - check out the streetlight emerging from the painting.

A row of shops in downtown Napier.

A row of shops in downtown Napier.

Even the manhole covers get Deco'd.

Even the manhole covers get Deco'd.

Us in the gardens along Napier's beachfront.

Us in the gardens along Napier's beachfront.

This waterfall, on the edge of town, was apparently built by prison labor.

This waterfall, on the edge of town, was apparently built by prison labor.

More pictures to come, featuring alcohol, tobacco, and firearms cheese!

Wellington color

October 4, 2008

We’ve taken a bunch of random pictures in Wellington that don’t really fit into any narrative but that we wanted to share. Here’s a handful.

There's a quarter-mile-long sealife mural, with little educational labels and everything, painted on a wall along the Oriental Bay beachfront.

There's a quarter-mile-long sealife mural, with little educational labels and everything, painted on a wall along the Oriental Bay beachfront.

A calla lily growing wild along one of the many pedestrian-only streets in our neighborhood.

A calla lily growing wild along one of the many pedestrian-only streets in our neighborhood.

An example of the pedestrian only streets around here -- Becky climbs this one coming home from work. There are people with postal addresses on this street and zero car access to their houses.

An example of the pedestrian-only streets around here -- Becky climbs this one coming home from work. There are people with postal addresses on this street and others with zero car access to their houses.

Mmm, noodly goodness.

The London-based noodle restaurant Wagamama, which Becky was crazy about during her term studying abroad, has expanded to New Zealand. Mmm, noodly goodness.

An Argentine Royal Armada sailing ship is docked in Wellington this week and has been open for tours, so we checked it out. They're on a year-long tour of the world promoting international cooperation and have had guest crew from different countries' navies.

An Argentine Royal Armada sailing ship is docked in Wellington this week and has been open for tours, so we checked it out. They're on a year-long tour of the world promoting international cooperation and have had guest crew from different countries' navies.

 But little did they know that there was a clandestine pirate in their midst. (Turns out International Talk Like A Pirate Day really is celebrated throughout the world - our housemates threw a party.)

But little did those sailors know that there was a clandestine pirate in their midst. (Turns out International Talk Like A Pirate Day really is celebrated throughout the world - our housemates threw a party.)