We pull up to Wellington, I look out the side of the ship and what do I see? None other than the stadium that hosts one of the most well known rugby teams in the world, the New Zealand All Blacks. Once again, I am completely in awe of my life, especially with the opportunities I’ve been granted thus far in the New Year. I literally watched the sunset in Antarctica one week, and the next I was staring at Sydney’s Opera House for the second time in my life. Keep in mind, I am from the Pacific Northwest, an extremely gorgeous corner of the globe, yet no where near these places I get to visit.
Wellington may be one of my new favorite places in our world. I came to this conclusion before even leaving the terminal, after seeing how many great attractions are advertised in the complimentary map. I didn’t get to any of those this time around as I received an amazing shore excursion through the ship.
On our tour, our group of 13 boarded a Mercedes Unimog vehicle. These had been used in the military and the one we rode in previously belonged to Peter Jackson and had been used to haul equipment and crew around the rough landscape of New Zealand where Lord of the Rings sets were located – nice little fun fact! Our trusty transport took us to the top of a most beautiful viewpoint where the winds were whipping more fiercely than they had in years, according to our guide. We struggled to keep our feet on the ground at numerous outlooks and photo stops. The way back to sea level allowed us some off-roading, both exciting and slightly nerve-racking.
We stopped at a small seaside cottage for tea and muffins, where I wandered to find some abalone shells and photo opportunities. I happened to find a bit of both, all the while fighting against the wind whose gusts were eager to blow me to the ground. Before heading back to town, we found a few large seal sunning at a sparsely populated colony. We guessed many returned to the seas to avoid the severity of the windy day.
I already cannot wait to return to Wellington to explore everything else it has to offer!