We had originally planned to break our (OK, my) South Island duck at Easter, but for one reason or another, we didn’t get round to trying to book anything until quite late. When we did finally get around to looking at prices of the Interislander for Easter, all the deals had gone and they only had expensive tickets left. So we put that idea on hold for a while, and decided to stay in Wellington for the Easter break.
Last Monday, the weather forecast for the weekend was rubbish – rain, wind, and general bad weather was in prospect. This being New Zealand, of course, this meant nothing, and as the weekend approached the forecasts gradually improved, so instead of the weekend of indoor pursuits – cinema, museum etc. – we were able to get out and about as each day dawned brighter than the last.
On Friday, we explored Moa Point, which is just down the road and round the corner from where we live. There’s a nice walk there called the Eastern Walkway which we did in about 2 hours, including a visit to the Ataturk Memorial, which was erected in 1990 to commemorate the friendship between Turkey and New Zealand. The site was chosen because of its resemblance to Anzac Cove in Turkey, where the Gallipoli landings took place on 25th April 1915. There is a similar memorial in Mornington Peninsula, Victoria.
On Sunday we drove round to Wairarapa and down to the coast at Putangirua, where there is a walkway up to the Pinnacles – rock formations caused by erosion into giant columns. This location was used during the filming of The Return Of The King because of its spectacular scenery. The walk is about an hour uphill (with stopping time) as we followed the river bed upstream, but was much quicker coming back. It was quite warm and we wished we’d decided to wear shorts. Damn you, MetService!
Afterwards we went for lunch at the Lake Ferry Hotel before heading back over the Rimutakas for home.