We eventually found the exit at Southward Car Museum and finished the drive to Wellington. The drive into town is actually really pretty. You roll over these hills and the small country road suddenly becomes a multi-lane highway, then you creep around the bay while staring wide-eyed at the beautiful skyline and harbour. We opted to stay as close as possible to town too, so we ended up essentially sleeping in a powered site on the water about 1km from Te Papa museum. It was fantastic!
We had planned to have slightly more time in Wellington so we could explore the city and catch up with a good friend that we made trekking in Nepal. We were quick to lock in an awesome dinner venue with Kalia and get a list of “must-do’s” in Windy Wellington. Kalia gave us some great suggestions, but we ran out of time trying some of the great cafes and restaurants in town; despite that fact that our original ferry out of town was cancelled due to huge seas. We explored almost every inch of Wellington by the time we were leaving, and though we were excited to begin our trip around the south island, we were sad to leave Wellington. It’s a cool city with great coffee, fine dining, plenty of art and culture and lots of wind, if that’s your thing.