(June 28th 2006)
We are staying in Wellington (official tourist website here)for 3 nights in the Copthorne Oriental Bay. The hotel was picked as it seems to be pretty central to all the things we are likely to want to see (and the views look pretty spectacular if you get a harbour view).
We did have a little trouble with arranging parking at the hotel as it seems to be pretty limited but we played the ‘disabled/limited mobility’ card and we are told that they will try and arrange parking for us near the entrance to the hotel. It’s a big relief and something we hadn’t really thought about until recently. I’ll have to go back and check out the parking situation for the rest of the hotels. Motels will be fine but we may find we’ll have to jiggle the accommodation around before we go. At least you can cancel without charge if you do it far enough in advance.
The hotel is also near the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa which is supposed to be excellent.
Wellington was also the home to the cast and crew of the Lord of the Rings films (yes those Hobbits again), so understandably there are a few Middle Earth attractions around. We’re determined not to succumb but you never know. There are tours, tours and more tours. It’s also supposed to be the food and wine capital of New Zealand (although I’m sure other towns and cities would beg to differ), so that part I’m looking forward to.
After our stay in Wellington we head to the ferry terminal and Southwards (not really if you look at the map) across the Cook Strait to the South Island for the next part of the holiday.