Day Eight: Palmerston North to Wellington

Up at 7:30 a.m. for our 8 a.m. breakfast. breakfast wasn't included so down at the restaurant we had to fill in a form for what type of breakfast we would like (continental or full hot breakfast). write down on the bottom of the form there was a section where you could take to have something special. I chose the eggs benedict and it was completely worth it! Plus it was cheaper than the continental buffet breakfast.

We soon checked out, realised we had a flat tyre and got it fixed at the local Bridgestone (third tyre for the trip!) and headed further south towards Wellington. We made one stop along the way to the Pūkaha national wildlife centre. It is a centre that is important in many breeding programs for critically endangered birds. Some of these birds include the Kiwi, Kaka and Kokako. It was explained to us that the Kiwi breeding program has been very successful and that each year the population increases by 3%. The Kokako have less than 2000 remaining in the wild and with the conservation program, there are now 20 pairs in the surrounding forest. This one special bird that we met took quite an interest in Jip's dad due to her being raised by a man with stubble and glasses! The Kaka parrot is the most interesting and the most endangered. It is the heaviest parrot (weighing 3.5kg), it's nocturnal, flightless and a herbivore. They live up to 60 years of age and only breed every 3 to 5 years when certain trees are plentiful in fruit. We had quite a chat with a very friendly Kaka!

We stopped at Upper Hutt just a 30 minute drive from Wellington. We had pub meal for lunch including open chicken sandwiches, scotch fillet steaks and fish and chips. When we arrived in Wellington we weren't able to see much as it was raining quite heavily but we got to our rooms and relaxed briefly before heading down to the pool and having a swim. Guus, Wytske, Jip and I were the only ones who wanted to venture out for dinner and we headed to the infamous Cuba Street via the wharf in Wellington. The street offers many options of food and we eventually went to the Hotel Bristol for classic counter meals. I had the lamb shank and we all shared Cheeseburger inspired spring rolls that were pretty delicious!

We got an ice cream for dessert and made our way back to the hotel. Upon arrival to our room, we had a turn down service and a pillow menu. I rang downstairs and requested the lavender scented pillows for my sleep tonight! I'm going to need it as we catch an early flight tomorrow!