A few photos from Napier, the so called 'art deco capital' of NZ.
We got a nice ocean view from our hotel room during our stay in Ahuriri, Napier. I can highly recommend Crowne Hotel and the general area of Ahuriri as a preferable place to stay as compared to the Napier CBD itself.
This area must produce a lot of manuka honey, even the soaps and shampoos are made out of it.
Oh and of course, a waterfront playground near the hotel for Rafa to stretch his legs a bit.
And then the long drive (over 5 hours including breaks and what not) to reach Wellington, the real capital.
We stayed a couple of nights at Ibis in Wellington. It's very good value for money. We actually paid less than A$50 per night for it (thanks to the previously mentioned Accor sale).
Budget hotel. Clean, modern enough, and conveniently located. Very happy for the price we paid. You know it's a budget hotel when you called for room service and you had to go down and pick it up yourself and it came in a catering (rantangan) container like this.
We returned the rental car at Wellington after we checked into the hotel so we had to rely on the most primitive transport (our feet) and were restricted to the Wellington CBD area in our last couple of days. Wellington CBD was quite small, so it's quite easy to do. Oh and we were glad to find out they had free wifi in the CBD.
A few more photos around Wellington. Wenty got Rafa a puppy soft toy during one of the pit stop on the way to Wellington and the little boy grew very fond of it. Rafa liked to carry the little doggie around and showed it around Wellington too.
We also spent a bit of time in the Te Papa Museum of NZ. It's a huge museum (6 storeys with many exhibitions and many different kid activity areas), and best of all, it's free. I could only wish Melbourne had a museum like this one.
Not much happened on our final day as it rained a lot so we just ate and shopped a bit in the city and caught the cab to the airport. That was our week in NZ. The trip made me want to visit the south island even more as it's supposed to be even more beautiful than the north.
We found that it's a lot easier to travel with Rafa now. The difference in traveling with a 2 1/2 years old and a 14 months old is huge. He ate, played, and slept well, unlike our last trip to Asia. Perhaps the similarities between Australia and NZ (in term of food and environment) helped a lot too.
The shorter flights helped too. We even got to finish a few movies during the flights despite the flights being only 3-4 hours each way.
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