In some hostels we have noticed university students, they work and stay at the hostel whilst attending university. They would work around the hostel for 2 hours day and in return their accommodation is paid for. Also most do not like the student accommodation/life, for example drinking, messy accommodation.
In New Zealand some of the hostels are kept very clean, you could even say better then some hotels. In the morning the students would clean the showers and in some cases the rooms. Some hostels have a fantastic atmosphere where you would meet fellow like minded travellers.
Saying that you do get the opposite as well, where some hostels are just awful in this case you just stay the night and move on.
It also helps joining a hostel organisation, we are members of YHA, you get certain benefits the main one being £2/3 off a nights accommodation, does not sound like much but soon adds up!
Today we wandered around Wellington town, it is a nice town, reminds us of a smaller London or Washington, D.C. It was a relaxed wander as it gave us time to post the California guide book, road atlas and other bits and pieces back home. Helps lighten the load.
We had lunch at a restaurant called Auntie Mena’s, it is a vegan restaurant, Sangeet had ‘fried kue tiaw’ (stir fried rice noodles with bean sprouts, mushroom, tofu and vegetables) I had ‘lamb’ curry, Sangeet’s dish tasted very good, I did not enjoy mine….think we have been spoilt by much better restaurants serving better tasting mock meats though the service was excellent and the restaurant had a great energy.
We also popped into a organic wholefoods shop
Our ferry left at 13:30, the ferry company recommend you check in an hour before. At the checking terminal which you drive alongside they ask for your surname and forename, pretty straight forward, if you have an electronic ticket there is no need to print it. At check in they confirm your name and give you the boarding pass, a plastic stick, one for the car and one for each passenger, before boarding you hand the boarding pass (plastic stick) to the attendant. A good way of recycling. As soon as we drove passed the check in booth, Nolan was waiting there so he jumped in.
The ferry is equipped with a restaurant, not much choice for vegetarians, a small ‘cinema,’ outside viewing decks, it also offers some ensuite suites for having a sleep or just for your own privacy. Today we were fortunate with a gentle cruise once you enter the South Island (Cook Straits) the views are amazing. The mountains look stunning and so green, such a fantastic, contrast to the north island (which is also impressive.)
Once we docked at Picton, we headed to the city centre,the shops were closing, we walked around the dock area. It was very peaceful and quiet. As it was around 6pm we decided to head to Kaikoura (it was also getting cold, we had to wear our fleeces.)
The drive was amazing, reminded me of driving along the Pacific Coastal Highway in California. It takes about 1.5 hours from Picton to Kaikoura, about thirty minutes away from Kaikoura we saw seals along the coast and also near the road, we stopped the car and a seal was about ten yards from us and started coming towards us as we watched it from the car, an amazing sight, I got out of the car and walked towards the seal, it just turned around and jumped into the water! After a few minutes Sangeet and Nolan joined me on the rock edge, seeing so many seals in their natural habitat was fantastic.
Afterwards, we continued to Kaikoura, the last time we visited this town was in 2005, we remember it as a very quiet town. Since then there has been some development, a large supermarket has been built and the number of restaurants has grown. We drove to the YHA and enquired about room rates, they were reasonable at NZ$22 for YHA members, at the time we thought it was expensive! We enquired at local motels and even enquired about a two bedroom apartment the motels came out at NZ$110 and the apartment was NZ$200, we are now thinking the YHA is very well priced!
Instead of going to the YHA and booking the room, we decided to get some food!….we headed to a Chinese who could only offer us fries which are fried separately from meat and fish. We noticed an Indian restaurant on the way in (I know, this is going to cause me problems but I was hungry and this seemed like the only good option). Sangeet and I ordered began bharta mashed aubergine, Nolan ordered chicken curry. The waiter was Sikh, he said “because I cut my hair I cannot call myself a Sikh” so we chatted about Sikhi for a while. He gave us the wifi password, boy this was a fast connection, the fastest I have used in New Zealand. We uploaded 900 pictures in 30 minutes!! In New Zealand it has taken about 12 hours to upload 250 pictures. Will def go back and upload more pics and videos. The restaurant is called
17 Beach Road
Phone 03 319 6844
Lunch Monday-Sunday 11.30am-2.00pm
Dinner 7 Days from 5pm-10pm
after a very chilly meal the waiter said try the motel next door he can do rooms for NZ$20, so we decided to have a look, the room shown to us could barely fit in the bed! it was cheap because the only thing offered was a mattress with no bedding. I went back to the restaurant to tell the waiter, he said please hold on, after a few minutes his friend arrived with blankets, even though the blankets were not that clean, it is amazing that here is a Sikh guy who does not know us, tries so hard to help us, he did not promise or say I will help you but does not deliver, he just tried his very best to help. Now that is what I call a Sikh!
This morning we said goodbye to Manjot and Kulyjot as they rushed off to school.
Puaji, paji and phenji were home, it was nice that we got to catch up with paji and phenji. Puaji and Phenji made lunch which we all ate together. After lunch paji went to work.
Indian goodbyes last some time, in our case about 45 minutes. It was sad to say bye, we have enjoyed staying here so much, feels so relaxed and like home. It was fantastic to see everybody again. When we left Puaji and Phenji packed a lot of fruit and various soft drinks. There are some Indian traditions I question, this one I do not. It is such an amazing tradition….somebody stays at your house, you feed them, accommodate them, when it is time for them to leave you pack so much food they are unable to carry it and send them on their way!!
We arranged to pick up Nolan around 2 pm but got to the hostel at about 2:45pm where Nolan was waiting in his chilled out way. We then went to get the car tyre seen to. The garage was so good, they said that the paperwork needed was too much so they just repaired the puncture for free!
We set off to Wellington taking highway 5 to Taupo then 1 to Wellington, on the way we stopped at Huka Falls, powerful and very amazing falls.
We then stopped at lake Taupo, this lake is huge. The views were stunning with snow capped mountains behind the lake.
The drive to wellington is around 5 to 6 hours, with taking breaks it took about 7 hours. Towards the end of the journey, we were driving in the dark so played 21 questions to keep ourselves occupied and awake which was very entertaining and made us chuckle.
We stopped for dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Bull, called Hungry Bull, that served fish and chips, burgers, bacon and sausage fry up as well as Chinese food! They also sold lollipops, various ice lollies and pastries, as soon as we entered, the restaurant looked dodgy…….the food was amazing! Just goes to show don’t judge a book by its cover!
Once we arrived in Wellington we went to the YHA but as we arrived there at 11:20pm they would not check us in. Tthey said as we had not booked in advance they could not check us in, if we got there by 11pm they would have checked us in….suppose rules are rules. They suggested we try Nomads which had rooms. We got a double room with ensuite. The room was very clean and had a television (in a hostel room!?!?)
118 Wakefield Street
T: +64 4 978 7800
Hi, thanks for visiting my blog, feel free and have a look around.Here is a bit about me, as you may or may not have guessed my name is Mandeep,I work to travel as opposed to work to pay bills and die!Every trip for me is an adventure, I have been very fortunate to stumble across amazing places and meet awesome people along the way.
Why gaygoat? When I first started this blog I was a vegetarian, so gaygoat – happy goat! Also you have to admit it is catchy and a URL you will not forget!