NZ D3: Napier and Wellington

Highlight of the day:
1. First cheese platter from The Green House's breakfast. Still remember the blue cheese.
2. Quick tour of Art Deco buildings in Napier
3. Love at first sight, Kapiti ice-cream and Aged Gouda cheese
4. Wellington view from Mt Victoria
5. More New Zealand beers, different brands
6. Heavenly good Bluff oyster
7. Two fruit platters in a day, one from The Green House and one from our friend, Sern-Ty. Met new fruit, Feijoa

enjoying spectacular view of Wellington and its surroundings on the top of Mt. Victoria

It was drizzling in the morning, therefore we could only tour the unique Art Deco buildings in Napier with car. In 1931, a deadliest earthquake devastated Hawkes Bay including Napier city. When Napier was rebuilt, Art Deco architectural design was widely used. (read more about Art Deco here). Taking pictures was also a challenge for us, not only because of the rain and also because of the angle limitation as we stayed inside the car. Anyway, here are the best 4 pictures we have.

public trust office

forgot what building

forgot what building

the daily telegraph

On the way to Wellington, we stopped by Lindale Park, State Highway 1 Paraparaumu for Kapiti ice-cream and cheese.

There were other stuffs in the shops too, but we were attracted by the cheese and ice-cream.

There were 3 type of cheese for tasting on that day and we immediately fall in love with Aged Gouda.

We bought a piece of Aged Gouda and a box of Arnott Harvest Wheat cracker from the shop. Crackers are the perfect accompaniment to fine cheese. :)

Of course we did not forget a triple chocolate Kapiti cone. The ice-cream was so chocolaty. In our humble opinion, Kapiti beats Tip Top hands down. Since then, we started to buy Kapiti ice-cream. No more Tip Top.

We reached Wellington for late lunch. It was such a long journey. Our good friend, Sern-Ty took us to Fisherman Table Restaurant and Bar.

This restaurant has a beautiful beachscape view. But I guess this is pretty normal in New Zealand, stunning views everywhere. We ordered some food for sharing and had a great chat since we did not see each other for years.

seafood basket

grilled fish

new zealand beer

In the very short few hours, somehow we managed to cover few must visit places in Wellington. Thanks to our friend, Sern-Ty. One of it was the Te Papa Museum.

Then, we drove up to Mt. Victoria for the great view.

another side of the view

Before we went for dinner, we also covered the famous Government Building Historic Reserve.

The Beehive - executive wing

Parliament House

Parliamentary Library

Sern-Ty's wife joined us for dinner and they brought us to Capitol restaurant in Wellington Central. It must be a very famous restaurant in downtown as it was full house when we were there. I will always remember this dinner, the excellent food we had, but most important of all, the great friends that made the dinner memorable. Let's see what we had for dinner.

Soup of the day
I could not remember what the waiter had told us about this soup. But it was something that I never had before and it was great.

bread with olive

We had our first try on bluff oyster. The creamy coloured meat was so delicate and succulent, with a medium oil content. These South delicacy are only available from March to August, and only in New Zealand. I was looking forward to try out the oyster in Invercargill, which suppose to be even fresher.

Lamb spiedini

Fish of the Day

Free range chicken breast on a bed of creamed corn

Tuatara beer

soft centered chocolate pudding with creme franche
A good dinner should be ended with some desserts. So we ordered 3 out of 5 desserts from the menu.

fruit tart with vanilla cream and roasted hazelnut

passion fruit semifreddo with raspberry meringue

No, that was not the end of the day yet. Back in Sern-Ty's home, we had some local fruits and some good red wine.

We found something new in this fruit platter, Feijoa. It was the green color ellipsoid-shaped fruit in the picture.

Tomorrow, we would be taking the Interislander ferry to the South island.

Lindale Park
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Fisherman Table Restaurant
245 Oriental Parade Oriental Bay Wellington City
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Te Papa Museum
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Capitol Restaurant
10 Kent Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand
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NZ D2: Rotorua, Taupo and Napier

Hightlight of the Day:
1. A must visit in Rotorua, Waiotapu
2. A must visit in Taupo, Huka Fall
3. A must do in New Zealand, Bungy Jump
4. First Fish and Chip in New Zealand, Hawkes Bay Seafood

Dairy cows


Did you know that less than five percent of New Zealand's population is human, the rest are animals? With the highest ratio of animals to humans in the worlds, we met animals more than humans for this trip. :)

It was a misty morning when we visited Waiotapu. We had discount voucher which entitled a 10% discount for the admission ticket(original fee was NZ$32.50).

Waiotapu has 3 attractions, the thermal park, lady knox geyser and mud pool. Since the lady knox geyser errupts daily at 10.15am, we started off with the thermal park first. Last would be mud pool.

the most photographed champagne pool

natural green colored pool

At 10am, there was already big crowd at the Lady Knox Geyser. Everyone was holding their cameras and waiting to take pictures of the eruptions.

By dropping a surfactant into the opening of the vent, the eruptions produced a jet of water reaching up high. We quickly took pictures of the eruptions and pictures of us with the eruptions. Then only we figured out that the eruptions could last very long, for about an hour or more.

The blue sky provided the absolute holiday mood!

The last point before we left was the mud pool.

bubbling hot mud pool

Then, we continued our journey to Taupo, stopped by Huka Honey Hive for souvenior shopping.

many choices for New Zealand products

Next was the famous Huka Fall which could be found in many New Zealand postcards.

signing a waiver before the jump
In Taupo, he also went for the Taupo Bungy Jump at a cost of NZ$123.

47 high metres cantilevel platform

123, jump!

There was an option of water touch, either hand touch or full body submersion, as they would weigh and do the calculation before the jump.

After the jump, we went to Piccolo, which was highly recommended somewhere in the web.

zucchini wedge with sides

lemon slice

cappucino with cinnamon

The quaint and captivating interior of the restaurant creates a warm ambience that complemented the food. The lunch bill was reasonable, NZ$20 for the above orders.

Then, it was another 2 hours road trip to the next city, Napier. Our pre-booked accommodation, The Green House on the Hill was a pleasant surprise, and that marked our first and only bed and breakfast experience in New Zealand(read more about the stay here).

We picked Hawkes Bay Seafood which was located at the corner of Pandora Road and Ahuriri Quay for dinner.

Nice view with sunset while we had an al fresco dinner.

Hawkes Bay Seafood served a wide variety of selection from the sea. We picked the fresh seafood and they cooked the way we wanted it to be.

They had the seasonal Bluff oysters in their menu too. But we were not going to order them. In fact, we would be traveling all the way to the South and get the freshest Bluff oysters. :)

Gurnard fillets and Tarakihi fillets NZ$7
In New Zealand, it is not just Fish and Chip. More than that. It is what fish you want for your Fish and Chip. :) The tomato sauce and mayonaise sauce were charged at NZ$0.50 each. And as usual they did not have chili sauce like what we have in Malaysia.

We also tried Kina which we did not able to finish it. It had a very weird taste. I thought Kina is same as Sea Urchin, but later I found out that they are not the same species. We just wasted NZ$14.90 and did not know how to appreciate it. :(

Another day ended. How fast.

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Huka Honey Hive
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Huka Fall
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41, Ruapehu Street, Taupo, New Zealand
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Hawkesbay Seafood
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