Wellington City, well known to be New Zealand’s capital city. The city gets a lot of attention for being the home to the Beehive, the iconic parliament workplace in the city center. With many hole in the wall bars, restaurants, and life on the streets many visitors spending their time wandering the inviting streets of the lively capital city. However, most visitors miss the treasures that lie beyond the busy business hub of Wellington CBD.
As soon as I planned a trip to Wellington, I was determined to explore these not so easily accessible spaces by organizing a road trip with a friend headed to Ngawi.
So that’s what happened and I would like to share this incredible experience with you all. With the car loaded, north we began along the highway continuing into the Rimutakas, navigating ourselves around these tight corners, ascending at a gentle pace throughout this gigantic mountain range. Finally, we were climbing no more, the mountain had been summited. The descend was just as windy as we were maneuvering the vehicle steadily towards the plateaued township of Featherston. Featherston was the perfect stop for any groceries before we departed for Ngawi. The street lights of the main roads were soon a distant light in the backdrop as the darkness of the nights’ sky revealed only fenced paddocks on our sides which indicated this was predominantly farmlands. It was certainly the ocean was somewhere out there to the right of us and we would have to wait until the morning to get a better glimpse of our surroundings.
With the sun rising the illuminated stars soon disappeared into the vast blueness of the morning sky. Clear as days it was, so clear you could see across the 22km stretch of water known as the Cook Strait that separates the North & South Island of New Zealand. The view was phenomenal. It was the first time I could see the mountain peaks of Kaikoura from the Wellington coast and I spent 18 years growing up in Wellington, it was pretty special.
The coastal road continues east passing a small township known as Ngawi, clearly reliant on the marine world for commerce with quirky and colorful boats scattered along the main beach. With no shops open we passed Ngawi without stopping to continue this coastal road. I couldn’t help but admire the mountains located on our left which provided a beautiful backdrop to these rural lands.
Finally, the road stopped the car came to a halt, and upwards we looked at the hundreds of steps that awaited us to the viewpoint located by this proud standing lighthouse. One foot after the other we climbed to the top to capture some unforgettable views over the rugged beach line. The lookout provided a gorgeous panoramic scene which also gave us an unobscured sight of these dramatic mountains situated on the South Island. I could not believe how fortunate the weather was this day and the amazing sights we’d experienced thus far.
We chatted with a lady at Cape Palliser lighthouse who recommend we visit the Lake Ferry Hotel. Sold. So there we went with grumbling stomachs anticipating a delicious taste of the local Kaimoana – seafood. Boy did it not disappoint, the crunchy textured fries and battered fish were the perfect ends to a glorious experience on the South Coast of the North Island.
I would gladly recommend staying at the Waimeha Camping Village for the night and dining in at the Lake Ferry Hotel for a pint and Lunch.
If you’d like to go for yourself following the links below:
Have a great time.
Thanks for reading.