Week 11 Day 70 Our Time in the Hutt and Wellington

Wellington New Zealand


Week 11

Day 70

Lower Hutt 

41.2167° S, 174.9167° E

Since I last wrote last week, Tom and I have had a great week!

Friday afternoon we hit up the Te Papa Museum of New Zealand and an art gallery featuring original works and prints of Dr. Seuss.


New Zealand Bathroom sign

New Zealand Bathroom sign

Following our artsy afternoon, Friday night Tom and I did the Koha (donation based) Bikram Class in Wellington before showering up to meet our friend Claudia.

20131026_220200We headed down to Cuba street to check out some live music and fun nightlife.


People playing Jenga and Chess on Cuba Street

Painting in Electric Avenue

Painting in Electric Avenue

The street itself has  tons going on, but the bars and cafes are also pretty artsy and fun.

20131025_220957Walking down the street, we saw life-size chess and jenga games, flame blowers, flame twirlers, and the salvation army handing out free “sausages”–more like hot dogs.


The fountain Elijah Wood peed in while filming the Lord of the Rings.

The fountain Elijah Wood peed in while filming the Lord of the Rings.


According to one local, apparently the youth of New Zealand have an issue with Binge Drinking so the salvation army likes to supply food as often as possible to keep people from getting too naked (a little NZ slang for wasted.)  We weren’t quite Naked, but Tom and I are always hungry so we enjoyed the free hot dogs.

Cuba street is also where the cast of the Lord of the Rings was often spotted during filming.  Apparently one night Frodo (Elijah Wood) was a little naked himself and relieved himself in one of the Cuba Street Fountains.

Murphy's Irish Bar

Murphy’s Irish Bar

Our favorite bar of the night was Murphy’s Irish Bar.  It had decent beer, but an awesome Irish/Classic Rock band.

20131026_122915We finished up our night and headed home to get some sleep before a day full of teaching and practicing yoga.

In between the classes I taught and the class Tom and I took, we hit up the Lower Hutt Saturday Market which was amazing!


There were rows and rows of tents set up selling tons of fresh produce for super cheap!!

Tom and I got celery, kale, spinach, carrots, 2 lbs of apples, oranges, lemons, ginger, cucumber, peppers, onions, broccoli, and eggplant to make yummy juice for days and an amazing lamb curry all for $21.50!!

20131026_120931The market also had some pretty tasty and inexpensive street vendors.

We chose to get Roti, a curry lamb wrap.  It was amazing!

IMG_20131026_185228Tom had his best class yet Saturday morning finishing off day 4 of his 12 day challenge.  He is now not only able to touch his toes, but also his knuckles to the floor!

Following a great day of yoga, we headed home to cook up our yummy food!

We made a delicious lamb curry and then headed out to Westpac Stadium for the ITM Cup Rugby Final – Wellington Lions v Canterbury.


The old Bank of New Zealand building...Now a Burger King

The old Bank of New Zealand building…Now a Burger King

Wellington had the best record going into the match, but they weren’t able to pull through and win the cup final.  Canterbury was the victor!

Purple Juice! Carrots, Ginger, Celery, Cucumber, Beets, Spinach, Orange, and Lemon!

Purple Juice! Carrots, Ginger, Celery, Cucumber, Beets, Spinach, Orange, and Lemon!

We were so happy with the Lower Hutt Farmers Market, that we decided to hit up the Wellington one on Sunday, but we ended up being slightly disappointed.  The lamb vendor had sold out, the street vendors were more expensive, and the produce selection wasn’t quite as good.

We still got enough veggies to make some tasty juice and curry for the next three days, but overall the Lower Hutt definitely has the best Farmer’s Market that we’ve found.

Highlight of breweries from left Southern Cross, Meow, The Tap House, Southern Cross, Hashigo Zake

Highlight of breweries from left Southern Cross, Meow, The Tap House, Southern Cross, Hashigo Zake

Sunday night we did a Hash run throughout Wellington, hitting up all the local craft beer spots!

A Hash run for those don’t know is where you have a drink at a bar before running to the next one.  Since we wanted to hit up 8 breweries, we modified the rules and shared a beer at each bar!

The Belgium inspired Breweries. Tap House and Lueven

The Belgium inspired Breweries. Tap House and Lueven

According to our fitbits, we ran over 9 miles and got in over 20,000 steps for the day.  (That wasn’t all we did the in the day, but I’m guessing we did run about 6 miles total.)

Our favorites were Goldies and Hashigo Zake, but most didn’t disappoint (expect for the ones that were closed on Sunday!  We actually should have known better.  Many business including restaurants and bars take a holiday on Sundays, but Sunday was the only evening we were free to do the run.)


ceiling of Goldies

We also met friends on our Hash run!

We ran into two Canadians on their honeymoon doing the exact same thing we were!

Oddly enough we ran into them on the street as we were both looking for Goldies!  We ended up spending the rest of the day with them as we hit up our last locations Goldies, The Hop Garden, and Rogue and Vagabond.

20131027_171758Monday we kept things pretty low key.

A fun street in Wellington

A fun street in Wellington

I had to teach at 9:30 at the Hutt and ended up covering the 4pm class as well for a sick coworker.

Monday was actually New Zealand’s labor day, so it seemed appropriate for me to teach all the classes that day and let the kiwi’s enjoy their holiday.

Tuesday morning, Tom and I took class at 9:30 in Wellington before I headed back to the dentist.

My tooth that I chipped at the beginning of our time in New Zealand unfortunately wasn’t repaired very well the first time and actually rechipped. 🙁

Hopefully this repair is better.

Wednesday morning, I taught the 6am/9:30 combo in the Hutt.

In between teaching and taking, Tom and I decided to go on an adventure to explore the coast.

2013-10-30 16.08.43

Tom checking out the cool rocks

Tom checking out the cool rocks

We went for a hike called Redrocks known for having a seal colony at the end.

The coast was beautiful!

There were crazy ragged rocks and red rocks lining the shore, plus lush green mountains and a rock quarry on the mountain side.

Once again, it was crazy windy!



There were times when we actually had to stop running and look away because the wind was blowing sand all around.

FYI sand can really sting your legs when the wind blows it as hard as it does in Wellington.

I spy a lighthouse!

I spy a lighthouse!

20131030_141445The Redrocks Walkway (most do it as a trek, but Tom and I decided to run it!) starts in Owhiro Bay and heads out to Sinclair Head.

There are all types of terrain.  Parts of the path are just black sand, others are pebbles, and some of it is a makeshift road.

Tommy in front of the mountain side.

Tommy in front of the mountain side.

There are even parts where they’ve had to build bridges to get over creeks pouring down from the mountain side.


Tommy making friends with the seal.

Tommy making friends with the seal.

This is the view right before you enter Sinclair Head.  The home of the Seal Colony.

We were almost disappointed, because we didn’t see any seals at first.

Right as we were about to go back though, Tommy spotted one lonely seal sun bathing on a rock!

Warning signs told us to stay 20m away from the seals, so Tom decided he should see how close he could really get.

He decided 1m was close enough!

The seal sticking hit tongue out at me.

The seal sticking his tongue out at me.

Seals may look really nice, but from what we’ve read they are very territorial and have a mean bite!  They might not look like they move fast, but when Mr. Seal stood up and growled at us it was definitely enough to make us back up.

Mr. Seal looking very Majestic!

Mr. Seal looking very Majestic!

We played as close to the seal as we dared and when we were finally bored we decided it was time to head back.

A good depiction of the overall scenery of Redrocks.

A good depiction of the overall scenery of Redrocks.

The way back was even winder than the route there as the clouds started to blow in.

The cut outs in the mountainside from the rock quarry.

The cut outs in the mountainside from the rock quarry.

We were definitely happy to hop back into the car once we made it back!


Tommy AKA Lenny from Memento

Tommy AKA Lenny from Memento

Following our run, we headed back to the Hutt for a special Halloween Thriller class!

Unfortunately, New Zealand doesn’t get into Halloween as much as we do in the states.

Francie, (the teacher) Tom, and I were the only ones who dressed up.

20131030_174918Actually, Tommy was the only one who really dressed up.

Francie wore a pumpkin tiara and I wore my peacock shorts and was a peacock…kind of a cop out.

Tom, however, went all out dressing as Lenny from Memento.

For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, Lenny has short term memory loss so he tatoos all the important facts about his life on his body.

Tom went all out writing all 27 tattoo notes in the exact place Lenny has them.–Including the infamous “John G. Raped and Murder My Wife.”

Needless to say his outfit got some stares in the yoga room.  Luckily I was practicing beside him so everyone knew I was safe! 🙂

Thursday was my first day off in a week!

Tom and I started the day with the 9:3o class over in Wellington.

IMG_20131031_112059Tom is working on touching his toes, so every day as his homework I have him do an inversion with his legs up the wall to help open up his hamstrings even more.

I have homework myself.  I’ve been working on scorpion and handstands and Thursday I was finally able to do a scorpion without the wall!

I can’t touch my feet to my head yet and I still haven’t quite mastered the handstand without the wall, but one day eventually or in the future! 🙂

Following yoga, we headed North to Martinborough to do some Wine Tasting and find the larger seal colony!


Vibrant art in Havana Coffee Shop

Vibrant art in Havana Coffee Shop

Stopping at Havana on our way out of town, we officially found our favorite coffee shop in Wellington.

Tom loved the Cuban city decor along the wall almost as much as he loved the coffee!

To get to Martinborough you have to drive up North through the Hutts, both Upper and Lower as well as through the Rimutaka Hills.


Water coming off the mtn. as we drove over Rimutaka

As we drove over, there was a crazy rain and wind storm making the windy road quite an adventure.  We are actually lucky we made it over and back, because apparently after we crossed there was a landslide closing the road for the majority of the day.

We luckily never saw this as it was cleared already on our way back.


Martinborough Valley

Tom in Palliser Wines

Tom in Palliser Wines

We picked up a map in the town center and  soon we were off hitting up Alana Estate, Martinborough Vineyards, Palliser Wines, Schubert Wines, Te Kairanga, and Ata Rangi.

The Martinborough valley is known for their Pinot Noir, but also makes some decent Roses and Sauvignon Blancs.

20131031_135403The wineries were much smaller than the ones Tom and I are used to in Napa.

20131031_143442The picture above is of the bottles circling Schubert Wines, a winery owned by a German couple who came to the valley for the great Pinot Noir grapes.

20131031_151552Ata Rangi probably had the best tasting experience.  I think we got lucky and had one of the owners pouring for us.

20131031_152020They also had a beautiful property.  That cute little shack above is the tasting room.

After we finished tasting, we had lunch and then headed further south down to the coast to Cape Palliser see the seals.

Along the way you pass through a small town called Ngawi where old CATS retire to drag boats into the water.

20131031_174336The bay of the town has a gorgeous view.

20131031_181136Just before we reached the cape we saw a turnoff with some pretty cool rock formations so we decided to stop and boy were we glad we did because we found a HUGE seal colony.


Everywhere we turned there were more seals!

More Seals across the bay.

More Seals across the bay.


Tom making friends again.

For the most part, most of the seals were pretty docile, but there was one that was screeching and squealing!

It was pretty exhilarating to be around so many seals.  Once again the wind was blowing like crazy almost knocking us over, and you never knew if one would be sneaking up behind you or not!

20131031_182159When we had finally had enough of the seals, we began our windy drive back over the flooded curvy roads.

Stopping for dinner in Martinborough, we found an awesome 2 for $20 steak dinner special then headed back to the Hutt for the night.

Our time staying at the yoga studio in Wellington was up, but luckily for us Nadine another teacher at the studio and her flatmate Rachel very generously offered to let us crash with them until we leave on Monday.

Friday was another yoga day.


I taught a silent 6am class to with my loyal morning practicers followed a normal 9:30,  Wrapping up the day with my first advanced class led by Nadine!

It was so much fun!  So much room for improvement!

20131101_214611We finished up the day grabbing dinner at Hot Like a Mexican with Nadine and her brother.  Settling in for the night to watch an amazing sunset!


Our time in the Hutt and Wellington has been amazing!  We are so grateful to all the yogis who took us in and were so hospitable!

We hope you all are having a great week at home!

Happy Early birthday to my Momma on November 3rd!  I wish we could be in Walla Walla to celebrate with you all!   Drink some good wine and eat some good food for us!

Go Seahawks!

#lowerhutt #wellington #me #tomisnumberone #bikramyoga #sealcolony #martinborough #redrocks #hotlikeamexican #farmersmarket #hashrun #craftbeer #scorpion #tomtouchedhistoes #happybirthdaymom #himaryandcolby #dr.seuss #cubastreet #havanacoffee #johngrapedandmurderedmywife #courtneyisnumberone #weloveroti #capepalliser #awesome #ontothesouthisland

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