Marvellous New Zealand - Day 5 (Napier-Hastings-Wellington)
Friday, August 29, 2014

Jan supplied us with self-help continental breakfast, namely fruit juice, milk, wholewheat bread with grains for toast, her homemade marmalade and raspberries jam, cereal and a few others. The healthy breakfast gave us a great start! If it wasn't cold and chilly, we would love to have our breakfast in the garden, overseeing Jan's fruit trees and herbal plants. After breakfast, we walked over to Jan's main house, which was next door, to pay her the accommodation fee and talked to her for awhile. It was a pleasure knowing her, she is so kind and friendly.

The front view of The Coach House B&B.

Jan's house is located in a quiet neighbourhood. We enjoyed the view and peacefulness of this neighbourhood, which we did not get to see when we arrived last night. The houses of the locals are unique and some of those look like what we would imagine in our dreams or through the books - little white wooden houses and of course some grand mansions.

Napier is popular for its art deco city, and it's also a port city, surrounded by sea.

The unique houses within the quiet neighbourho

We drove to the city centre of Napier, which is also known as the Art Decor City. Napier is known to have the most comprehensive collection of inner-city art decor buildings in the world. Every February, thousands of people flock to Napier to celebrate the Art Decor Weekend Summer Festival. The festival celebrates the reconstruction of Napier city after a massive earthquake in 1931. We had fun strolling around the vintage township. The locals were very friendly that they would greet us hello and offered to take family pictures for us when they saw us taking pictures of each other! Lovely township with lovely people!

A cute bike, outside a cafe.

I'm a sexy babe. :)

The souvenir shop which sells lots of cute stuff.

Another corner of the Art Decor City.

The black sand beach.

All of us love chocolates, so Papa Bear said we had to pay a visit to the popular Silky Oak, a chocolate factory cum museum in Hastings. Excitedly we went... Unfortunately it was closed, due to some unavoidable family illness . Sob... sob... Not to waste time, we decided to move on to our next destination, Te Mata Winery, which is on the way to the very popular Te Mata Peak. We passed by many apple farms, which we stopped by one of them for apple plucking experience. It was also our first time seeing how apples were farmed. We were so glad that we made the stop, as the New Zealand rose apples we tasted were the best we had had in our life! OK, to make such claim was an exaggeration, but that described how sweet and crunchy the apples were! LOL

Well, we had been here, though only at the entrance. LOL

The farm which gave us sweet crunchy New Zealand Rose Apples.

Hastings is famous for being a region of food production, and is commonly referred to as the "Fruit Bowl of New Zealand". It has also become a base of New Zealand's red wine industry. The drive to Te Mata Winery was unique, as we passed by many vineyards, vegetable farms and fruit farms. The view was still spectacular for us as first timers, even though we were there during late autumn/early winter. When we finally reached Te Mata Winery, Papa Bear and I could not wait to taste the wines. The kids were disappointed that they did not have anything alcohol free for them. But the salesperson assured them that he would surely make known to his bosses about their suggestion of non-alchohol grapes juice for the little clients. Haha... We bought a bottle of white wine which lasted us for the rest of the trip. Papa Bear and I enjoyed a glass each night before we went to bed. Life was truly awesome!

Te Mata Winery. The wines were good and the staff was friendly.

The vineyard. I think it was end of season? :D

Last destination in Hawke's Bay - Te Mata Peak, which is a peak south of Hastings rising up to 399m. We drove through the sealed road, passing by many beautiful houses, to reach the popular lookout at the summit. There were several trails for hikers. Brother Bear was keen to do hiking, as he wanted to reach the herd of sheep. Unfortunately we did not have enough time to do so. We enjoyed ourselves nonetheless, feasting on the beautiful views.

The entrance of Te Mata Peak.

It was a HUGE WOWWWWWWW when we reached the peak.

I was trying to snap pictures of our super active Baby Bear.

We packed lunch to eat in the car, as it was getting late, we had to leave for Wellington which was 4 hours drive from Hastings. It was early winter and it got dark by 5pm. (Also read: Driving in New Zealand for our experience of driving in the dark from Hastings to Wellington). We had to be quick. Our burgers and fish and chips from the small cafe was absolutely yummy. It was our first time eating burger which was dressed with beetroot. The fish and chips were good as well, as it was in generous size, which kept the kids busy and full during the long drive.

Spotted another beautiful rainbow! It was our second rainbow in NZ. :)

We reached our motel in Wellington close to 7pm. Phew... It was really a long drive. It was a cold and chilly evening too! Luckily our family suite in Apollo Lodge Motel was really clean and comfortable, we had a good rest. We decided not to cook for that night, as we saw some eateries along the main street selling Asian food. Papa Bear walked out to the main street to pack us some food for dinner. Kids were glad to stay in, as they were all super tired.

The dining area of Apollo Lodge Motel.

3 little cubs were tired after a long journey. :)

The mini but well equipped kitchenette.

The bathroom. Overall, this motel deserved 5 stars!

I will highly recommend Apollo Lodge Motel if you are in Wellington, as its room is clean and spacious, water pressure in the shower was good, heated towel rail which is awesome during cold winter and all beds come with electric blanket. It's also strategically located near amenities and Cook Strait ferry terminal, for crossing between the North & South Islands.

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Welcome to my blog! It was a travelogue to document all our travels with our 3 beautiful kids (Brother Bear, Sister Bear and Baby Bear).  Papa Bear and I love travelling.

Having kids does not stop us from doing so, as when we travel as a family, we gain more and together we make sweet memories to be cherished forever.

Oh yes, the blog has now evolved to a more MOM's site, as I realise there are so much more things about parenthood which I wish to share with other parents. So here you go, my humble blog - VivianFoo.com :) 

Why being just a mom is just AMAZING?

Because mom is a title just above QUEEN. :)

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