We arrived to Wellington and decided to spend the day walking around town to check out some more places, but mostly because we were suffering from meat with-drawls. With meat in general being so expensive in the supermarkets in New Zealand, it was the one thing we cut out immediately. So we decided to treat ourselves to another awesome burger at Mt Vic Chippery and they didn’t disappoint us, the burger was just as good as the first one we had there, still the best burger in the world.
After stuffing our faces with delicious meat that we so dearly had missed, we hopped into Bongo and headed north from Wellington to find our stay for the night. There aren’t exactly lots of DOC sites or cheap camping options near or around Wellington, so we knew we had about a 2 hour drive to get to the one place we had found that was somewhat in the direction we were heading. What we didn’t know was that it was to take us ‘a little bit’ longer than 2 hours to get there, nor did we know how remote it was going to be.
So there we were at 10 pm driving slowly along this narrow gravel road, that kept getting smaller and smaller the further into the forest we got. It was very dark and the headlights on Bongo weren’t exactly the making much of a difference. After what felt like forever (an hour or so), and just as we were about to give up, we saw a sign for the Otaki Forks DOC site. We turned off and drove down a steep slope, only to find that we were the only ones there. It was quite eerie to be there in the middle of nowhere, in the dark night, with only the stars and the moon as our company. It’s times like this you’re grateful to know that New Zealand don’t have any predators (apart from humans and I’m not gonna lie, I was a little bit scared).
The following day we ended up taking a bit of a detour, trying to find this great river gorge, the Manawatu Gorge we had seen photos of. We did one of the shorter walks as we were running out of time, but we didn’t find what we had seen in the photos. Still driving along it was pretty impressive and a bit daunting when you pass the massive old landslide from a couple years back. We did however find a little gem of a place in Bridge Cafe, a lovely rustic ranch house with a big front porch and garden, complete with its own wood fired pizza oven. So we decided to sit down and treat ourselves to a fika(Swedish for coffee and cake). So it wasn’t a completely wasted detour.