Days 44 and 45: Car museum at Paraparaumu and Cape Palliser
So my last post also covered day 44 with a brief stop in Paraparaumu, but I thought posting about the wonderful car museum there and our trip to Cape Palliser fitted quite well.
On Day 44 we headed up from Wellington (after getting the ferry the evening before) to Paraparaumu and visited the amazing Southward Car Museum. Named after its namesake – Sir Len Southward – this is a wonderful collection of over 400 cars and bikes and really is a fantastic place to visit! Admission was only $13 which we thought was really reasonable. We spent a good few hours having a wander round and looking at all the vehicles. They were in beautiful condition and really well presented in a huge exhibition hall. They also had a lower level down some steps underneath which housed yet more cars. While by no means a car expert I do love looking at old cars and my Dad also loves cars so I must get it from him! We really enjoyed our time here and would recommend to all. I did get a little carried away snapping photos so have chosen a few (ok, more than a few!) to display in my gallery at the bottom of this post.
On leaving Greytown on Day 45 we took the drive down to the South coast heading for Cape Palliser. The road along the edge of the cliff was very scenic. There was a section that had been affected by a slip so extreme care was needed here. As we neared Cape Palliser the road condition worsened and involved crossing quite a large pool of water, as well as driving along a very narrow and incredibly bumpy road in pretty bad condition.
We have driven our fair share of scary roads in NZ and this is definitely up there! The good thing is the really bad section didn’t last too long, we didn’t meet anyone on the way and Draco – our amazing spaceship – got us there safely. It was really worth it too! We parked up and then saw the enormous row of steps heading straight up to the Cape Palliser lighthouse! We braved it and – despite not being a fan of heights or scary high steps – started the long journey up these 252 (yes 252!) steps to the top. To be honest it was pretty tough but we made it without passing out (!) and took in the wonderful panoramic views from the top – simply beautiful. After some time at the top we headed back down the steps which was far easier than coming up, and explored the beach near where we had parked where we saw some seals.
We then took off in Draco back along the coast and found the perfect picnic spot – right by the beach with an amazing view of the waves. We set up our camping chairs from our spaceship and enjoyed a lovely picnic here. I loved just watching and listening to the waves break on the shore in front of us. One of the great things about the spaceship (rather than just a normal hire car) is that having a fridge and cooking utensils you can just set up anywhere and have a lovely picnic – where others might have to eat out or at home. It gave us real freedom and we have had lunch at some really lovely spots over the last few weeks. It was the perfect end to a wonderful day!