Saturday we drove out a couple hours west of town and did a great walk/run near Lake Ohau. The terrain didn’t always make for easy running but it was a gorgeous hike up to the bushline, around 12km round trip.
Monday morning Jean went off for her orientation with NZ Locums on being a GP in New Zealand. She may have a guest post sometime on her experiences here. After a blustery weekend Monday was a very fine day and I set off for Zealandia, a wildlife conservation area that is very impressive. They have constructed an over 8 km long predator fence around about 1 square mile of a valley that has a couple reservoirs that used to supply Wellington with drinking water. The stated goal of Zealandia is to return that small area to the state New Zealand existed in before humans arrived, which they say will take about 500 years. With the cats, stoats, rats and others excluded from the preserve the native birds are able to thrive. Also they do some supplementary feeding to encourage them to breed and stay in the preserve. I saw lots of birds as well as the tuatara, which looks like an iguana. One interesting bird display was this pair rolling around on the ground, possibly mating, but I don’t really know.
Zealandia really is an amazing place, especially so close to the city, to get away and experience being in nature. There are some great walking trails also, as there are all over the city actually.
Today, I ran the City to Sea Walk, or about 12.5 km of it from downtown Wellington to the sea on the south coast of the North Island. Usually you can see the South Island but it was a little too cloudy for that, also very windy which we are discovering is the norm around here.
Those trips are pretty typical tourist activities but I also got a New Zealand mobile phone and am about to go finalize arrangements with our new bank account. So it does feel like we are moving here but is still more of a holiday until we are down in Oamaru settling in with Jean starting work.