Since breakfast was good the day before, we returned to Sweet Mother’s Kitchen. Eric got scrambled eggs on toast and I got a flat white with an order of beignets and the breakfast burrito. Service was pretty slow as I finished my first coffee way before the beignets came out and then they were somewhat burnt. Everything else was fine and as always, the people watching was great. Same waiter, very nice.
First stop of the day was the Wellington Botanical Gardens. Amazingly, we found a 120 minute parking spot right across from the rose garden. The garden is built on a hillside, so all the trails were rather vertical. Our favorite sections were the Japanese maples, rock garden, and swordtail fish in the main greenhouse lily pond area.
Afterwards we headed back to Lower Hutt for our retry on Percy Falls. This time we had no problem finding the trail from the parking area at the start of our hike, and we even had the falls to ourselves.
At this point we headed back through Wellington to the Mount Victoria lookout. Gorgeous panoramic views of the whole area! From there we wound our way to Oriental Beach, then the entire way around the Miramar Peninsula enjoying the lovely scenery in Scorching Bay and Tarakena Bay in particular.
We had a couple hours before our late afternoon flight so we stopped in to the Spruce Goose on the west side of the airport for a late lunch before dropping the car off and getting a shuttle back to the airport. This is where we realized that local restaurants are using secondary labels for listing wines. The ‘Lake Hayes’ pinot gris from Otago was actually from Amisfield, one of our favorite wineries from the last trip!
We had a tiny plane for our flight to Nelson and it was the first time we can remember flying anywhere without passing through any security screening. Our seats were in the very back of the plane but the 35 minute flight was fine with some nice views on our approach.
We picked up our bags in front of the airport off a cart and headed to the Main Parking area to find our rental car. An airport worker noticed we looked a bit lost so he helped us locate the car, gave us advice on what to do for the next week, and helped us with the automated machines to get the car out of the lot.
Finding the hotel was uneventful (thank goodness), so we checked-in and then headed to the grocery store to pick up breakfast supplies in preparation for our kayaking trip the next morning. Not terribly hungry after our big lunch, we stayed in and finished the cheese from C’Est Cheese and enjoyed a glass of one of the wines we purchased in Martinborough, an Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc.