Te Araroa Trail Whanganui
I enjoyed another leisurely morning today. I spent the morning getting my replacement backpack packed (the broken one was relegated to the ‘spares’ cupboard of the YHA). The strap of my last one tore on the 42 Traverse!
Strangely though, this new pack didn’t feel quite the same. I had become so used to the feeling of my last one, and I was convinced this was a different size.
Free hostel WiFi also means ‘video-calling family’ day, so I had lovely chats with mum, dad & sis in various parts of the world.
Next, I went into town and took in some sights:
- Durie Hill Elevator – a 66m high underground elevator built in 1919
- Durie Hill War Memorial Tower – offering wonderful views over the city. On a clear day you can see the mountains of Taranaki & Ruapehu in the distance, but not today
- Sarjeant Gallery – the gallery is undergoing earthquake strengthening, but some works are on display in other sites, which were fantastic. I also walked up to the site of the original gallery to take a look
- New Zealand glassworks – a workshop and gallery displaying incredible glass art. Having looked around the gallery I watched 2 guys working on a piece from the viewing platform above the workshop.. amazing!
- There are apparently 400+ resident artists in Whanganui, so I popped into lots of other little galleries too.
By now it was way past lunchtime, so I pulled up at the Big Orange coffee shop. I enjoyed an exceedingly gourmet beef brisket pie, a cup of tea and huge piece of cake.
It was an excellent place to watch the world go by. I ended up doing a bit of blogging and whiled away a couple of hours. By this time it was too late to go into the Regional Museum.. I’ll save it for next time.
On the way back to the hostel I took a stroll through some backstreets to check out some of the residential areas.
During my trail through NZ I’m quietly noting areas I may like to live post-trail. Whanganui scores very highly on my list so far. Close to the coast and mountains, seems very laid back, very many cool old buildings, lots of nice coffee shops, a nice arty vibe, not too far from Welly… Tomorrow I’ll check out the Whanganui River Traders Market before heading off on the trail again.