After Napier, the next logical stop seemed to be Wellington, but to be honest, I plainly wasn’t ready to head to Wellington just yet. As such, I veered West to Whanganui, a city just inland, on the Whanganui river. I was booked into a dorm at 42b College Backpackers, a lovely little spot on the outskirts of town. When I arrived, having lugged my ridiculously big bag across the city, the manager seemingly took pity on me and upgraded me to a private room; the luxury! I was pretty flippin’ happy with having my own space after three weeks of shared rooms and it’s fair to say that I fully embraced the time alone; I’m not embarrassed to say that zero socialising was done in Whanganui! The garden had ducks, chickens and a baby deer in it and to be honest, I felt like I was at some sort of writers retreat or something. I can’t tell you what a treat it was to have a chair in my room, after weeks of awkwardly stooping to sit underneath a bunk bed.

I ventured into the city centre to get a feel for the place, taking in the sights along the way which included the regional museum and the views across the river. As I walked, I treated myself to a lime ice cream; sounds gross but it totally wasn’t. I noticed that the buildings seemed to be a very Deco style again and I really quite like it, even though it feels strangely out of place here in New Zealand.

My favourite building had to be the Embassy 3 cinema, it was so beautiful. It might be my favourite building in New Zealand so far, to be honest. It looked like a snapshot right out of L.A. or something.

The next day brought with it an uncharacteristically New Zealand chill in the air and as such, I’m ashamed to say I hid away in my room most of the day. In fairness, I was doing some life admin (why do I always leave my tax return so late?!) and also catching up on some much needed sitting quietly! I had planned to venture to the Durie Hill elevator to catch the view back over Whanganui from atop the hillside, but the grey skies didn’t inspire much adventure to be honest. I bet it would’ve been a lovely trip up there in the sunshine the day before, if only I’d checked the weather forecast!

Despite not doing too much on my brief visit, I did really like Whanganui and I’d love to come back and do it properly!


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