It is not everyday that I would bump into New Zealand enroute to my business or personal travel. When Cigniti asked me to travel to New Zealand, to help explore the new territory and make a business case with new prospects around the NZ, I was more than happy to do that. I was happy that I am getting a chance to help expand Cigniti in a brand new territory and also thrilled that is in a region that I never travelled below, and get to experience a different environment altogether
As part of 7 days gig in New Zealand, I had an opportunity to stay for a week in Wellington, which is known as world’s southern most capital city. I also had a chance to make a day trip to Christchurch, and Gisborne. I stayed in Central Business District within Wellington. It is a small town, and most of the stuff one would want to do is within 30 minutes driving distance. I was staying at Quest service apartment which is just within 15 minute driving distance of Mt Victoria, Scenic bay route, Miramar, Top of the hill, and more. Waterfront was just about 15 minutes walking distance, and most businesses are in within 15 minute walking distance too
It was quite intense and tiring hopping in/out of various modes / means of transportation throughout the week, and across the NZ (despite the cool pictures / videos that I shared). Posters that I have seen at various airports advertising possibilities in NZ definitely gave me goose bumps. I hoped and wished to spend a month in NZ driving across the mountains and valleys, without need to worry about emails, phone calls, WebEx sessions, action items from meetings, etc. 🙂
During this trip, I spent few hours with a client in Gisborne (which is once known to be first city to greet Sunlight every day). I think I saw agricultural land (with tractor mowing) right next to airport, as the plane landed in the airport within 30 second walking distance from the terminal gate. Since I got few hours after the meeting, I have walked to the waterfront, which was few hundred meters from my meeting place, and took a cab ride to the top of the kaiti hill, on the way to the airport. I have happened to stopped at the place where Captain Cook landed precisely around the same date in 1769, which began the formation of New Zealand nation. Fully story can be read from the below pictures. For Gisborne, I flew on a small BEEACH 1900D flight, which has just 20 seats, and everyone gets a window seat (reminded me of flights I took in Nepal) . So, I got to experience awesome views of hills and valleys between Gisborne and Wellington, which can be seen in the below video
I was also on a day trip to meet a CIO in Christchurch, New Zealand. Christchurch is quite unique due to the fact that it experienced 12000 aftershocks after two massive earthquakes between 2010 and 2012. I had a quick lunch @ container mall, which is built using containers, after devastation caused by earthquake. Check the below photos
As I was heading to Wellington airport on day 3, my cabbie said, “Do you want to go thru the tunnel or by the bay”. I said, ‘fastest route please”. He said, Bay route would take just 5 minutes extra. I said go ahead, as I started to airport 90 minutes early. Within few minutes of getting into taxi, I was greeted with awesome view of Evans bay. I asked Cabbie to stop the car, moved myself to the front seat, rolled the car window, and turned my S4 just a minute and enjoyed the serene drive, which is also captured in the videos you see below
Here is 6-minute footage (shot on Samsung S4, Canon 6D, and GoPro Hero 3) during 6 days of travel, and tiny bit of NZ that I have experienced, all of it just 30 minutes from client locations that I have visited. Imagine the possibilities, if one gets to see and experience real NZ.
Inspired by awesome sights on the way to the airport few days ago, I had asked proposed Mohan (who was my colleague from previous org, and local resident), for scenic drive around the town. He had suggested an awesome drive around the bay. So, this morning I started several hours early for the airport for my trip to Melbourne. Mohan and I drove around the bay for 2 hours, had biryani at Little India, took 15-minute drive up the Mt Victoria (from where one can see entire Wellington, bay views, and the flight landings on the small strip), and then returned to the airport. We have recorded our experience driving around the bay on GoPro and captured below footage of awesome serenity that I have experienced during the drive. This is one of the must experience scenic drives around the world, and thankfully, access to it was just 15 minutes from where I stayed in Wellington, and Mohan Thalla was of big help in making it happen.
Haunting sound track is courtesy of Martyn Bennett’s album.