I have to preface day 4's report with the fact that apparently we didn't take any pictures at all this day.  I can't believe that we took zero pictures for a whole day, but I couldn't find any in my digital stack of photos.  I even checked Tyler's camera, but he didn't have any either, so I had to find a couple of pics from the web.

We didn't have much planned for today and the weather wasn't looking good, so we decided we'd head straight to Wellington from National Park Village.  It was about a 4 and a half hour drive, so we go there a little after our lunch stop at McDonalds.  We had poured over the guidebooks the night before and decided that we wanted to see the Te Papa museum, so that was our first stop when we arrived in Wellington.  Te Papa is the national museum of New Zealand.  It is kind of like New Zealand's version of the Smithsonian.  It has several floors and numerous different types of exhibits.  It really is a good choice to visit for everyone.  There were exhibits that were really good for kids and then ones that were good for adults.  One of my favorites was their Colossal Squid.  I believe it is the only complete one on display in the world.

Te Papa's Giant Squid

We spent a bunch of time at the animal exhibits, as well as the kids areas.  They also have a really cool Maori exhibit which everyone enjoyed.

After spending a couple of hours in Te Papa, we stopped briefly at a grocery store to stock on some more snacks, breakfast food, and American ketchup.

We checked into our hotel for the night.  The Capital View Motor Inn was probably our least favorite hotel in New Zealand.  There wasn't anything wrong with it, but it just felt so bland and had no personality like most of the hotels we stayed in.  It did fit the bill in that it was affordable, close to where we wanted to be in Wellington, and it had free parking.  We spent $140NZ for us and $125NZ for my parents for the night.

We spent a little bit of time relaxing in the hotel and then walked down to Cuba street for dinner.  Cuba street reminds me a lot of State street in Madison.  It had tons of eclectic restaurants and shops.  We had read about a fish and chips place in the Lonely Planet book that was supposed to be very good.  We ordered fish and it was very good.  We got chicken for Tyler as usual and tried to convince him to try the fish.  He finally agreed to try my mom's fish and really liked it.  From that day on, he had fish and chips at least once a day until the end of the trip.  Today, it is one of his favorite meals.  Now that's some good fish and chips!

It was an early night, since we had to get up early to get to the morning ferry to the south island.

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