This weekend we went to Wellington –the Capital City. We were originally supposed to do the Tongariro Crossing but it was cancelled due to high winds at 12pm on Friday, so by 12.30 we had rebooked the Crossing for the end of January and booked in for two nights in Wellington.
We arrived at our backpackers called WorldWide at around 8pm, the backpackers was ok it was pretty noisy and not the cleanest we had been to, but it was ok for two nights. We couldn’t be bothered cooking so we headed of down Cuba St (where the party is at) for some food and a few drinks. We wandered up and down for half an hour visiting the night market, looking at the cool sculptures and listening to a live band playing on the street, and settled on a place called Ombre with good reviews in the Lonely Planet (surprise again).
Ombre was really quite small and very busy it was a rustic Italian feeling restaurant which served Italian tapas and breakfast Martinis (marmalade and gin? = HEAVEN), the food was amazing and Chris tried his first meal of New Zealand lamb it didn’t disappoint. After this we lowered the tone and to cut a long story short went to an Irish bar, got very drunk and danced to a band who had karaoke music as their backing track (Chris was on the dancefloor with three middle aged women dancing to Mamma Mia), so a good night all round! I already loved Welly by this point!
On Saturday morning we got up pretty early as we knew we had a lot to fit in we headed to the Cable Car which takes you up to Kelburn lookout a hillside in which you can see the whole city. The Cable Car is more like what we would call a funicular in England and it only took 5 minutes. We admired the view and wandered around the Botanic Gardens (they weren’t as good as your Melbourne one Kaley). It was a really sunny day and only a slight wind which is lucky as Wellington is known as Windy Welly and can be really bad on some days.
The next thing we saw was probably one of the coolest things in Wellington – The Te Papa Museum. This museum is incredible its 6 stories high, completely free and I’m not joking you could spend a few days in there looking. They have an exhibition on there for four years by Peter Jackson which is the Gallipoli War – it was amazing. It was so touching and shocking that it did exactly what I imagine it was intended to provoke in people. The exhibition had large model waxworks of soldiers of war that were huge, I can only demonstrate this for you from the pictures below where Chris is stood next to one of them, they were so realistic and detailed they even had hairs on their arms. Then at the end you collected a poppy and wrote a message leaving it at the feet of one of the soldiers.
The rest of the museum was just as good they had a Natural Disaster section, and wildlife and nature all interactive and really cool (Chris built his own squid). We finished by climbing to the rooftop look out and looking across the city, it was really special.
We then went straight to the Beehive which is the New Zealand parliament building it’s a really cool building which looks like a (wait for it) Beehive. Chris really wanted to do a tour of the parliament and it was another free attraction (I know there are loads), it was an informative tour and you expected Jack Bauer or James Bond to jump out at any minute.
We then started a sculpture walk in my Lonely Planet but got half way through saw a WagaMamas and vowed to finish the walk the next day. After eating Gyozas (my favourite) and Chicken Katsu Curry we went to try some more cool bars on Cuba Street. We found a really nice cool beer garden at a place called Southern Cross and sat drinking watching a man cooking sausages for a free sausage sizzle get told of by his boss for eating them (entertainment value).
On Sunday morning we had another action packed day, we set off for the love lock bridge and put our padlock on there that I had carved with a pin right next to a bike lock someone had put on as a joke (romance at its best).
After this we finished the sculpture walk which actually turned out to be really cool it took us to some really amazing sculptures one of my favourites was the bucket fountain which filled different buckets and when they were heavy enough the tipped and filed the next (amazing explanation I know). It actually finished about two minutes from the car which was handy as we were heading to Mount Victoria next.
This is a mountain lookout (we love our lookouts) where you can see the city at 360 degrees and see the planes landing at the airport. It was a clear day so we had an amazing view and could see for miles, we were watching the ferry’s cross to South Island which we will be going on in three weeks!
So we had heard a lot of good things about the Lord of The Rings and Hobbit models at Wellington Airport so we couldn’t not go! Smaug the dragon was brill, as you walked past one eye was closed and as you get to the other side his eye is open and eyelid is moving up and down. There were also amazing sculptures of eagles with Gandalf and Gollum. It was well worth it and the parking only cost $2 winner!
Our final stop of the trip was the Weta Caves which is a workshop tour for the company that makes sculptures and props for films such as Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, District 9, Avatar, King Kong – the list goes on. This tour was really good they took us around the workshop showing us the tricks of props and costumes and the materials they use to make things such as chain mail and guns. We had a step by step of how the guns from District 9 were made and there were the real props from movies all around. It was a geeks heaven (Chris). It was really good and to top it off we saw how the sculptures for the Gallipoli exhibition were made 🙂
We really loved Wellington and I really hope to go back! Right now I am seriously excited because my best friends just got engaged (Congrats Kaley and Rik) and my family are flying to New Zealand on Thursday!!
I wanted to fit everything into this post about Wellington as my next blog will probably be about Christmas in Napier whilst my family are here and I didn’t want to wait any longer as my friend Trudi has been waiting for my next blog (this is for you Trudes)J
Until next time and Merry Christmas if I don’t blog before then,