by sam on 21st April 2017 1 comment
Our final city of this holiday was Wellington, more famous for being windy than for being the capital of NZ. Its at the bottom of the North Island, we came here as we didnt visit on our big trip as it was too far away from everything else we were visiting.
Our motel was quite central, which meant we could walk about quite easily, as its quite a small, if very hilly, city. We have been told by many people that there nothing more beautiful than Wellington on a sunny day, so we thought as it was a sunny day we would take a trip up the little cable car to take in the view!
The cable car has just two cars that both run on the same pulley system. There are only 3 stops in between the top and bottom station, so if one needs to stop at the first stop on the way up, the other will have to stop at the first stop on the way down, or both at the middle stop. There is also only one single track all the way up the steep hill, until a tiny section at the middle stop where it splits into two to bypas each. There are two lit up tunnels on the track which have amazing LED changing patterns on which is quite unexpected. At the top of the cable car is the beautiful Botanical Gardens, with another great park in too, as well as fab views of the city.
Lots of modern art in Wellington- this one was definitely male!
Barb and Dave recommended we visit the Te Papa museum on the waterfront, the national museum of NZ. Its similar to the Natural History, but is completely free throughout. We went to 3 exhibits, one about the geology of NZ, one about the animals of NZ and the newest Gallipoli one, a tribute to the soldiers that died fighting there in WWI.
The geology one had a load of interactive displays to help the kids really understand what its all about, you could jump on a board to generate a Richter scale and see how that compared with earthquakes, and understand all about the tectonic plates and volcanoes in NZ. They also had an earthquake room- simulator which was quite scary as it was only 50th of how strong they have actually had in the North Island.
The animals one had a preserved display of a giant squid, the biggest ever caught, at 4m long, it has eyeballs the size of footballs! They also had a life size model of a Blue Whales heart which you could climb in and out of through the veins and arteries, obviously I liked this one!!
The Gallipoli one was unbelievable though, it was created by Peter Jackson and is a huge display of info about the part that NZ and Australia played in the battle of Gallipoli, an 8 month long battle in WWI.
It had some stories about real soldiers and nurses that were there, and had created 3x lifesize models of them. The details of these models was incredible, they were created at the Weta Studio they we went to later, took 2700 hours each to create and had each hair on their skin individually punched in! The beads if sweat and the muddy tears and grit under their nails...
Anzac Day (NZ/Aus Poppy Day) is on 25th April so it was particularly poignant with people throwing poppies, (that the museum provided) with messages written on them all over one of the soldiers at the end. There were several people in tears at different points.
We also went to the Weta Cave and studio, Js main reason for wanting to come to Wellington. Its a studio used by lots of Hollywood films for making models and special effects, including Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit!
The cave is a mini museum, and the tour is around a cornered off part of the actual studio where they create things. One of the artists showed us around, told us a tonne of stuff to ruin your perceptions of every prop ever used in the film industry, and Adam and J were only out-geeked by one other kid on the tour, it was a fun couple of hours!
So long trusty Grr-aham
And then it was time to fly. Wellington-Canberra-Singapore-Heathrow. The Canberra stop was added to our flight as a new route after we booked it, it was annoying as it added an extra 5 hours to our already hideous journey, but its a very shiny new transit area that made a nice cup of tea at 10pm. Singapore was good again, we saw the butterfly garden, and sampled the free massage chairs and Liss made full use of the play area again.
3513 km of driving, 13 different accommodations, 6 boats, 5 flights and at least 18 different play areas later and we are done at the South Island. Its been fab!!
What a fabulous memory filled trip for a fabulous family xxxxx