I arrived in Wellington on an overcast, grey sort of day, but the beauty of the contoured terrain still astounded me. I was greeted at the airport by some of the friendliest airport staff I’d ever met, which was already an excellent sign of what was to come!
The ‘Windy’ part of Welly didn’t really live up to its name when I was there. It was sunny, clear and the air was gorgeously warm and still. The harbourside was a buzz of weekened activity, and I got the chance to explore the stalls clustered around a small food market, polishing off a delicious lamb roti wrap on the way. Near the harbour is the renown Te Papa museum, and it was fantastically informative, full of interesting exhibitions on Maori culture, and the colonisation of New Zealand in the last couple of centuries.
Wellington’s parliament buildings are also worth a visit, especially to see the ‘Beehive,’ an unusual circular structure which is set in pretty garden surroundings. For a throwback of what train stations might have been like two hundred years ago, Wellington train station in all its unaltered simplicity is stunning.
I couldn’t leave Wellington without indulging in some movie geekery by paying a trip to the nondescript suburb in Miramar, and getting lost amongst warehouses and second-hand dealers. Miramar being home of the Weta workshop, which is most famous for the creation of the costumes and cinematic effects in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
You’re not actually allowed entry into the workshop itself due to film confidentiality contracts, so the main visitor area is a small shop known as the Weta Cave attached to the side of the building. It is crammed full of exciting paraphernalia, and they screen a 25 minute behind-the-scenes film, which is a rather nice touch, but does also give yout the overwhelming urge to purchase a full side replica sword. I only managed to resist temptation by reminding myself that the airline wouldn’t have been too impressed by it.
Next post….exploring South Island….