I've just arrived back from a trip to Wellington, New Zealand & and thought I'd share some of the interesting things I've found.
I started my Saturday by taking an ocean view walk. This one took me about 2 hours return, but you could go much further if you wanted.
Next, I headed to Te Papa museum - well worth a visit even if you're not really a museum person. It covers everything, from natural history, art & Maori culture, to social & political issues. They also have a Dreamworks exhibition on at the moment, which I can't rate highly enough! I think Te Papa deserves a post all of it's own, so I'll come back to this later. Here's a few pictures for now;
I also had a quick visit to the City Gallery. It's a small art gallery, but had amazingly helpful staff & some really inspirational pieces. My favourite is the one below, I love the use of colour & texture.
As the evening was so beautiful, I really didn't want to stay inside, so I grabbed a Vietnamese prawn salad from one of the gourmet food trucks at the waterfront. I was so impressed, the standard was so high, the food was so light & fresh - perfect for a warm summer night. If you're looking to eat in a restaurant, I've had lots of recommendations for the Matterhorn in the central city. If you end up going let me know what you think!
The next morning I'd booked to go on a half day tour. I admit it was called the Wellington Rover half day Lord of the Rings tour, but before you skip this part thinking I'm a massive geek, wait - there was a lot more to it than that! We started the tour with a trip up Mt Victoria, the view would have been amazing, if it wasn't for the rain. We then had a 45min guided walk through the forest. The forest itself was beautiful, but it was also interesting to hear stories of filming (this was the first location used in the movie), as well as the antics of the stars. Can you guess which star got in trouble for having a sword in the hotel lobby?! We then took a scenic drive to Weta Cave. There's an area of Wellington which has everything you need for making movies, from the costumes & props, to sound & digital effects, as well as post production. We watched a film on movies that have been made in the area & what is involved in producing them. I was amazed by how many movies have been made in Wellington, even groundbreaking films such as Avatar. We then went on to a talk by two of the Weta staff who specialise in make up & wigs. It was really interesting to hear about the techniques used & I was surprised by how heavy and uncomfortable some of the parts were. They also talked to us about some other areas, including weapons & armour (spoiler - most are plastic!). We weren't allowed to take many pictures here, so you will have to pay them a visit if you're interested in learning more!
After the tour I headed to Lampton Quay. There's some really nice shops in this area, including 3 of my favourites Workshop (designer fashion), Ricochet (more affordable fashion!) & T2 (they have an amazing range of tea). From Lampton Quay you can get a cable car to the top of the botanical gardens (a bargain too at only $4!). After going through a tunnel with pretty lights (think modern art installation), you get a wonderful view of the ocean. I headed back to the city through the gardens. It was really nice and peaceful & hard to believe so much nature was in the central city. The gardens are open dawn to dusk and entry is free. Well worth a visit!
I hope this has given you a few ideas if you're ever in the Wellington area. I know there's still lots to see, so I'm sure I'll be visiting again soon. If you have any recommendations I'd love to hear them, just drop me a line below....