Saturday, December 09, 2006

Adventures in Kiwi Land - Wonderful Wellington

The skies just seemed to open when we arrived in Wellington. It was nice to see the ocean again. Wellington, the capitol of New Zealand, is a city of about 300,000+ people (compared to Auckland's near 1.4 million people), and there are many outlying suburbs and towns that we drove through on the way into Wellington. Wellington itself is a harbor town, just like Auckland, but everything is pushed together so the actual land mass is much smaller than Auckland. It's also set somewhat on a hill, so you can get great shots from of the city from the top. I found that I really came to like Wellington in the short time that we were there.
We first went to our backpacker hotel, however, which is in a suburb of Wellington. I picked a nice one this time; it was set right on the waterfront, and was beautifully and comfortably decorated. And very quaint. It's called Moana Lodge,, and if you ever visit Wellington, I'd recommend you stay there. You wouldn't believe the amount of work it took for the owners to get it to where it is now!
Across the bay from our hotel, and right out our room window, there was a grassy hill that was used as an org battle ground in Lord of the Rings. This was really the extent of our LOTR sightseeing, however, and it was done from afar.

Here's a better view:
After stopping at our hotel, we went straight to the Wellington Te Papa museum. I think that "Te Papa" means "our place" in Maori. This museum is dedicated to all things not only New Zealand, but Maori as well.
We visited everything from wonderfully carved Maori huts,

To equally beautiful Maori long boats,

and colorful buildings that I-don't-know-what-you-do in.

Outside the museum we walked through a really neat garden, and on a little bridge. Jaydn started acting like a monkey.
The city was nice.

On the way home, I had to stop by a pizza place with a devil of a name.

(Later on, I did see a business named, "Heaven Furniture," and another store just called "Heaven." I don't know if the businesses were in competition with "Hell.").