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Adventures down under
12th Feb 2017
The Windy City

Woke up to low cloud and strong wind. One of Judi's friends comes from Wellington and is visiting family there. She and her and her husband picked us up from the hotel to show us the sights.  We first drove through the city where our hosts pointed out interesting buildings such as the Beehive and Parliament, the Maori boat shed, and Te Papa, the museum of NZ. The boat shed was built to house the Maori waka, but they have moved it elsewhere and so far have refused to give it back!  We then went to the Victoria Mount lookout to get a 360 degree view of Wellington and surrounds.  It was extremely windy up there, and threatening rain, but our hosts pointed out many things we otherwise wouldn't have known. On the docks we could see a couple of container cranes; one of these was dislodged from its tracks in the recent earthquake and now presents a problem. To reseat it needs a large crane, but the weight of this could damage the wharf. In the meantime, alternative arrangements are in place for handling the containers but throughput is severely affected. We could see the "tin can" or "cake tin", which is the new rugby ground. On the other side of the Mount is the surprisingly busy airport, in a very small space. A new control tower is being built on a nearby retail site due to lack of space. Our hosts drove round the coast showing the many bays, some sheltered from the northerly wind. These had names like Scorching Bay and Worser Bay. We stopped for lunch at a great new cafe (hosts recommendation), before driving back through Miramar where we passed Peter Jackson's movie studio. There was a huge lot with a giant "green screen" on three sides. They dropped us off outside Te Papa and we said our goodbyes. Te Papa is an exciting museum, and we spent some time inside their Gallipoli exhibit, dedicated to the ANZAC participation in the campaign in the First World War. A series of individual stories were introduced by giant and very lifelike tableaux featuring an individual soldier or nurse. The figures were three or four times life size, and brought home the horrors of war. In the art section of the museum was an exhibit dedicated to Snowdon's leaks - some very technical stuff here, but well presented. Te Papa itself is an interesting building; it is built on earthquake absorbing rubber blocks and you can see these in an underground exhibit.

Whilst walking back through the wharf, we came upon the story of Paddy the Wanderer. He was an Airedale terrier owned by the daughter of a seaman in the 1930's. When she died at age three, Paddy took to wandering the wharf and was adopted by the taxi drivers. In his old age, he had a bed in one of the sheds. When he died, the taxi drivers drove his coffin in procession through the city, led by a traffic officer. We ate a really good meal at "Dockside", one of the many restaurants on the wharf before going back to the hotel for an early night -we have an early ferry crossing to the South Island in the morning. 

Next: Sailing to Picton then on to Nelson
Previous: Napier to Wellington

Diary Photos

Gallipoli exhibit



Wellington 2

Wellington 1


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