New Zealand - Wellington

Trip Start Dec 05, 2005
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Sunday, January 7, 2007

Arriving in the nations capital we checked into the swanky James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel. It sounds expensive but our reliable source (www.wotif.com) had found us a great deal on a queen room with free drinks, upgrade, parking, newspaper and 1pm checkout for $99 (35GBP).

We took advantage of the late check out and stayed in bed, finally deciding to book another night so that we could take the afternoon easy. Verdi spoke to her parents, for the first time since before Christmas as they were just back from their Caribbean Cruise. We then ventured out into the city.

Calling at an unusual bagel fast food joint for breakfast/lunch we then made our way via Cuba street; the main shopping drag, to Te Papa Museum - the 'jewel' in Wellingtons Crown.

We weren't actually that impressed with Te Papa Museum, not considering the hype that surrounded it. It seemed much the same as many other museums we had been in during our time in Australia, and even in the UK. It did have a pretty good Maori section, with impressive carvings in the shape of a long boat, statues, huts and masks (PICS) and a giant Maori meeting place ornately adorned with hundreds more carvings (PIC). A nearby stained glass window and gateway also deserved a quick snap (PICS).

Just around the corner from Te Papa is Jervois Quay (PIC), a neat waterfront area that gives some distraction from the mainly industrial appearance of the harbour. The quay features a number of sculptures and pieces of artwork by local craftspeople (PIC), which go some way to brightening up what is otherwise a fairly uninspiring area.

On our final morning in Wellington we tried to find the city lookout but even with a map the lack of signposts meant that we kept missing turnings and eventually gave up. We did however drive around Mt.Victoria where the lookout resides and gained a view over the city. Again, the industrial presence in the harbour marred what would potentially have been a much more attractive skyline.

On our way out of Wellington we drove along Oriental Parade. Another highlight of Wellington is supposed to be a gentle stroll down the parade, Wellington's most opulent area, and enjoy an ice cream or one of their al fresco cafes. Unfortunately the cold, drizzly weather meant that any stroll or al fresco dining would be al-freezing!
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