The Capital of NZ

Trip Start Oct 04, 2006
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Trip End Mar 06, 2007


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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Tuesday, January 16, 2007

We will be in Wellington for four days.
The trip to Wellington from the south island at Picton took about 4 hours by ferry.  It was a calm and windy ride.  After we left the Marlborough Sounds (~1.5 hours) and headed into open sea, Lisa and I just found a large set of seats, leaned back, read and then slept for a bit.  It was good to be crossing the ocean.  We were looking forward to something different from the south island.  The south island was great, with lots of mountains, beautiful coastlines, rolling, winding roads and not too many people.  The north island has about 3 million out of 4 million of the people and less mountains.  However, it should be great.  It is also closer to the equator.  The south island has seemed like spring weather, 60% of the time.  Hopefully, the temperature will increase a bit and the large clouds will remain not as dense.  We have been partly lucky due to hardly any rain so far.
 
We have walked around Wellington and seen the city and its boardwalk by the sea.  We have visited their Parliament or Capital buildings with a nice tour.  The outside is mostly ugly, but the inside is nice and it looks almost as good as the Canadian Parliament buildings in some places.  I shouldn't compare, but that's the way it is.
 
We also went into the Te Papa museum which focused on the Maori and their wildlife (i.e. birds and a few insects).  It was fine, worthwhile and free.
 
Tomorrow, we are going on another Lord of the Rings tour (with a touch of King Kong.)  It will take us just north of the city for about 4 hours and we will see where some scenes were filmed.  They also filmed about 10 scenes in Wellington, such as up Mount Victoria where we hiked up today.
 
Mount Victoria was a great hike.  It didn't take too long to hike up, but it was fairly steep.  The ground was slippery due to lots of tree needles and loose stones.  It was very, very windy and quite cool at the top, but the view and the exercise was worth it.  We saw other people up there, but most of them had lazy-buttitus and either drove or took a tour bus up.  When we were coming down at a very steep point, we noticed a jogger jogging a different route which was much safer.  We then followed in his general direction and it was much easier, but still a lot of fun.
 
Later in the early afternoon, we walked up to the Botanic Gardens which was seen in the distance from Mount Victoria.  It had a nice rose garden and some greenhouses.  There was a cable-train? that took people up, but we would have none of that!  It was a fairly easy and fun walk.
 
The LOTR tour was fun.  We visited the areas of Rivendell, Helms Deep, Minas Tirith, where Aragorn was washed ashore and his horse found him, the gardens of Isengard and a few other areas.  All of the sets were removed, but there were some trees that were quite noticeable in the area!  The tour was with www.movietours.co.nz.  It was a one man operation and his brother works for Peter Jackson's company.  He therefore had some behind the scenese information.  Wow.
 
After our tour, we went up Mount Victoria again, but up the residential side further away from our hostel.  The views were better due to the sky being very clear and it was also much warmer, about 26C or so.  They filmed some ourskirts of Hobbiton in the forests on this big hill.

 
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