Wellington and the magic of Zealandia
After saying farewell to my brother and his wife Yvonne in Auckland we flew on Jetstar to Wellington. It cost NZ$157 one way and included our 50 kilos of luggage. In Wellington we met up with my old flatmate Joanne at the airport and headed for her house in Ngaio a suburb of Wellington. We spent a great week with Joanne and managed to have a barbecue on a windy day catching up with old friends. During the week we managed to visit Zealandia twice, see a movie at the Embassy theatre, visit the Museum Te Papa and ate at some nice restaurants. My favourite place to visit in Wellington and the magic of Zealandia.
Zealandia the place to see native birds or a kiwi
One of the attractions to New Zealand is its unique native wildlife. Thanks to the hard work of volunteers and a rodent and predator fence you too can enjoy seeing what New Zealand used to look and sound like near the centre of Wellington. There is a wildlife sanctuary called Zealandia with rare native birds and tuatara. It is easy to get to via the Wellington cable car where at the top a free shuttle van takes you to the sanctuary. Entry to Zealandia cost NZ$17.50 which is for two days. We went twice. There are free guided tours and you get to see Kaka, Stitchbird, saddleback and takahe as well as other rare native birds. There is also an interesting exhibition and lovely cafe. If you want to see a kiwi at night in the bush then this is the place to do it, you can book an evening visit at the attraction. There are some lovely bush walks in the sanctuary up to the dam and several spots along the way to enjoy views of native birds feeding on bird feeders.
Other places to visit in Wellington
You have to visit Te Papa the Museum of New Zealand and arguably the best museum in New Zealand. A walk along the waterfront will be rewarded with lots of places to eat and some nice views of the harbour. The best view of Wellington is from Mt Victoria or take the cable car up to the Wellington Botanic Gardens which is 25 hectares of native plants and also has great views of Wellington. Cuba street is the Bohemian part of Wellington. Well, it used to be and still has Fidels cafe and Midnight Espresso. However, although there are some nice cafes it is looking a bit run down these days. Peter Jackson fans can visit the Embassy theatre, Weta studios or do a tour of some of the Lord of the Ring film locations in and around Wellington. There is of course Parliament and the Beehive best seen from outside, too much sulphur inside with politicians lying to each other and us.
The best part in visiting Wellington was catching up with old friends. I also wish I had taken more flaming photos. Our next stop is Tasmania.