Wellington

From Whanganui, we drove down the West Coast until we reached Wellington. We were staying in what was basically a car park, but it was right on the waterfront in the middle of everything so it was a good choice. We arrived in the afternoon, so we had time to check out Te Papa, the big museum. It was pretty much the same as the National Museum; kiwis, moas and volcanoes.

Col being attacked by a moa in Te Papa

The next day we took the cable car up to the Botanical Gardens overlooking the city.

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From there, we walked to Zealandia. This is a protected wildlife reserve, mainly for the benefit of endangered bird species like kiwis (which we didn’t see as they are nocturnal). It is a beautiful place, and we saw lots of birds like the takahe, a big friendly peacock-blue bird, and the tui (which I re-named the artui-deetui because of all the clicks and whistles it made). As well as birds we saw a couple of tuataras; lizards that are called “living dinosaurs” because they have remained evolutionarily unchanged for hundreds of thousands of years.

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After an evening of Mr Beet diligently researching his beer chronicles, we got up early the next morning to catch the ferry to the South Island.

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More pictures from Wellington are on Mr Beet’s flickr page.

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