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.
The next day we took the cable car up to the Botanical Gardens overlooking the city.
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.
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.
More pictures from Wellington are on Mr Beet’s flickr page.