Things I Have Learned In Wellington, New Zealand
“Travel ennobles the spirit and does away with our prejudices.’ Oscar Wilde
The National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, has 36,000 square meters of public floor space, taking up five floors and the size of three rugby fields.
The museum sits on 150 shock absorbers to protect it from earthquake movement and has enough reinforcing steel to stretch from Wellington to Sydney. The architecture is amazing and admission is free.
I find that museums are different for everyone. Some people like to spend ages reading all the wall plaques and examining paintings, while others just want a brisk walk to check out the best bits and then go for a coffee or get a tea towel at the gift shop. The Wellington Museum is great because the methods of display and subject matter vary throughout the museum. There is less of a structure than some other museums to reflect visitors preferences .
Gallipoli The Scale Of War is a larger than life exhibit that uses the experiences of real New Zealanders who served, fought and died to capture the human face of what became known as the Great War and the battle of Gallipoli.
I had trouble with the massive scale of the soldiers which gave it a more Disneyland and less human feel.
But traveling throughout Australia and New Zealand and being at Gallipoli in Turkey made me also understand that it is still a larger than life experience for these countries.
Wellington’s waterfront is a beautifully walkable public space, dotted with cafes, parks, sculpture, bars and ice cream vendors.
Legend has it that Wellington’s well-known Parliament building, the Beehive, was actually sketched as a joke. While some say the architect’s paper of choice was a napkin, others claim it was drawn on a cigarette packet. (photo by Cordula Reins)
Wellington’s compact geography isn’t just handy for visitors; over 18,000 of the city’s residents walk or jog to work and the waterfront is popular with runners. While Wellingtonians may be keen on foot traffic these days, it was a local man – William McLean – who imported the first car into New Zealand in 1898. (photo by Cordula Reins)
Said to have more cafes, bars and restaurants per capita than New York, Wellington is also fuelled by some of the strongest coffee you’ll ever find.
Home to hipsters, artists and lovers of vintage, Cuba Street is a bohemian haven with some of the city’s most colourful shops, bars and cafes. Stop at Fidel’s for coffee.
It’s been said that over one-third (33%) of Wellington residents have a bachelor degree or higher qualification – the highest in the country.
Zealandia is the first award winning fully-fenced urban eco-sanctuary in the world.(photo by Cordula Reins)
Wellington recently became known because The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy was made there.
Wellington, is the southernmost capital in the world. Wellington replaced Auckland as the capital city of New Zealand in 1865. (photo by Cordula Reins)
Wellington is located on the Southern end of North Island. You can take the ferry from Wellington to South Island.
Interislander’s Cook Strait Ferries travel between Wellington and Picton New Zealand.
The 92km voyage takes 3 hours and has been described as “one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world.
I love a good ferry ride.