Before travelling from New Zealand’s brilliant North Island to it’s beautiful South, I spent two days in Wellington – New Zealand’s capital city. Now, I’m a student on a tight budget and I didn’t want to spend ANYTHING other than on food and accommodation. Yet I still wanted to see what this city had to offer. Here’s a few things I did for free (well, almost).
1. Climb up Mount Victoria.
2. Take the Cable Car to the Botanic Gardens.
3. Walk through the Botanic Gardens.
4. Visit the Te Papa Museum.
This is, without a doubt, the BEST museum I’ve ever been to. And I probably only saw about a tenth of what it had to offer. Being a self-confessed geology nerd I spent pretty much all my time in the section devoted to the changing geology of New Zealand. It was fascinating. From the history of volcanoes and tsunamis to the house which re-creates a historic New Zealand earthquake (it shakes while listening to a news report), it’s all great. My FAVOURITE exhibition in the whole museum (the parts of it that I saw) was a film featuring several New Zealanders showing their use of the land. There was a base jumper, musician, photographer, etc. It was really interesting and inspirational. I could go back to the museum every day for a week and still not see everything. I would if I could. This was one of the canons dropped of Captain Cooks ship when it run onto a reef, being discovered a couple of hundred years later. The theory was if they dropped all the heavy stuff overboard that they’d be able to float off the reef. It worked. A Maori house. Built and surrounded by earth so that the only way into the doorway was to crawl. Why? So the man of the house could kill anyone that tried to get in. And for insulation. But mainly the first reason.
5. Walk round Wellington waterfront.
It’s nice here. You can watch people learning (or failing to learn) how to sail, windsurfers or just the world going by. I saw a HUGE stingray swimming about – but I wasn’t quick enough to take a photo.