Wednesday, February 14, 2007

New Zealand - Wellington

Day 5 and Day 6 - Wellington
14th February

We had breakfast at the hotel and set off for Wellington.

The morning fog was heavy, and visibility was poor.

It was one of the most beautiful drives ever...

with mountains and valleys on one side...

and beautiful trees on the other.

We continued south along the man-made forest Kaingaroa and reached the popular lake resort of Taupo.

The beautiful Taupo lake stretched on endlessly.

We saw a sign that said "Scenic location". New Zealand is full of such signs, which don't really tell you what kind of a scenic location they're pointing you towards, but the good thing is - they don't disappoint. The "scenic location" point we turned into offered a breath-taking view of the lake.

I pose with the lake. Check out the different hues of blue in the background.

Viv strikes a pose too!

And why should Golu Plus stay behind? After all, he was like family too!

We got back on the road.

We passed another beautiful lake on the way.

Viv loves shots like these where the road seems to be going up to join the sky, so he insisted I click it.

We were driving along the desert road, and the background was dominated by the three magnificent snow-covered peaks of Ruapehu, Ngaurahoe and Tongariro. I just could not seem to get over the sight of snow in summer!

Countless sheep

148 km more to Wellington!

Viv drove on to the music of Dil Chahta Hai and Hum Tum which I was blasting in the car.

Aati kya Khandallah? :D

Finally we reached Wellington. The traffic was really bad, and we had a tough time getting to the James Cook Hotel. Wellington looked small and crowded, and we did not see any Maori people. I did not like it too much.

15th February

The next morning, after breakfast, we set off on foot to explore the place.

We clicked some snaps with the grand monuments.

The buses ran on electricity, quite like the trams do in many cities, except that here they did not have fixed tracks.

We went to the Wellington cricket ground and realised that there was a match the next day, but we would have left by then. Viv was sooo disappointed!

We decided to walk to the Museum of Wellington City and Sea.

I capture Viv admiring the red helicopter that hovered over the water, carrying tourists.

After the long walk, we decided to sit down for a while.

Wellington's waterfront

Viv poses in front of the museum.

The museum is housed in the The Bond Store, a significant building in Wellington's wharf heritage. It was built it 1892 to serve as a bond store and the Wellington Harbour Board's offices. Now it houses many exhibitions displaying life in those days, Maori legends and war stories.

History of MacDonald's in Wellington. The Big Mac cost 75 cents in those days!

Fashion from the 1800s

The prosthetic foot used by the hobbit Pippin in The Lord Of The Rings was also on display.

After we'd seen all the fun stuff and had got sufficiently bored of the other stuff, we stepped out and made our way towards Te Papa, New Zealand's national museum.

The museum opened in 1998, and has attracted 12 million visitors since. It is recognised as a world leader of the trend of innovative and interactive museum experiences.

We started off with the nature walk located inside the museum, and came across many different kinds of birds.

Lonely duck

Duck family


I pose against the fake waterfall.

We went back into the main museum area and wandered around. There was so much to see that we did not know where to go first.

Random stuffed penguin and me

Viv poses with a cool motorcycle. Apparently it has some amazing history which I can't recall now.

Entrance to 'Stories of art and identity'

This cow is made entirely of used corned beef cans!

Next, we decided to take the Wellington cable car which runs every ten minutes to take visitors from downtown Wellington up the hill to Kelburn. Here's some information about the cable car that I got off their brochure. In the late 1800s, the hills around Wellington were mostly scrubland and farms. The hills directly above the city were later converted into a new suburb. However, the only way to get around was by walking or by horse drawn trams. In 1901, construction of the James Fulton cable car to provide a quick and direct link between the city and the suburb started. Work was carried out day and night, abnd by 1902, the tramway was open to public. By 1912, a million rides were taken a year. In 1933, electricity replaced steam as the power for the cars. In 1978, the entire system shut down and was replaced by a new Swiss designed system, which is the one in operation today.

View from cable car

The cable car track

When we reached the top, Viv spotted a cricket ground and like a child, excitedly took a picture of it...

...while I did more grown-up activities like getting an ice-lolly.

View from the top

Viv strikes a pose with a massive tree. I wanted to climb it, but I was stopped by a very alarmed Viv.

Special of the Skyline restaurant - Great food, great coffee, great views! :)

We decided to go to the Wellington Botanical Garden next, situated at one of the tram stops. The garden, established in 1868, covers 25 hectares and has a unique mixture of protected native forest, conifers and flowers.

Check out this formation! It's just one tree that has been trimmed to this shape.

Viv shows off his new photo-taking skills.

Posing against the greenery

Walking around, admiring the colourful flowers

Check out this amazing tree trunk!

Nice shot, Viv!

At the entrance to the flower garden

I'd never seen so many different kinds of flowers in the same place before!

No wonder I look so happy! Also because Viv bought me a pretty blue dress as a belated Valentine's Day gift (it's in the pink bag I'm holding).

We wanted to go to the Lady Norwood Rose Garden, and had to walk miles and miles to get there.

On the way to the Rose Garden

The garden, opened in 1953, is named after Lady Norwood, wife of former Mayor Sir Charles Norwood. There are 106 formal rose beds of different colours, and outside the beds are collections of patio roses. And there's even a trail area for new varieties of roses.

Here are some of the roses we saw.

Roses roses everywhere!

We saw a little waterfall near the garden.

There were many cute little kids roaming all over the garden.

And here's a little cutie who seemed a bit lost.

And this is what Viv likes to call 'the world's most decorated toilet'.

After an exhausting day, we went back to the hotel. We had walked a ridiculous distance that day, but the next day held the promise of a cruise to Picton and then a drive to the beautiful beautiful town of Kaikoura.

Next up - Picton to Kaikoura



  • nice pics...captured the nature very well... :-)
    Viv is choo cute ....wanna c him more :) hey u r also looking cool...ha ha ha...Cute Couple.

    By Anonymous Shweta, at 12:51 PM  

  • nice pics...If you dont mind,
    what is the name of the Hotel you staying at Rotorua?

    By Blogger Joyce, at 9:41 AM  

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