Road Trip January 2008 Part 3

Our second day in Wellington, we headed into the city to visit Te Papa, the national museum, and the cable car. We left Lower Hutt at around 9 am thinking we would miss the Thursday morning peak time but we were wrong. However the peak was no where near what Auckland is so we didn’t lose too much time. We had no idea of the roading lay-out in the capital but with DH as the navigator we found our way along the water front past the Cake Tin which I have to say really does earn its name, the way the rail way goes right into the car park of it is such a great idea, if only we had something like that here in Auckland for our stadiums. We found a great parking deal at Te Papa $12 for the whole day, we thought this was a bargain so found a nice park undercover and headed on up to the museum.

Turns out it did not open until 10 a, which is fair enough so we had a little walk around the water front near by.
Wellington Harbour

And found some of the lovely poetry they have around the waterfront.
Wellington Poetry

Te Papa
We then headed into the Te Papa complete to get a caffeine fix, it had now been 5 days since we had had a ‘real’ coffee and although we like to think we are not coffee snobs, we are. Good coffee is easy to find in New Zealand and Wellington, so I’ve been told, is the coffee capital of New Zealand, and we weren’t to be disappointed. Myself and DH got flat whites and T got a little fluffy. We also shared a chocolate brownie, and DH got a bacon & egg sandwich. The decor in the cafe was different, they had carpet with a semi-Maori design on it up on the wall which made it look a little like a Marae (meet house).

Once 10 am rolled around we headed up the stair to Te Papa, and what a joy it is. Unlike Auckland museum where the ‘donation’ is enforced by having ticking gates were you must obtain a ticket, for “health & safety” reasons, Te Papa has a small un-intrusive box near the bottom of the stairs for donations. This in my option is how a donation entry should work.

The museum has lots of interactive activities for children of all ages, and really gives you a hands on to the history of New Zealand. TP had great fun with all the touch-screens and buttons to press. The one complaint as with most museums is why do they have such low lighting on everything. I know that light can damage things but in the areas where it is all models they have made why the need for such low lighting, it can’t be good for your eyes when trying to read one of the 100’s of signs.

Te Papa also houses the national art gallery, well I think it is the national one. One of the pieces is this installation. I don’t know how they got the van up into the space but it was very cool. Te Papa Installation

They also have this very colourful marae. Te Papa

And a great activity for kids to dig up stuff, here is what we found.
Te Papa

After Te Papa, we headed towards the Cable Car, which involved navigating the CBD by foot, much easier than by car. We called in and got lunch on the way and did a little window browsing. When we arrived at Cable Car Lane the car was there waiting for us so on we got and up we went.
Wellington from Cable Car

The views were lovely and we were lucky to have a rather still day in Wellington, so we didn’t get blown away. Up the top of the cable car is the cable car museum, which is free. (Wellington seams to have a lot of free things) so in we went to have a look at the old car, and get the photo for course. Cable Car

They were going “down the hill” which is why the funny angle. The cable car museum was rather intrusting really for such a thing.

The cable car also takes you to the bottom of the botanic gardens so we went for a walk around to see what we could see. And all that we could see, were lots of hill. but we did find the playground, so TP had to test it out.

After going back down the cable car, we meet up with a friend who now lives in Wellington and had him help us navigate back out of the CBD to their place for a catch up and the yummiest of Chinese take-aways we have had. Was nice having some time with them and learning what its like to live in Wellington. We returned to our camp ground around 10:30 pm with some good directions to ensure we did not get lost, but oops I got in the wrong lane and went for a little tiki tour, but we found our way back in the end.

To be continued.

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