Wellington, capital city and second most populous of NZ, is found on the south west edge of the north island. It is called the windy city and we found out why on the day that we spent in port there. All was well when we disembarked, but on our way back to the ship the ‘gale force’ winds made walking difficult. Surprisingly there was only 1 injury among all the passengers when someone fell and injured their ankle. But there was a lot of taxis returning people to the ship as it was quite difficult to walk back from the city center.
From the port we walked into Wellington. Our plan was to spend the day exploring the various attractions of the city. There is a lot to see and do.
Immediately after leaving the port, we pass by a shipping yard full of logs for export.
Wellington has an extensive network of walkways.
From left to right: The Bowen house, The Beehive, Parliament House, and the Parliamentary Library.The Beehive is considered by some to be one of the ugliest buildings in New Zealand, and most certainly it does contrast sharply with the more traditional form of its two closest neighbours.
We do not linger here because we are anxious to ride the interesting cable car to the top for the city views and to begin our descent through the Botanical Gardens. It is a short ride,and there is a small museum dedicated to the history of this cable car.
Wellington Botanical Gardens
We take our time descending through the 25 hectare Botanical Gardens containing protected native forest with some of the oldest exotic trees in New Zealand, conifers, plant collections such as hydrangea, the Scented Garden, Rose Garden, Begonia House, as well as various sculptures and the Carter Observatory.
Finally, we walk along the waterfront toward the Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa), which rated number one attraction on TripAdvisor – and with good reason, it is a highly interactive and well conceived museum with a diverse range of displays. It would be a wonderful way to spend a day, except that we were tired and hungry and we didn’t do it justice.
This statue is one of many paying homage to the significant impact that Tolkien’s stories and the subsequent movies have had on this country. Of course I am talking about “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit.” To my regret, we missed the larger collection of statues in our hurry to leave.
Final Cruise Notes
Here is a little more about our cruise aboard the Celebrity Solstice. Although we visited many ports, we also had some enjoyable days at sea and each evening was a special occasion in the dining hall, drinks at the bar, music and dancing in the Grand Foyer. A thoroughly enjoyable way to see New Zealand.
The sun sets a final time as we say goodbye.