Wellington is the southern-most city of the North Island, and one of the major cities in New Zealand. It’s the political capital of the country, and it also claims to be the cultural capital. While I’m staying 50km north of the city in a sleepy little beachside town called Paraparaumu, I can’t miss out on the chance to go explore the capital a little bit.
The first thing you notice shortly after exiting the main train/bus station, is you are near parliament. I went over to see the odd looking ‘Beehive’ parliamentary building.
After that there was a monument to remember those that gave their lives during WW1/WW2.
And then I was in the downtown shops district. It wasn’t super busy, which was nice, so I explored the downtown and had a tasty $8 pizza lunch. After that, I headed straight to a jewel of a museum – Te Papa.
Te Papa is IMMENSE. That’s actually a panoramic shot of it, since there was no way I could fit all of it in one picture. There are 5 levels inside, and most levels have pretty large amounts of areas to explore. The museum is modern, interesting, and well done. It chronicles a ton of New Zealand life and history, from the ancient times to the Maori discovering and colonizing the land to European settlement and finally into modern day. You can easily spend a day or more if you read everything. Oh, and one of the best things about it? It’s FREE. A stellar way to spend part of your day, which is just what I did.
After that I wandered the waterfront, had some Gelato, found a big monument to the most important thing to Kiwis (Rugby), and just lazed in the sun with my Kindle in the central area of the city, on one of the numerous green areas.
Pretty nice city, from the quick glimpse I got.