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Roon the Globe Nadia's trip around the world in 365 days :)

Welcome to Wellywood!

NEW ZEALAND | Sunday, 29 May 2011 | Views [433]

I hopped off the ferry in Wellington - the much disputed capital of New Zealand. I didn't have very high expectations for the city as people had told me only to spend 1 or 2 nights there but i was pleasantly surprised at how nice a wee city it was. By New Zealand standards, cities are pretty small so there are only something like under 200,000 people living in Wellington.

I dumped my bags at the nearest hostel to the bus station and headed out for a walk along the harbour and it was a lovely sunny day (which always helps!) The main attraction i wanted to visit was Te Papa which is the National museum and it apparently takes a full day to get around it so i was glad i'd have something to fill my day with. I managed to make my way around one floor in a couple of hours before it closed and the main highlight was the colossal squid which my wee cousin had told me about before. They caught it somewhere near Antarctica and it is the World largest squid on display in a museum - i could hardly fit the full thing in a photograph it was so massive. Sitting in a huge glass tank i think it was about 4.5 metres long and they showed you it's eyes and "beak" on a video, pretty disgusting! Afterwards i had a bit of a float around the city to look at the shops and i was craving a pizza, i couldn't find Domino's anywhere so i eventually ended up in a Turkish fast food place and tried one of their pizza breads. It was actually delicious, bit different from a normal pizza but yummy. By the time i headed back to the hostel one of my room mates was watching Sex and the City on her laptop so that kept me entertained for a few hours. The one bad thing about my netbook is it doesn't have a disk drive so i can't just put a DVD on whenever i want to - need to invest in one of those external ones me thinks.

The next day i was up bright and early to take the bus a little bit out of the main city to the Weta Cave, which is where alot of famous films have been edited and created by the legend Peter Jackson and his team. To mention a few: Lord of the Rings, Avatar, the Lovely Bones, Narnia. It was free which was a bonus, but it's a pretty small wee museum, more like a shop actually, full of the merchandise, sculptures and weapons from various films. The highlight for me was a documentary for half an hour which was a behind the scenes of how Weta came about and how they create alot of their characters - from special effects makeup to digital effects. I'm now itching to watch the LOTR films again!

I headed back into the city for the afternoon and spent another few hours in Te Papa museum. This time i headed for the 4th floor and there were interesting displays on Maori culture and how they found New Zealand pre-Europeans. Another part which was interesting was about refugees living in NZ from all over the World (Sudan, Iraq, Vietnam etc) - there were basically lots of wee videos from young people who had escaped their countries for a better life in NZ. I had never thought of this country as being so multicultural because it's in the middle of nowhere but it really is, and particularly in the North Island. There was also a really cool display on earthquakes and volcanoes - which as you know completely cover this country as it sits on the border of 2 tectonic plates. I had no idea how many earthquakes and eruptions there has been here but the timeline was pretty scary, and i have to say people are brave here! They also have a mock-house set up so you can go in and experience an earthquake, which actually freaked me out even though i knew it wasn't real.

I have to say, there wasn't a great deal of things to do in Wellington - other than the usual city things like shopping, eating and drinking which lets be honest isn't a lot of fun on your own! But despite this i really enjoyed the museum and the film studio and it was nice to be somewhere with a bit of buzz around it after being in such tiny towns for most of the South Island. Oh and here's a fun fact, while i was there they were debating whether to put up a Hollywood-style "Wellywood" sign up on the hill, how tacky is that!

Next stop, Napier - the Art Deco city :)

Tags: new zealand, north island, wellington

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