Wellington, New Zealand (Capital)

Lady Norwood Rose Garden Botanic Gardens Wellington New Zealand
Lady Norwood Rose Garden 
at the Botanic Gardens
- Wellington, New Zealand
Colorful Waterfront Wellington New Zealand
Colorful Waterfront - Wellington, New Zealand
Church Home Downtown Wellington New Zealand
Church & Home Downtown 
- Wellington, New Zealand
Pat Dunlap Botanic Gardens Wellington New Zealand
Pat in the Botanic Gardens 
- Wellington, New Zealand
Cuba Street Mall Wellington New Zealand
Cuba Street Mall - Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington, New Zealand (Capital) (12/1-2/2009) 

Surrounded by a beautiful harbor, Wellington is the sophisticated cultural center of New Zealand.

We did the 3-hour ferry crossing from South Island to New Zealand's North Island landing in Wellington, New Zealand's capital city.

A highlight of our visit to Wellington was the free Te Papa Tongarewa national museum. At a huge investment, in 1998 New Zealand opened in Wellington one of the largest (and argumentively the best) national museums in the world. 

Years ahead of others, Te Papa combines interactive technology with stunning world-class displays – pretty impressive for a nation of just 4 million people. We took a ride on an advanced motion simulator where we did all kinds of adventure stunts like bungy jumping, cliff diving, motorcycle ride, zip lining, etc.

We were fortunate to have a guided tour of New Zealand’s Parliament Buildings including the Victorian-Gothic Library and the modern 1970’s style Beehive where New Zealand’s Executive politicians have their offices. 

We even went into the Debating Chamber and learned about New Zealand’s parliamentary government. A citizen can still come in and talk directly to top government officials. We had lunch in a pub across the street from Parliament where the meals are named for their politicians. Wayne had the turkey and brie cheese – what do you think they feel about that guy?

Map of Wellington New Zealand
Map of Wellington, New Zealand
Everything in downtown Wellington is pretty much within easy walking and we wandered the waterfront, theater district, shopping streets of Lampton Quay & Harris Streets, and the pedestrian Cuba and Manner Street malls

Wellington New Zealand
Wellington, New Zealand
Every kind of cuisine you can think of is available in Wellington with loads of entertainment (i.e. movies, live theater, symphony orchestra). We rode Wellington's 100+-year old Cable Car up the hill behind Wellington where we wandered the beautiful Botanic Gardens in a slight rain (see photos).

Map of Southern North Island New Zealand
Map of Southern North Island, New Zealand
On the way to Napier in the north, we drove through scenic Wairarapa and visited the small cute town of Martinborough, the center of New Zealand’s second most well known wine producing area.

Some history... Wellington was renamed in 1839 after a visit from the Duke of Wellington. Being pretty much in the center of New Zealand, the seat of government was moved to Wellington from Auckland in 1865.

Please see our 8 other blog posts on wonderful New Zealand:

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