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Incredible journey (part 2)

Updated on July 18, 2016

An amazing place

They say that you never really appreciate the place you grow up in until you travel abroad and see how different the rest of the world is. Well I'm not from New Zealand but I don't think I really appreciated how beautiful my 'adopted' country really is until we did this trip a few months ago, a land so diverse you have to travel it to really see what I mean.

Last week we got as far as the central part of the North Island and had a little peek at the mountains in the center of the Island, three massive volcanoes, the highest (Mount Ruapehu) is over nine thousand feet above sea level.

Mt Ruapehu

Some of the best winter sports in the Southern Hemisphere
Some of the best winter sports in the Southern Hemisphere | Source

The 'Windy City"

We got to Wellington in the evening and found our Motel, I was really amazed to realize that we were right in the centre of the city literally within walking distance of all the things we wanted to see!

Wellington sits right at the bottom of the North Island and the two Islands don't actually 'line up' north to south, the South Island which is the bigger though more sparsely populated of the two is actually about twenty miles south west of Wellington (The ferry travels from Wellington to Picton in the South Island a distance of thirty five miles) and is known as the 'Windy City' because of the fierce cross winds you get coming from east to west where the winds literally come straight from South America no matter which way they come.

From the west it's straight from Argentina via seven thousand miles of the Southern Ocean and the South Atlantic, from the East it's from Chile straight across the South Pacific for seven thousand miles, you begin to realize just how far south you really are!

We'd booked a 'Studio unit' in the Motel and were looking forward to a bit of a rest but we'd got a really nice surprise when we got there as the Motel owner said that for $20 a night more we could have a two bedroom apartment with it's own cooking facilities!

Considering we were getting a two bedroom apartment for less than $200 a night (and that's New Zealand $ which works out we paid around $140 US!) we nearly snapped their hands off taking the place, it was awesome.

I've got to add this was a trip we'd saved up for over a year and we were really looking forward to it, there was so much we wanted to do, and we were right in the middle of the city WOW!


Another way to see the country

Our trip and why

A
Weka Street:
Weka St, Miramar, Wellington 6022, New Zealand

get directions

Weta Workshops are here

B
Te Papa Museum:
Te Papa Museum, Wellington 6011, New Zealand

get directions

I so wanted to see the WW1 display they have

C
Courtney Place, Wellington:
Courtenay Pl, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand

get directions

"THE place to eat in Wellington"

D
Hamilton, New Zealand:
Hamilton, New Zealand

get directions

The real reason

Okay I'll admit it, there was more than one reason for the trip. The main one was that it'd been a couple of years since we had a 'family' holiday and about fifteen years since Jodie and I went to Wellington. Abigail had never been and we thought it would be great for her to see where the government sits and learn a bit about how Democracy works.


New Zealand isn't a big country, but over here we have a 'multi party' democracy that even though we're frustrated with sometimes it actually works to a large degree. The way it works is actually pretty simple.

Whoever controls more than 60 of the 120 seats in parliament is in charge. but with more than two parties in the system that's much harder to do and you have to listen to smaller parties if you want to get anything passed, that means the 'little guy' gets a voice.

But there were other reasons for the trip

HMS New Zealand

Built in 1911. Paid for by New Zealand (money loaned from Britain) and gifted to Britain to help the defense of the Empire, scrapped in 1922 and the loan finally paid off in 1944! (somebody got their sums wrong!)
Built in 1911. Paid for by New Zealand (money loaned from Britain) and gifted to Britain to help the defense of the Empire, scrapped in 1922 and the loan finally paid off in 1944! (somebody got their sums wrong!) | Source

Te Papa

I'm a history buff, and I wanted to visit Te Papa Museum right there on the waterfront. It would be like visiting the Smithsonian with all the stuff there, especially at the moment as they've got a special display on built by another Wellington icon that commemorates New Zealand's contribution to WW!

Take a look below


Te Papa

Imagine waking into a dark room and tis comes at you
Imagine waking into a dark room and tis comes at you | Source
Or see the Doctors treating the wounded
Or see the Doctors treating the wounded | Source
The Human stories
The Human stories | Source
Imagine finding out your brother's been dead for four months and no one told you!
Imagine finding out your brother's been dead for four months and no one told you! | Source

The display

The display was put together by Weta workshops, the folks behind some of the biggest movies of the last twenty years and it's absolutely stunning, but more than that there's a very human story behind each of the exhibits.

Each model is of an actual person who was there, and it's the person themselves telling the story of what they encountered, the first one's the soldier who was first on the beaches that fateful morning in 1915 as the invasion of Gallipoli was launched. Wounded in the first minutes he's seen firing his pistol with his left hand as they couldn't get him evacuated and every man had to fight just to hold on to what they had.

The Doctor is there doing what he can for the wounded, but with almost nothing in the way of resources all you can do is just look on in despair

The next two really spoke to me

A young soldier who got influenza there, was rotated out to recover and as soon as he was getting well, but nowhere near 100% was sent back, still exhausted from the illness he was caught falling asleep at his post and was sentenced to death by firing squad, two days later the punishment was rescinded provided at the next offensive he was in the 'front line' and was killed in action four days later.

Or what about the nurse who's brother was sent to Gallipoli so she volunteered in the hope she'd get to see him there only to serve the whole campaign to find out that he was killed four months before and no one bothered to tell you he'd been killed, the nurse is reading a letter from home where her parents are telling her what happened! That one got to me!

A great read for any trip

Weta Cave

Okay it wasn't all 'depressing' as Abigail wanted to go see where her favorite movies and TV series are made.

Weta workshops have been involved in some of the biggest movies and TV series in the last twenty years. and their displays are awesome.

Sauron's armor. Did you know that the armor you see Sauron wearing in the movies actually is a real suit of armor and weighed nearly 70lbs!

Halo. That I really wanted to drive! an actual working vehicle from the Halo games. A Nissan patrol with a fifty cal strapped on the roof!

Kingdom of Heaven. Okay this is one of my favorite movies of all time, totally inaccurate in many ways but an awesome movie.

Thunderbirds are GO! Any Brit from my generation will know this TV series. guess what? Weta are re-making the series and it's awesome, take a look at the series

Thunderbirds

Just a little

This is just a little bit of what we got up to that week. It was followed up by great food in Courtney place (different dishes from different parts of the globe every night including an interesting Indian Beer called 'Beaver's piss!)

It was a great family time and a lot of fun.

But that's all for now folks

Lawrence

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    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      21 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bodylevive

      I fully understand about the mountain calling, Ruapehu has that effect on people!

      One thing to plan if you do is the train journey from Auckland to Wellington is regarded as one of the most spectacular in the world with a 'spiral' bridge that is regarded as one of the engineering wonders of the world, the only real problem will be you're going to want to come back!

      Glad you enjoyed this hub.

      Lawrence

    • bodylevive profile image

      BODYLEVIVE 

      21 months ago from Alabama, USA

      Wow, this is beautiful land. I would love to visit this place, that mountain is captivating, as though it is calling for me. You'll have to please excuse me, I have a wild imagination. Don't turn me in, I'm not hearing voices, lol. Anyway, it's beautiful and thanks for sharing.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Deb

      New Zealand is well worth the visit. One place you should plan to go is a small place called Otorhonga Kiwi house near here, they have Kiwi in their natural habitat which is awesome to see.

      Near there is an inland 'island' that has been 'pest proofed' called Maungatautri where you can explore 'Aoteroa' (land of the long white cloud as New Zealand is known by Maori) and what it was like before Humans arrived!

      Lawrence

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Sounds like it was really a wonderful trip. I want to go to Australia, NZ, and Papua New Guinea for all the bird life.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Larry

      Glad you enjoyed it.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      2 years ago from United Kingdom

      You've got a deal. :)

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Interesting read.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Linda

      Glad you could 'take the trip' with us. There's also a bit of a trip 'down memory lane' for me here as 'Thunderbirds' was my favorite TV series as a kid (I so much wanted to fly Thunderbird 2 with all the gadgets!)

      When we went there we were told that they made all the models using average household rubbish and even Jodie came away saying "I'll never look at rubbish the same way again!"

      Lawrence

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      John

      My wife and I say the same about Australia!

      Te Papa's display is going to be there for a couple more years and it really is stunning. There's other displays there that take you through what life was like in New Zealand at the time as well.

      The great thing is the way that everything there is free to see and it's right on the waterfront so you can walk right from there to the 'Beehive'.

      It was a great holiday and an amazing trip.

      Lawrence

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Phoenix

      When you get here make sure and look me up.

      Lawrence

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      The flight can be a bit strenuous and a drain on the old purse strings. This hub was an attempt to get round those and take a look without needing to travel.

      My mum's eighty this year and everytime we suggest going back to England for a visit we get the same reply. "You stay there, I'll come to you!"

      This year she's busy trying to 'con' the family into "one last trip" so she says!

      Glad you enjoyed it

      Lawrence

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Lawrence - I doubt I will ever have an opportunity to visit your corner of the world--there just aren't that many years left in this old gal. Thank you for allowing me to take this journey with you.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      A great hub, Lawrence. I really need to get over there to visit in the not too distant future. That Te Papa museum display sounds heart-wrenching but amazing. thanks for sharing your journey.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      2 years ago from United Kingdom

      What a wonderful country. I would love to spend time there. Maybe someday...

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm jealous but I'll get over it. The problem for me, who would love to see all these places, is the twelve hour plane flight....minimum 12....that would drive me crazy and I'd need hospitalization before I even got to my destination. ha ha

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Ainezk

      Wellington is one of those places that seems to be 'overshadowed' by a more well known place like Auckland but it was great.

      A really friendly place that has so much to see and do, yet so close you can walk to each place.

      Glad this hub made you consider New Zealand as a destination. The best time to come is around February as the heat of summer is just passing, that is unless you like winter sports in which case it's now!

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • ainezk profile image

      ainezk 

      2 years ago

      I may finally go on a tour there as well. I've been tempted, but never managed to get there. Thanks.

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