A relatively lazy start to the day meant we didn't leave the room until 9.15am. A quick walk took us the I-Site at the Civic Gardens where we arrived in time for the 10.00am guided walking tour.
It cost $20 each and was something we had enjoyed in other Cities whilst on holiday. This time there were 5 other people on the tour.
It was quite interesting but rather overall rather dull. Wellington is a newish City and not a lot seemed to have happened here. We learnt about some of the buildings and reclaiming land from the sea. We also went in a few government buildings that we would not have dared to without a guide. The elderly guide although obviously proud of her City wasn't infectiously enthusiastic. Strangely as well, the walk was not a circular one and we ended up finishing quite close to our Hotel. So we went back and had some lunch in our room afterwards.
We then got in the car and drove to the Weta Cave which was about 15 minutes away. On route we passed the famous Wellington sign on a cliff. This is where they made most of the props for LOTR and The Hobbit. It was in the middle of a housing estate. You can do tours but they were quite expensive and Trip Advisor said that most of the best bits were visible for free. That is the price I like the most. We wandered round for a bit and Karen was pleased to see some Orc's (I think they were Orc's) and other stuff. There were also other props from Narnia, King Kong and some other films I had never heard of. Most of it went over my head.
As the weather was still good we decided to drive to Upper Hutt so that Karen could see where the fictional Rivendell from LOTR was filmed. This was another 35 minute drive. After a challenge finding it, we eventually arrived in the correct end of the regional park. It was a nice walk, Karen obviously enjoyed it far more than me. It was well sign posted with information boards telling us what had been filmed where. There was also an arch, which was supposedly important in the story. I was more impressed with a swing bridge over the river into the rain forest. This had nothing to do with the film but was a start of a long walk/trail that we didn't have time to do other than cross the bridge.
Driving back to Wellington we decided to try and fit a visit to Te Papa Museum which is one of the top 50 museums in the world. We hurried as we didn't know what time it closed. We arrived at 4.45pm and were pleased to find it was open until 6pm. After a quick visit to the viewing terrace, our first choice of exhibition was Gallipoli which had been put together by Sir Peter Jackson. We had been warned it was harrowing. It was fantastic but sobering. I have never seen anything like it. It did not glorify war but instead showed it for what it was, telling the story of the ANZAC troops in that battle. The giant figures were not like anything I have ever seen. They were huge and the attention to detail was breath-taking. Everyone walking round it was in awe. We could have stayed for hours and I would like to visit again.
Instead we hurried through and went to the exhibition regarding Earthquakes. This was fascinating as well. We learnt that Lake Taupo was the crater of the site of the largest volcanic eruption the world had seen. We also got to experience being in a house caught in an actual earthquake.
We ended our visit with a quick look at the worlds largest captured colossal squid. It was certainly large and ugly looking.
For dinner tonight we again walked down to the Old Bailey pub, this time in the rain for the first time in New Zealand.
Tomorrow we are moving to the South Island. My thoughts so far are that I love New Zealand. As ever we are doing the holiday at break neck speed. We will have spent 9 nights on the North Island and really should have spent much longer. Possibly up to another week. It is so difficult to know in advance. We would hate it if we had a day stuck somewhere with nothing to do and so we probably over compensate. Equally though I think we could both do with a few hours 'off' where we don't feel we ought to be doing something else in case we miss something we would like to have seen. Something to ponder over as we plan our next adventures for 2019 and beyond.