Wellington – the Head of Maui’s Fish

Wellington – the Head of Maui’s Fish

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It shows cases Maori culture and heritage as well and highlights the importance of Maori traditions and role of the Maori in modern day New Zealand. It has, on the second floor displays from the world of nature including a skeleton of a pygmy blue whale. Many displays highlight the various events which have shaped the life of the New Zealanders. Children enjoy the museum immensely and guided tours are available but need to be pre-booked. There are two eateries in the museum the Te Papa Café and the Espresso Bar. The Te papa gift shop sells many a Maori arte fact.

Museum of Wellington City and Sea Queens Wharf, Wellington
A maritime museum, it has been refurbished at the cost of NZ$12.5 million and it is one of the newest Wellington museums. Interactive displays, audio visuals and photographs highlight the maritime history of New Zealand including the Wahine Gallery where the marine tragedy of 1968 in the Cooke Strait is illustrated.

Houses of Parliament, Molesworth Street
The Houses of Parliament are worth exploring as they do include the distinctly shaped administrative services building called the Beehive .The Buildings were renovated at a cost of NZ$165 million and reopened to the public in 1995. A one hour tour takes in the sites of Parliament House, the Parliamentary library which is an example of Victorian, Gothic architecture and the Beehive. The Old Government building situated across the road is the second largest wooden building in the world and worth visiting as is Turnbull House i another imposing brick mansion close by

National Library of New Zealand, Molesworth Street
The National Library of New Zealand displays art and history associated with its research wing the Alexander Turnbull library. Books, Manuscripts, photographs archives and newspapers are all available to the public. It is open from Monday – Friday from 9am to 5pm. The weekend hours of the library are shorter.

Cable Car to the Wellington Botanical Gardens

Cable Car to the Wellington Botanical Gardens

Wellington Botanical Gardens, Thorndon
One of the star attractions of the city, they are accessible by a photogenic cable car ride or by the Centennial Entrance off Tinakori. The Wellington Visitor center or Tree house visitor center supplies maps and guides to the Botanical Garden. They are spread over 62 acres and are managed by the city council of Wellington. This verdant enclave has many endangered plant species, seasonal blooms and plants native to New Zealand in its environs. The Lady Norwood Rose garden, The Begonia House and The Garden Café have a wide variety of plants on display. The Bolton Street Memorial park is a part of the gardens and includes a cemetery, there is also an observatory called the Carter Observatory located in the park. The Cable car which takes visitors to the Gardens also has a museum associated with it at the top. It displays the history of the service which is a century old and has two restored cable cars on display. It is free to the public. Operating hours of the museum are 9 am to 5.30 pm on weekdays .On weekends and public holidays the timings are 10 am to 4.30 pm.

Wellington Zoo, Daniell Street, Newton
The zoo is the only place in Wellington to see the famous brown Kiwi bird. New Zealanders are often described in the sporting world as Kiwis. The Sumatran tiger, The Malay sun bear are some of the endangered species visible and protected at the zoo. New Zoo attractions are the Tropical River Trail which showcases animals in a rainforest setting, Close encounters which enables one to feed various animals in the zoo and work with a zoo keeper for a day. The Close Encounters excursion has different age requirements for various activities and needs pre-booking. There are also the Wild Summer nights held at the Zoo. During this time one can have a picnic at the zoo to the accompaniment of Jazz and Blues music. This event is held during the summer months of February and March.

Hotels, Restaurants and Nightlife
Wellington, apart from the attractions listed above has many works of art displayed on streets for public consumption. This adds to the vibrancy of the city and emphasizes the importance of art in this city. In addition to art installations, the city has many festivals and carnivals including the Cuba Street Carnival which is a large street fair held every year in February.

Wellington has many good hotels but if one is looking for a novel experience, then one might wish to stay at 98 Oriental Bay at Oriental Parade which is a Parisian style antique filled town house located in a gorgeous bay with an old world charm to it . At the other end of the spectrum is Bolton Hotel on Bolton Street which is spanking new and as modern as they come.

Wellington boasts of a number of ethnic restaurants. Malaysian, Indian, Greek and Sushi restaurants abound. Many stalls serving ethnic delicacies can also be found at the BNZ food court on Victoria and Wilseton Street. Roti, Satay Village, Tulsi, Little India are some of the good ethnic restaurants located in Wellington. Fine dining can be indulged in at Logan Brown ,located in a bank building and Francois, a French restaurant. Numerous ‘chippy shops’  fish and chip are found all over the city, Aro Street Fish and Chips, Dennis Fish Supply are to name a few.

The party central area of town is Courtenay Place in the Central Business District. It is bustling with Bars which are crowded at the end of the work week. Cuba Mall is another location for bars and pubs. Some of the bars of Courtenay Place are Mighty Mighty, Coyotes, Kitty O’Sheas. Good Luck Bar and the Matter horn are in Cuba Mall.

Wellington has an active coffee house scene as well. These cafes are supplied by local roasters such as Café Laffare, Coffee Supreme and Peoples coffee. Expressholic, Simply Paris and Fidel’s Café are a few of the popular cafes located in Wellington and worth a visit to imbibe the local café culture.


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