Final day of our long weekend in Wellington
On our final day in Wellington, my friend Jane and I decided to visit the national museum as so many people had told us before we left Canberra, that we ‘just had to visit’ the Te Papa Museum. And as you know sometimes you take travel advice and other times you just don’t have time or the inclination; this time we did and we were so glad!!
We walked from our hotel and reached the marina where the museum is located. It’s really beautiful walking along the water front and we spent a bit of time just looking at some of the structures and waterfront apartments.
At the museum, which like most museums is free to enter, the first exhibition we visited was Gallipoli: The scale of our war. As the museum’s website says…’this ground-breaking exhibition tells the story of the Gallipoli campaign in World War I through the eyes and words of eight ordinary New Zealanders who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances’.
‘Each person is captured frozen in a moment of time on a monumental scale – 2.4 times human size. The large-scale sculptures took 24,000 hours to create, and countless hours were spent researching their histories’. They were absolutely amazing, every wrinkle, frown and muscle accounted for!!
It was a magnificent exhibition as these ‘people’ were so life like and so life like; their stories so sad as over 2,500 New Zealanders lost their lives on Gallipoli.
Being Australian, Gallipoli has huge significance not just for the New Zealanders but for us Aussies too, as it was on Gallipoli shores on 25 April 1914 that Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACS) fought their first military action, during the First World War and over 8,500 Aussies lost their lives. The pride the soldiers took in that name ANZAC endures to this day and 25 April is remembered every year with a Dawn Service both in New Zealand and Australia.
After this sombre visit we walked through the rest of the museum and enjoyed a history lesson on the New Zealand indigenous people (Maori) as well as some other exhibitions. Six floors of amazing historical and contemporary exhibitions.
Before we left we went up to the roof of the museum and had spectacular views across the water.
We then did a walk around the city of Wellington (my feet killing me as I had worn shoes that caused blisters) but I soldiered on!! We did stop off at the famous Cuba Street which is known for its bars, cafes and restaurants and funky clothing stores.
We found Fidel’s Cafe that Jane had read about and popped in for a cool drink. But it smelt of old fat used for deep-frying so we didn’t even finish our drinks and left. It was a bit funky inside but the smell was too much for us to stay and look at all the revolutionary posters and photos on the walls.
Then it was time to go back to our hotel (by taxi due to my painful feet) and get ready to take our shuttle to the airport to return to Canberra.
Must say… I loved Wellington and am looking forward to returning to New Zealand some time soon; perhaps next time to the south island.