We had a day in Wellington to do what we wanted. We started off by going up the cable car to the Botanical gardens.
The cable car was only a short walk from the hotel, but we were expecting to see a cable car similar to those in ski resorts but it wasn’t. It was more like a tram car built at an angle. There were two of them, as one went up the other came down. They were pulled up and down with a cable. They were more like the old fashioned lifts you get to take you up and down the cliffs at Bournemouth.
The botanical gardens were large and on the hill side so you were constantly going up and down. There was a lot so see and the flowers were mainly at their best as you would expect for the end of summer. One interesting exhibit was a human sundial. It told you where to stand and what to do and then you could read off a very accurate time based on where the shadow of your raised arms landed.
On our journey round and at a brief stop for a drink in the tea rooms we must have bumped into about half of our fellow tourers.
We followed a path back into the centre and along to the wharf. We walked along the wharf for a while – it was very interesting and quite beautiful. For lunch we spotted the Macs brewery where a number of people seemed to be sat outside eating, and went in there. After lunch we went inside and up the stairs where there was a viewing gallery into the brewery and some boards which told you about its history etc.
After this we continued along the wharf for quite a while, it was very pleasant to be outside and the persistent wind was refreshing. On our return we called into the Te Papa museum, but soon got fed up of being in doors. Outside again we walked to the Tourist Information Centre through the civic square. The waterfront is very busy at all times, lots of joggers and walkers and skaters as well as some wonderful sculptures. Some of the most interesting walk ways are on the way to the civic square with its large silver globe (with fern leaf cut outs – the national emblem of New Zealand) seemingly hanging above your heads and also the art gallery which is a fairly bland square building which has been artistically painted with lots of large multi-coloured dots all over – very distinctive.
Back at the hotel we managed to do our washing before going to meet Jill and Errol for diner. There was a bit of confusion as to where we were to meet them but we finally met up with them for a late dinner of Tapas in quite a noisy restaurant so we seemed to be shouting at them all night. Still it was a very pleasant evening, great to catch up on what had been happening to Jill since we had last met a couple of years previously and also to finally understand a bit more about her strong feelings about the country of New Zealand.