Kia Ora (Maori for G’day) and welcome to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. Although the second largest city after Auckland, it is relatively small (population 393,400), but being surrounded by hills and set on a fantastic harbour, Wellington is a very picturesque place to visit.
Officially founded in 1840, Wellington became the capital city in 1865 (replacing Auckland). As such it is home to the New Zealand Government and Parliament buildings including Parliament House (Opened 1918 – the original building burnt down in 1907) and the distinctive “Beehive” executive building (completed in 1979 – houses the offices of the Prime Minister and Cabinet).
The Weta Cave My favourite place in Wellington is in the suburb of Miramar, The Weta Cave. It is a mini-museum and store dedicated to the movies of the Weta Workshop owned by Peter Jackson. Creators and providers of special effects and costumes for movies like The Lord Of The Rings, The Adventures of Tintin, The Chronicles of Narnia, King Kong and old cult classics like Brain Dead and Meet the Feebles! It is a fantastic little place to visit, but unfortunately due to confidentiality you can not tour the movie studios.
Most people come to see The Lord of The Rings displays.
Wellington is also home to the excellent Museum of New Zealand. Apart from an extensive collection on Maori history there are many interesting exhibits including the extinct giant Moa bird (which could grow to 13 feet /4 metres tall!) and the skeleton of the famed race horse Phar Lap (the rest of him resides in Australia – his stuffed remains are in the Melbourne Museum).