February 28, 2019
When we left Auckland, we watched a security officer and a dog go to every pallet of goods to be brought aboard the ship. The officer cut a hole in each side of the plastic around the pallet and the dog sniffed each side. The officer then put a paper on each side to identify that it had been inspected. Interesting.
I also got a surprise in the cabin. I was one of 6 people who had the most correct answers to the Oscar winners. We all had 17/24 correct. We all received a bottle of champagne!
We had a sea day between Auckland and Wellington and it was a fun day with Polynesian bracelet making, Zorba practice for the talent show and dinner with Marilyn and Charlie.
Our arrival in Wellington was beautiful. Still quite cool comparatively – 60 degrees on arrival.
We love New Zealand and really enjoyed Wellington on our 2 previous visits. We planned to go to the Botanic Garden again and then just decide as we go, I did want to find a place for a pedicure!
Wellington is the country’s third most populous city and it is also the world’s southernmost capital city! It is a young and vibrant city with almost 60% of the population between the ages of 18-49.
It is a very windy city but lots of sunny days are the usual here and today was no exception.
We started our day by taking the shuttle to the first stop. You cannot walk through the port here – you must take the shuttle. We then walked uphill to the Botanic Gardens which in my opinion is one of the most beautiful I have seen. It is over 65 acres of beauty – trees, shrubs, flowers and an award winning rose garden with over 300 different rose variations. Pictures really cannot do it justice.
Next, the begonia house which contains tropical and temperate displays. Beautiful.
The tropical area also contains lily ponds and yes, bananas!
The gardens wind all the way up the hills to the top of the cable car – which runs from the central city up to the gardens. More about that later. Our fitness trackers say that we climbed the equivalent of 43 floors and walked 6 miles.
Here are some other pictures from this wonderful place. We never get enough and visit every time we are here.
There is a duck pond and food to feed them. One duck was quite friendly – eating out of my hand!
It is the 150 anniversary of the Gardens and the seasonal area had a commemorative display.
The gardens were not crowded and we had a wonderful time.
As we walked to the Treehouse Visitor’s center, we heard a distinctive sound. Turns out there were lots of cicadas on the trees. And not only on the trees!
The visitor’s center had a nice display of botanical art.
There is an unusual sundial in the gardens. If you stand in the area of the month and extend your arms to the sides, they will point to the tablets with the correct time!
We decided to take the cable car down to town. The cable car is really a funicular which runs through a pulley at the top of the hill and has two counter balanced cars attached to each other by a cable. Many people commute to the town for work using the cable car. The views from the top of the hill are wonderful.
I did find a place for a relaxing pedicure and we both updated our devices during that time with the wi-fi at the salon.
We then walked to dockside to Shed 5 where we had the catch of the day fish in Cajun style at the Crab Shack. Delicious.
We ended our day in Wellington with visits to both the Wellington Museum and the Museum of New Zealand – Te Papa Tongarewa. Both were very interesting. The museum had a very moving documentary about the Wahine tragedy which was a ferry accident in 1968 where 51 people died.
The second picture is of a toilet!
The kiwi lays huge eggs! And this piece of art uses human hair to form the flowers.
This is on the walk between the two museums. Love the outdoor artist and the outdoor gathering places.
Te Papa, which means ‘our place’, is the national museum. There were lots of Maori carvings and examples of weaving. The Terracotta warrior exhibit was there but we have been to Xian to see them so bypassed that part. There are a lot of interactive displays here – it is known as one of the best interactive museums in the world. One of the most impressive sights was the model of the heart of a blue whale. Huge!
We have a bridge cam on the tv and we keep it on most of the time. There is a place near the ship where logs for export are kept – this is the view from the tv bridgecam.
Then it was back to the ship – a very busy and terrific day. Here is our sail away. Is anyone tired??