Thursday, May 22, 2014

New Zealand Day 4: Wellington

Our 3rd day in New Zealand, we rented a car and drove to Hamilton to attend the temple. I called a bishop in the area a few weeks prior to ask if there was someone who lived near the temple who could watch our boys for us so that Matt and I could attend together. We found a great gal named Jodi who, with her 9-year-old daughter, Becky, watched our boys. We unfortunately did not make it to a session because we read the schedule wrong, but we still did some temple work and it was good to be there and to take a little break from all of the sightseeing. Then we stopped at a McDonald's playplace and stayed for about 3 hours so the kids could play for as long as they could stand it. Then we drove to the Auckland airport and flew about one hour to Wellington.

When you get off the plane in Wellington, this is what you see:

The next morning (Day 4) we went to the Weta Cave Workshop for a tour. You can't take pictures in the workshop because all of the stuff they're working on is copyrighted by someone other than Weta, usually. But they have a little mini-museum in the gift shop, so we took a few pictures there.

Goblins outside the gift shop

Matt went to one tour while I watched the boys play with a few toys they had in a kids corner in the gift shop and then we traded. They did remarkably well. And I'm glad I didn't bring the boys through the tour... I would have spent the whole time shhing them so we could hear the tour guide. I think the coolest part of the tour was the chain mail. They had chain mail made by hand out of lightweight materials (I think plastic) for most of the cast of Lord of the Rings, but Viggo Mortensen insisted on wearing actual chain mail made of the heavy duty metal. It was SO heavy! We got to look at all of the different kinds up close. They had three people working there and we could see them painting and sewing and working on puppets. It was cool.

Then it was time to do something for the kids. So we went to the Wellington Zoo. Scott would stop at these signs and tell us all sorts of interesting (false) things about the animals we were looking at. I'm not sure how he's going to get motivated to read when he thinks he already can... but he's pretty funny and cute, so we'll keep him :)
White Cheeked Gibbon--male is black, female is fawn-colored. (that's what the sign said)
Bolivian Squirrel Monkey
Australian Pelican

Sumatran Tiger

Sun Bear


They had a bunch of these signs throughout the zoo. I loved them.
Kangaroos. There was no fence. We walked on a sidewalk right next to them.
Tasmanian Devil
They had a trampoline to jump on!
Scotty with the meerkats
Zoo Mascot
I took a lot more pictures of more animals, but these were my favorites. Again, just like at the aquarium, it's hard to get good shots from behind glass. Oh well.

After the zoo, we went to Mount Victoria to get a view of the city from all angles. We went kind of late in the day, so we could really only get good pictures facing in one direction, but it was still cool to look, and went again the next day on a tour and got some better pictures.

The boys were cold, so Matt lent them his jacket. It didn't last very long... but that's okay.

All of the museums in Wellington are free, so we checked out the Te Papa Museum because it was open late that night. We didn't look at everything, but they had a kids exploration room with this life size blue whale heart in it. So crazy.
And they had some costumes for the kids. Scott was a crab.
And Bobby was a penguin.
There was other stuff--like a dead giant squid laid out in a tank, but I couldn't get a good picture of it. And they had an exhibit on fashion around the world, which I thought was pretty cool. We were pretty tired, though, so I guess we didn't take many pictures. We ate dinner at our hotel and then went to bed.

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