Wellington and goodbye to North Island

Trip Start Jan 24, 2013
Trip End Apr 22, 2013

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Flag of New Zealand  , Wellington,
Tuesday, February 26, 2013

We were lucky that the "windy city" did not live up to it's name; it was calm and sunny the whole time that we were there. We had a full day around the city yesterday; we walked through the town and took the cable car up to visit the Observatory and the Botanic Gardens - they were lovely; the setting on the side of the hill enhanced all the trees and flowers. We walked down through the gardens and some " memorial gardens" (part cemetery) to the parliament area and had a (free) guided tour of the old and new parliament buildings - we even went into the "chamber" as MP's were not sitting. A bit smaller than ours (135 seats) but along similar lines. It was also fascinating to see the way that they have changed the foundations by adding "base isolators" (basically steel, concrete and rubber "springs") to help to withstand earthquakes by allowing the building to move from side to side. In the evening we went up to Mount Victoria lookout at sunset, where you can see 360 degrees around the area. Breathtaking! My i pad photos will not do the views justice...... This morning we packed and left our bags I the car so that we could visit the brilliant New Zealand National Museum - Te Papa. Housed in a purpose build facility right next to the sea (and on 2 mins from our apartment - Barlow tours excels again!), it contains a wealth of information on the people, the islands, flora and fauna and history, displayed in a very accessible way......and it was free although we did make a donation.
We dropped the car off at Wellington Airport and hopped onto our "grab a seat" flight to Dunedin - great views of Wellington as we left and the coast as we flew south........more in a couple of days as we have a full day of nature watching tomorrow (fingers crossed!!)
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