Orcs, Royals and a Cook Strait

Trip Start Nov 28, 2011
Trip End Apr 09, 2013

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Wednesday, November 14, 2012

There we are, Wellington. The first part of our road trip ends here. The car has to be dropped at the rental company and we are leaving the next morning the Northern Island. But first our visit to Wellington.

Wellington is the political and cultural capital. With great (sushi) restaurants, art galleries and the National museum, Te Papa, there's plenty to see and do. But we started delivering our heavy bags at our hostel for the night, Hotel/Hostel Cambridge. From there on, we navigate ourselves towards the Weta Cave (http://www.wetanz.com/cave/). The Weta Cave provides visitors a taste of the creativity that goes behind the walls of Weta. The Weta Cave is the company that made the visage and grimace, as well as the attributes and cloths for a number of well-known movies. Another important aspect of Weta are the special effects. The most famous one is the trilogy Lord of the Rings. Weta Cave is now finalizing the latest movie "the Hobbit – an unexpected journey"., directed by Peter Jackson – would have its world premiere in Wellington on the 28th of November, 14 days from now. We actually could already see the preparations, banners throughout a city and huge figures being prepared.

But there are also other movies where Weta played an important role: Superman, Zorro, The Chronicles of  Narnia and Tintin are just a few examples. Another one was Avantar – and they are now shooting Avantar 2 and 3). It was amazing to have just a quick look behind the scenes and to find out that there are much more artists working on a movie and many more activites and preparations than you would actually think.

Weta was the last stop and now we are driving our car  to our last destination with, the rental office. Perfectly cleaned our rental car – as if somebody really cares – no problems and before we knew it, we were back at the National Museum Te Papa. We spend some time here learning more about the history and see the treaty document – or at least a good copy. Then we made our way into the harbour. Today, it is also Prince Charles birthday and guess what! He is here in Wellington and by the time we are in the city making a harbour walk, he did the same together with Camilla! What a surprise! Together with the royals, we are watching a Maori war canoe being started  in the harbour of Wellington, a beautiful and amazing show that some of the Kiwis even had not seen before... blessed we are, as usual.

So after having visited the city, the Te Papa museum and enjoyed tons of good sushi we went back to our place. Special drinks and BBQ night was announced and although you probably would not even feed your dog that meat we had a lovely time! Many chats and some drinks later, with Germans (they’re everywhere down here!), Dutch (they too!) and British and French we had to go to bed as we’d leave the capital next day, crossing the cook strait down to the South Island with the Ferry.

With the “Interislander" the ferry connecting the two islands, you can experience a great journey between the North and South Islands of New Zealand. From the decks you can see the beautiful Marlborough Sounds, the Cook Strait, which is the stretch of sea between the two islands, and Wellington’s stunning natural harbour. It’s been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world’. The journey takes just three hours and at each end you have easy access to New Zealand’s most fascinating regions. And it definitely is. Especially as the ferry is not allowed to speed, due to going through the sound mainly, and so you just relax and enjoy the scenery!

The Marlborough region on the south island offers a unique mix of calm, natural beauty, fine food, outstanding wineries and adventure. It is all there and waiting for us to explore! The only thing is, we have to get to Christchurch to pick-up our van and friend Stefanie who will join us for this the southern island! Well, for that there are buses, and we had our tickets and are ready to go to Christchurch.

Can’t wait!!!
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