Friday, April 15, 2011


We stayed in Wellington for a few days with some friends of Kim's parents.  Lynn was a great hostess and took us to see many of the sights around Wellington.

The first sight that we took in was the Te Papa Museum in downtown Wellington.  It was free to go to and was fascinating to tour.

 The two of us outside of the museum.

Inside the museum.  There were numerous life-size replicas of New Zealand animals.

 Here is a replica of a weta, the large bugs that were in the glowworm cave at Abel Tasman.  Underneath  it is a portion of the replica of a meter long earthworm with glow-in-the-dark insides.

Here is Jake with the world's largest squid.

Here is Kim posing next to a replica of a moa.  Moas were large birds that used to live in New Zeland.  They are now extinct.

This is an example of a Maori temple.  They had an entire wing of the museum dedicated to the Maori people and their way of life.  There were numerous jade carvings as well.

 A fountain in the middle of town.

The skyline  of Wellington is in the distance.

We went to the Weta Cave workshop.  This is a design studio that became world-renown for working on Lord of the Rings.  Since then they have also designed Avatar, King Kong, and the Chronicles of Narnia, to name a few.

 Jake next to a statue of Gollum.

Kim posing by another Lord of the Rings statue surrounded by knives and swords that were actually used in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Believe it or not, if the knife is in its sheath, it is made of rubber and, if it is being wielded in the air, it is aluminum.  Aah...Hollywood....

This is Sauron's actual costume.  It looks big and heavy but all of the chainmail used in the Lord of the Rings is actually plastic.
 These were all part of a store were you could buy all kinds of memorabilia, including an exact replica of "The Ring."

 Or one of these highly sought-after statues.

 These were some of the props used in "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."

We looked around the small shop/museum and watched a 20-minute movie on how they make the movie sets and props.  We were not able to tour the actual workshops because of the hidden Hollywood secrets that they hold.

Off to the North Island

We drove our rental car onto the Interislander Ferry and settled in for a three hour journey through Marlborough Sounds and over Cook Strait to the North Island.

Saying goodbye to the South Island.

 An identical ferry that passed us enroute to the North Island.

 Beautiful scenery.

Anyone need a taxi?

We saw several sailboats.

The open water

 Arriving in Wellington on the North Island

Jake smiling right before getting off of the ferry to a new land of adventures.