Whanganui sits on the west coast of NZ's North Island; it is at the point where the Whanganui River flows into the Tasman Sea. It is one of NZ's oldest settlements. It claims to be home to the largest arts community in NZ, even a Glass School (which we visited).
This is the view from Durie Hill; itl looks down at the Whanganui (town and river).
When the town of Whangnui started spreading up the hillside, they built the Durie Hill Elevator. Opened in 1919, it is the only public underground elevator of its kind in NZ.
This is the street level entrance to the tunnel; we used it when returning from the Saturday Market that was taking place along the Whanganui waterfront.
This is the 650 ft. tunnel that leads to and from the Durie Hill Elevator.
Foxton is a small, somewhat run down town that we stopped at before getting to Wellington. It is unusual in that it was founded on flax, instead of the typical coal or gold. A couple of things I found interesting there were:
The old Maori graves, in the park, were decorated with these flax flowers.
The sign on this store in Foxton was too funny...having part of the word "antiques" missing, made it even better!
Wellington is the world's most southern capital city; it has been the capital city since 1865. The urban area is around 405,000, making it the second biggest city in NZ. It sits between the Rimutaka Mountains and the Cook Strait at the south-western end of the North Island. It is very windy here, sometimes referred to as "Windy Welly."
In NZ, where rugby rules, the national rugby team is called the All Blacks. For a month in June and July, the British and Irish Lions Rugby team toured NZ ; since they hadn't been there for 12 years, it was a big deal! The Lions played three test matches against the All Blacks, and they also played another seven games against other NZ teams. The games were played all over NZ, and a large contingent of Lions fans came on vaca to follow the team around. A game was going on in Wellington against the All Blacks on the first day we were there. The next day, as we walked around downtown, it was the Lion's fans with a smile on their faces. The end result of the three test matches was a tie; since the last game was a draw.
This poster was made to advertise the two games played in Wellington. The British and Irish Lions had games against the Hurricanes, a NZ Super Rugby team, and the All Blacks, the NZ national team.
The Hiilary Shield was created in 2008; it is given to the winner of NZ vs England rugby match. It was displayed with various other NZ rugby cups that we saw as we walked around the waterfront.
The New Zealand Parliment Buildings
One of the first things we did in Wellington, was to go on a tour of the Parliament House. It sits on the Lambton Quay, along with the Beehive, the Parliamentary Library, and the Bowen House. All four of these buildings were built at different times, the result being a complex with "little aesthetic or architectural coherence." Yeah...that might be an understatement!
In this case, the oldest, is the prettiest. This is the Parliamentary Library; it was built in 1889.
The Parliament House was meant to be built in two phases, but only the first was completed. It has the debate chambers for the House of Representatives, the Speaker's office, and the visitors center. NZ has no senators.
The Beehive was opened in 1979, on the land that was supposed to be used for the second phase of the Parliament House. It houses the Prime Minister (Bill English) and his cabinet. As you might of guessed, it's design has been controversial since it opened. It is unique, that's for sure!
The Bowen House has the government support staff. The Wellington Cenotaph (Wellington Citizens' War Memorial) is in front of it.
The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Te Papa is the national museum and art gallery of NZ. It sits along the waterfront on reclaimed land. Of course, it is near a major fault line, so it was built to withstand a major earthquake.
Gallipoli: The Scale of our War is the special exhibit that will be featured at the museum until 2019. "It is the story of the Gallipoli campaign in WWI as told through the eyes and words of ordinary New Zealanders who were there." The detail, achieved on each of the eight figures featured, is amazing. I would say, it has to be one of the more impressive exhibits that we have seen.
Te Papa means "our place." This impressive building was completed in 1998; it has a south Pākeha (European) face and a north (Maori) face.
Lottie (Charlotte) Le Gallais is one of the real life war participants who was reproduced at 2.4 times her actual size. She was a military nurse from Auckland; she served on the hospital ship Maheno. She is shown receiving the unopened letters that she had sent to her brother, back. They were stamped KILLED RETURN TO SENDER.
Another person featured is Lt. Colonel Percival Fenwick; he had been a surgeon in Whanganui and Christchurch, after emigrating to NZ from England. He was among the first group of NZeders to land on Gallipoli, on April 25th,1915. His despair is shown as he leans over a fatally wounded Canterbury infantryman, Jack Aiken.
This view looks across the Oriental Bay/Lambton Harbor (which is a part of the huge Wellington Harbor) toward the Jerningham Head. On the right side of waterfront is the huge Te Papa Museum. Around 100,00 NZeders served in WWI, most departed from the Wellington Harbor. About 18,000 died in or because of their service in the war.
Wellington Botanic Garden
We took the Wellington Cable Car, up the side of a hill, to the 60 acre Wellington Botanic Garden.
This view from the Botanic Garden, is of the cable car track and the Wellington CBD/Harbor. In the distance, is the Hutt Valley; this is where we stayed while in the area.
This Andrew Drummond sculpture, is simply called the "Listening and Viewing Device." It was made to take advantage of the high winds in Wellington by swaying and making it's own music. You are also encouraged to stand inside and listen.
A winter view of the Wellington Botanic Garden.
The Wellington Railway Station.
The Buzzy Bee is everywhere in NZ.
When leaving Wellington, we traveled through the Rimutaka Range. At the top of the pass, we stopped at the Rimutaka Crossing Memorial.
This 2015 memorial commerates the 60,000 NZ WWI troops who made crossing between the military camp at Featherston and Wellington between 1915-1919.