Wellington

Wellington is the political, cultural, art, music, fashion and coffee capital of New Zealand and in my opinion, the nicest city I have been to anywhere in the world. The city is filled with cafes, museums, street art, sculptures, restaurants of all cuisines, music venues and beautiful architecture.

 

 

Te Papa

Te Papa is ranked as being amongst the top Museums in the world, having several floors stocked with a great variation of exhibits. At present, the building is home to the Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War exhibit, commissioned and created by Peter Jackson (the director of the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit Trilogies). This is one of the most incredible exhibits I have had the pleasure of seeing, featuring giant, extremely lifelike wax replicas of soldiers fighting in Gallipoli. The exhibit features several fantastic interactive elements too and is highly immersive. Also included in the gallery is a great introduction into Maori history and culture.

http://www.gallipoli.tepapa.govt.nz/

 

Weta Workshop

If you are a fan of the Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit trilogy, District 9, King Kong, Kingdom of Heaven, World of Warcraft, or any movie worked on by Weta Workshop, then this is a must visit location. Not only will you see life-sized replicas of famous characters on site, you will actually be given a tour of the active workshop where movies are currently being worked on. You will get to handle and try on props from various movies and learn about what went on behind the scenes. For those who are Halo fans, you will get to see the world only working Warthog in the world.

 

Art/Statues

Wellington is full of street art, statues and galleries. Being referred to as the cultural capital of the country, it has proudly taken on the role. Wherever you go in the city center you will find fantastic pieces, alleyways are worth exploring to find hidden gems.

Wellington Zoo

Wellington Zoo is  small and in one of the cities suburbs, but is a fantastic way to spend the afternoon. While the zoo is small, they have a great spread of animals and they are kept in better conditions than many of the zoos I have visited.

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Milford Sound/Fiordland

Milford Sound is New Zealand’s number one tourist attraction and has consistently ranked as one of the world’s top tourist attractions. With some of the world’s greatest scenery and completely untouched landscape, it is easy to see why. The entire state of Fiordland is a national park, meaning that for the entire drive, once leaving Southland, you will not see any towns or houses along the drive. This adds to the beauty of the entire region, how natural and untouched it all really is. The only buildings that you will come across are actually in the sound itself, which include the ferry station, underwater research center, airport and staff living quarters. As far as cruises go, I would recommend using Cruise Milford, as their tours only cost $90 and include lunch. We paid an additional cost to include the underwater research center which is definitely worth the cost. If you would like to see a rare breed of coral (called black coral, despite seeming white), that normally grows in the deep see, but is tricked into growing in Milford Sound due to sediment runoff, then definitely pay the additional fee. Make sure to stop often along the drive to the sound, as there are countless photo spots and small sights worth seeing. Watch out for Kia along the journey, they are a highly intelligent mountain parrot, only found in New Zealand and are also part of the unique experience.

http://www.cruisemilfordnz.com/