7:30 am Breakfast and go to Pukaha Mount Bruce (the National Wildlife Center). After lunch go to Wellington for flight to Christchurch.
landscape south of Napier
Luggage out at 7:30 am - unpleasant but necessary because we're traveling 320 km to Wellington today plus stopping to see things along the way. After traveling through the agricultural landscape south of Napier (away from mountains and hills into the flattest land I’ve seen in New Zealand and no more streams fringed by mangroves - this is serious agriculture) we stopped in Dannavirke and encountered the talking loo.
the talking loo in Dannavirke
It was the highlight of the morning.
It was a unisex loo (although the voice was male) and when you walked into the compartment, he told you how to close and lock the door.
He also informed you that you had 10 minutes (I was tempted to overstay my 10 minutes just to see what would happen - forcibly evicted from a loo by the loo?)
and began to play elevator music. . .pardon me, loo music.
Unfortunately it wasn’t anything I recognized.
Again I was tempted to stay there and see if he played “Singing in the Rain” or something else water-related.
I left within a few minutes only because my tour mates hadn’t yet encountered the loo and were waiting outside for their turn.
The next stop was Mt Bruce, the national wildlife center for breeding threatened species. There were stitchbirds, kakoka, pukeko and other rare birds in large aviaries (which made the shy birds extremely hard to see, let alone photograph). I’ve included photos of some.
Kokako at Mt Bruce
We had lunch and continued on to Wellington
over mountains and into Hutt Valley
Wellington is located at the meeting point of three fault line and two continental plates so has lots of earthquakes. Somebody told me that New Zealand has 1,000 earthquakes a year (obviously very minor ones) and that most of them are near Wellington. . . . .I don’t know if that’s true but I was hoping nothing major would happen while we were there.
Wellington is the capitol of New Zealand and a beautiful city located around a huge bay on the south end of the North Island.
Te Papa - the Wellington Museum
. . almost the center of the country.
The government buildings are a mixture of classical and modern architecture and flowers and sculpture are everywhere.
The crowning glory is the museum, Te Papa.
It seemed to cover nature, history and art - everything New Zealand
- but the art is what got to me.
Of course there was an extensive Maori exhibit with a modern meeting house and a stained glass window of Maori symbols (see my page on Maoris if you are interested in the extent of Maori influence on New Zealand life).
Colin McCahon is a New Zealand
painter who has on display paintings that are large, thought provoking and disturbing.
Some of them were breathtaking and others I didn’t like at all.
Mary-Louise Browne had text art that I loved.
In any case, it's interesting art, well displayed, in an interesting building and well worth spending an afternoon in Te Papa when you’re in Wellington