So Saturday, which dawned as a sort of grey, dismal day, we set off relatively early to visit… the Weta Cave! If you’re not aware (although I’ve no idea how that would be possible), Weta are a special effects company, made most famous by the work they did for Lord of the Rings. (The Boy and I were both surprised to hear that they’d been around for over 10 years before that though.)
The cave had some interesting memorabilia, including lots of stuff for movies I hadn’t known Weta worked on, like District 9 and Master and Commander (they made the ship miniatures). Neat, and taking the local bus out of town a bit (the cave is in Miramar, a suburb of Wellington, and yes, I totally made a Top Gun crack while we were on our way out there) was also kind of nice. It’s always fun to play local when you can.
Anyway, after our morning’s nerdy pilgrimage, we headed back downtown, where in spite of the grey skies, we saw many a sailboat out on the harbour.
We walked through an underground arts market with sooo many nice things. I desperately wish our markets at home were as varied as this! One of us may or may not have bought some yarn. And then we headed over next door to New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa.
Te Papa actually reminded all of us quite a bit of the Museum of Civilization. Since we knew we couldn’t cover it all, we each chose one thing we wanted to see. The Boy wanted to see the quakebreakers under the museum (rubber pads that absorb most of the movement of an earthquake, to protect the museum; given that many of the country’s cultural treasures are housed in it, and that New Zealand has a fault line running right through the country, the museum took care to earthquake-proof itself where possible!). His friend wanted to see the miniature house where they recreated a historic earthquake, and I wanted to see the giant squid.
We set about to see those exhibits and although I don’t have pictures of the first two, I do have pictures of the squid!
Actually my favourite of the sections we walked through was the animals of New Zealand part. For one thing, we learned just how big a weta really is (they didn’t just make up the name! It’s a bug!)… And how big kiwi eggs are compared to kiwis! (No wonder their birth rates are so low?!)
After our educational afternoon, we drifted back along the wharf to the Mac’s Brew Pub. Having been handed a “craft beer passport” in Rotorua, The Boy and I had been making an effort in the towns we stopped in, to visit the pubs carrying local craft beers where possible. Mac’s, it turns out, makes one of The Boy’s favorites of this trip, the Sassy Red. I regret not taking a picture of the Mac’s mural (which explained all about their natural brewing process) but did capture this:
That’s right — this pub had board games! We played Scrabble over nachos and wedges (and pints) and The Boy won, he claims for the first time (against me). I’m pretty sure he’s beat me before, but he seemed so happy, I didn’t really feel the need to argue.
After that, a boring night of laundry and packing up, to make ready for our early ferry ride to the south island!