We arrived in New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington, around 6PM and checked into our hostel which was located downtown. We only had one night and part of a day in Wellington so we didn’t end up accomplishing too much. We used the internet to start booking our next few nights. We also wandered around the coastal area where they have a famous museum and many of the government buildings.
The next morning we ended up catching up with our friends from Ireland (you may remember that we met them over in Byron Bay – in Australia) who happened to be in Wellington at the same time as us! It was cool to meet up with them again and we chatted for a couple hours until we left. Hopefully we run into them again in another country! We also managed to get some decent photos of a really cool building that had 100’s of different sharks painted on it. It was to protest the killing of sharks for their fins. The artwork was really interesting.
We left that morning, but before we left the city we made a stop at Weta, which is a company that worked on a lot of the props and digital effects for the Lord of the Rings movies (and many more films since then).
At Weta they had many statues of Gollum, Gandalf and the three trolls from the Hobbit film. They also had swords and armour that was actually used in the filming of The Lord of the Rings! We watched a short film there that explained how the company got started and some of the animation techniques that they had created that were used in the film.
Weta offers a guided tour through their special effects buildings and shows how they create different characters and props. We unfortunately didn’t have time to do the tour, but the reviews from people who have done it were really positive.
After that fun detour, we started the drive up to New Plymouth on the west coast of New Zealand.