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Trains, Cable Cars and Funky Plant Life

Wellington Cable Car

Wednesday, I was catching up with stuff during the morning, so didn't get moving till after lunch. I got the bus into central Wellington, and as it goes to the railway station, I stayed on it till there. Being a little bit of a train nerd, I popped in to have a look at some New Zealand trains.

All the trains present were what I would call EMUs (electrical multiple units). The most interesting was one called "The Cyclops", which is apparently the last single headlight train in New Zealand, and has been repainted in its original 1950s livery. I got chatting with one of the train workers, who took my photo in front of it.

Walking back towards town, I passed the parliament building and had a look. There are three main buildings, but the most recent one is an interesting round structure known as the Bee-hive.

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Anyone Free in Wellington tonight (Wednesday)?

Apologies for short notice, but we're having dinner tonight at Big Thumb on Allen St. This is just off Courtenay Place.

See location here.

Meeting there at about 6:30. All welcome.

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Te Papa Museum, Wellington

Me outside the Te Papa Museum

Te Papa Tongarewa, The Museum of New Zealand, to give it its proper name, is a huge concrete building on the waterfront in central Wellington.

Entering, I find the cloak room who kindly look after my coat, and don't even charge for the privilege.

At the information desk the helpful assistant suggests the best way to see the museum is to take the lift to the top floor and work my way down.

So starting on the sixth floor, which has an exhibition of pottery by Peter Stichbury, an artist from Auckland. I can't say pottery is my thing (though I did a little in art class at school) but I did find it interesting.

Moving down to the fifth floor (the sixth had a relatively small exhibition area), artworks from many New Zealand artists, from both Maori and European traditions were on display. It's quite interesting to see how both have added influence from the other into their works over the years.

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In the museum

View from the museum cafe

It was raining this morning, but cleared up into a very pleasant spring day, so rather than take the buys into the city centre, I decided to walk. It took about an hour, which was fine because apart from a long walk through Bangkok airport, I've not got any exercise since leaving ireland.

I'm now half way through the Te Papa museum, which is am awesome place to visit. There's a fantastic collection of items depicting New Zealand history, both Maori and european.

More later - I've still got a lot of the museum to get through before it closes at six.

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Wellington - at last!

Islands from the plane approaching Wellington

The flight to Wellington was fairly uneventful. The plane was only half full, so I had a row to myself. I watched the in flight movie for a bit, but it was pretty awful, so I snoozed for a bit.

On the way into Wellington, we were treated to some pretty amazing views of the complex of islands and peninsulas making up the northern tip of the South Island. Amazing fractals.

At the airport I was greeted by Norman Cates, a former DUFF winner and all round nice guy. He gave me a lift to his house, showed me around, and headed back to work. It was really nice of Norman to pick me up, as while I'm sure I could have made my own way, it really made it a whole lot more lot more pleasant.

I was fairly shattered, so I had a nap for a couple of hours. After getting up and having a shower, I felt human again, and caught up with email till Norman got back from work.

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