|Wellington from the top of Mt. Victoria|
From the National Park we roll into Wellington, the capital city of NZ. It is a pretty looking city with a population of 300,000+. We absorb the stunning panoramic views of the city from the top of Mt. Victoria.
|In front of Parliament Building|
The next day, we were hosted by our Michael's friends--Lan and Annabel (Annabel being the New Zealander). They generously gave of their time by walking us through the city core showing us the highlights of Wellington. We walked along the main street, strolled in front of Parliament buildings and stopped briefly at the Civic Centre.
Annabel drove us along the coastline showing us the spectacular views of the Cook Strait with a slight glimpse of the South Island. She pointed out the many features along the coastline. We settled down for lunch at a beach cafe. It was a breathtakingly scenic drive making Wellington even more prettier than our original first sighting. The weather was hot and sunny; no vicious winds or cold rain--our luck was with us.
We visited the Te Papa Museum in Wellington. Along with other historical information, the Museum highlights the Maori culture and their prominent position in New Zealand. They were the first explorers of NZ; hence the Maori play an important and active role in New Zealand.
North Island has magnificent landscape formed through volcanic activity and is still in the throes of this activity that could further change the look and beauty of the landscape. This part of NZ has many, many vistas of undulating hills and rock formations that create a unique appearance that is scenic New Zealand. We look forward to the ferry ride that will take us to the South Island.