Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Whirlwind Time in Windy Wellington

People say I'm a well traveled feline. I'm not going to argue with that.

Living in the Southern Hemisphere has enabled me to also enrich the knowledge of those living in the north. I mean, I get remarks like "how come it's summer there? it's winter here." Duh, I'm in the south, in the antipodean. So everything is in the opposite. Even the way water swirls before escaping through the hole in the sink!

OK...so I'm not going to teach Geography today. It's more of Travel and Leisure a la Angelina.

Everybody knows New Zealand? Remember....earthquake...Christchurch? But of course New Zealand is more than that. I've been to other parts of the country besides Christchurch. Today, we'll go visit Wellington, New Zealand's capital city.

As any good netizen would do, I googled the weather, temperature et cetera before the impending journey. It was in summer, clear skies, temperature 25oC. OK, that's similar to an average day in Sydney so not too cold, not too hot either, just nice. Hmm...I sound like Goldilocks here.

Anyway, as the flight was in wee hours in the morning, put on a thin shawl for a little warmth. That shawl saved my life.

Three hours and we touched down at the Wellington International Airport, which is like wedged between the sea and the mountain. The Air New Zealand pilot was good! Didn't ruffle my fur at all. And the stewardesses....aaahhh....genuine smiles all round.

In Māori, Wellington goes by three names:
1. Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara (refers to Wellington Harbour and means "the great harbour of Tara".)
2. Pōneke (a transliteration of Port Nick, short for Port Nicholson - the city's central marae, the community supporting it and its kapa haka have the pseudo-tribal name of Ngāti Pōneke).
3. Te Upoko-o-te-Ika-a-Māui (meaning The Head of the Fish of Māui - often shortened to Te Upoko-o-te-Ika - a traditional name for the southernmost part of the North Island, derives from the legend of the fishing up of the island by the demi-god Māui.)

Immigration was a breeze, make sure you show them the return ticket, or else you won't be allowed in. Oh, and no funny food items too. The New Zealand customs and quarantine authorities are the second strictest after Australia, I think.

Anyway, first order of the day was Mama's meeting with some people. I stayed in the background (nodding off under the boardroom table). Then woke up in time for lunch.

The excitement all happened after lunch. It's going to be pictorial from hereon.

A must visit - Te Papa Tongarewa (Museum of New Zealand). It has an awesome gift shop. Mama bought heaps of paua shell thingy here. Don't know what a paua is? Google it!
We looooove this esplanade next to the museum and port. Imagine ladies of Victorian era wearing those gorgeous gowns and gentlemen in tuxedos and umbrellas.....
Circa Theatre on Taranaki St. It's actually just opposite the museum.
Downtown Wellington. Seriously, didn't see many humans in this city. Population circa 400,000 I was told. Hmmm....compared to Sydney's four million!
Affectionately called The Beehive - New Zealand Parliament building. We arrived when visiting hours were over. Oh well....next time perhaps. Wellington replaced Auckland as capital city in 1864. It only had population of 4,900 then.
The Beehive and its predecessor. The building to the right is the old Parliament.
View from Kelburn, the top most station of a funicular railway linking the hilly suburb with Lambton Quay. The cable car project started in 1898 and was launched in 1902, mostly used by students attending Victoria University.
The building on the left is the Skyline Restaurant at the Kelburn Station. It was opened in 1984.
Not too far from the top of the hill cable car station is the Wellington Botanic Garden. In fact, you can take the cable car to visit here. We were imagining ourselves coming here in the late afternoons to chill out like that bloke on the bench. Bliss...
The best part of the garden is the Rose Garden. Beautiful orange rose.....
...and pink....
....and yellow (complete with edible insect snack)....
...and purple....I especially like this one but Mama didn't allow me to pick any. Beautiful smell too.
....and red (these ones are humongous)....
Then we went to Mt Victoria, Wellington's highest peak, on the opposite side of Kelburn to look at this view.
Mountain climbing anyone? No steep terrain, just steps, to the peak of Mt Victoria.
Some sort of monument on the peak of Mt Victoria.
What's this cannon doing here? It's an old one though.
Nice suburb where the motel we stayed in was. I think it's called Hataitai.
Mama was drooling at the sight of these waterfront properties.....at NZ$400,000 a piece?
The building on the left (orange roof) is Bella Vista Motel on Evans Bay Parade, where we stayed. The grey boxes on the left, were on sale at NZ$250,000 each.
Mascot of the motel. This marmalade tabby belongs to the motel proprietor. It was saying goodbye as we were checking out. Of course I can't resist taking its photo.
Angelina's note: What else to do in Wellington? Of course, any hardcore Lord of the Rings fan knows that this is the city to visit if you want to "relive" the movie. Many tourist agents offer LOTR packages here. purrr....meow!

42 comments:

i amsterdam said...

Is that how Travel and Leisure ala Angelina operates??? By asking us to google it??? I think I'm going to Nikki Travel and Leisure after this...

mokjadeandell said...

Dello: water water everywhere.Cant even go out of the door.So boring that it could kill.
Spent my time on high place.Snoring.zzzz.

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Mother of Ilham,
Nikki Travel & Leisure has closed shop. purrrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Dello,
Pasai tulah rumah kami atas bukit. Pi travel pun pi panjat bukit juga. purrr....meow!

i amsterdam said...

Dah try google pulut sekaya from Meow Factor... tapi x jumpa :(

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Mother of Ilham,
Memang tak akan jumpa. It's still in draft...somewhere.... We can email you. Bak mai address. purrr....meow!

TK said...

Beautiful roses.. in one of the most beautiful places on earth! Jeles ni..I'll be there one day..I will!

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

It's either "HIS" or "HER" photo, Angelina! Not "IT" :( Poor tabby, having to say goodbye to you right after making a new friend. I think he's a boy. Most orange kitties I know are boys. Anyway, our marmalade friend there has to "jaga kedai", doesn't he?

I love the photos and the Maori lesson. All of it brings back wonderful memories of New Zealand... a beautiful country with gracious and courteous people... and my friends in Christchurch and Tamaki Makau Rau...

You are indeed a well-travelled kitty, Angelina. I'll bet your passport has hundreds of stamps in it.

Monyet King said...

Wellington looks lovely. NZ is definitely on my list of places to visit... hope to do it soon.

Lili said...

Wow, the Rose Garden! Reminds me of an old TV3's drama...Cinderella. Must be at the same location they shot for scenes in NZ. :D

Good thing there's no lilies, eh, Angelina? Hehehehe!

aby said...

i magining what will angelinas reaction when close to the lembus lembus in NZ ...
no Lembus image???

Pat said...

Hi Kitty Kat,

Sorry I haven't been round for a bit. Glad to see you're doing well. And thanks for the lovely pix - especially the flowers. Too bad we don't get smells with them :(

Oskar said...

Wow, how lovely!

Nubbin wiggles,
Oskar

Pi Bani said...

Have google will travel.

Rosmawati Yusof said...

Cantiknyer...bunga2 tu

kay_leeda said...

Ohhhh dia pun pi jenjalan!! Yang dok jeles ke Aunty tu napa? Ce citer ce citer...

Cat-in-Sydney said...

TK Sensei,
I think you'll enjoy taking photos here too. It's soooo beautiful. purrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

CO78,
Mama didn't allow me to peek under the Marmalade's bonnet, so to speak so I don't know "its" gender. hehehe...I'm persuading Mama to consider retirement in this lovely country. purrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Your Royal Monyetness,
You should go visit Sir Edmund Hilary's museum, somewhere in NZ. You know....continuation of your Everest quest. purrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Hi Aunty Lili,
Welcome to my humble abode...errr....blog. Roses I like. I don't know that TV programme you're talking about but the shoot could have taken place in Christchurch as well. The city also has a rose garden within its botanic garden.
Oh yes, I'll avoid lilies like a plague. Except you, of course. purrr...meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Uncle Aby,
Unfortunately we haven't met any lembus in NZ but we've met many lembus in Queensland (search my archive). purrrr...meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Pat,
Maybe if we all send a petition to Mr Google so that we can have "smells" as attachment in blogs? But what if I show cow poo? purrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Oskar,
You can honeymoon with Bella here. purrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Pi,
Yeah...just look up Angelina Travel & Tours. purrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Rosmawati,
Tolong bagitahu Abang Madan, kita suka bunga cantik macam tu. purrrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Kay,
You were on vacation, ours was "ikut Mama kerja". Big difference. purrr....meow!

grOundnUt said...

Alahaaii..comel nyer yang picture last tu...gebu jugak yer kucing² kat sana eh...^^
Sonok betul dapat menjelajah negara orang..^^

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Uncle Kacang,
Jauh berjalan, luas pandangan, banyak pengalaman! Kan sekarang AA dah terbang ke New Zealand! purrr....meow!

Roy said...

I love the photos. NZ was on the top of my list to visit the years I was in the military, but sorry to say Unk Sam did not see fit to send me anywhere near there. Great tour Angelina. Enjoyed it very much. Hope you will do that again sometime. Glad to see you had some purry company while you were on the trip.

I'll be back .....

Al-Manar said...

If you write enough and show enough pictures I do not have to spend money travellig all the way with nothing to prove. Let us see more pictures, of the night life, please - for the nocturnal!

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Cat, enjoyed your geography lesson.
I have a sis in NZ, Auckland.
Have not seen her 15 years.
Love your beautiful pics here. That waterfront is really beautiful. But takut tsunami la.
NZ abit like canada....
Have fun.
Lee.

masterwordsmith said...

Such a refreshing post with terrific pics!!!

Thanks for sharing!!! Take care and have a great weekend.

More travel tales please...

Salam

Nur Misnan said...

hey dear Angelina
aunty nur love all d photos. i like
xspecially itu bunga meh...

p.s. never been there
maybe someday...

Sandy said...

I'm sooo jealous !! You know you can have a career being feline travel guide , wow... how cool is that ? :D

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Uncle Roy,
Auw....you should have visited NZ, in fact, you can still visit NZ now. It's an awesome place. purrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Dear Pakcik,
Your wish is my command. More travel tales coming up. purrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Uncle Lee,
I haven't been to Auckland. But will visit your sister on your behalf if ever I do. purrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Paula,
Yes. More travel tales coming soon. purrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Nur,
Kan dah ada "now everybody can fly"? You must visit there one day. purrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Tante Sandy,
No...my Mama wants me to be a professor. purrr....meow!

Wan Sharif said...

Glad to know there is something called Pōneke (a transliteration of Port Nick, short for Port Nicholson - the city's central marae)
In Trengganu-speaks Port Nick would be Pok Nik.. the equivalent of which we have Pantai Mok Nik in Kemaman.. a marvellous beach way they talk about it. ;))

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Ayoh Wang,
At Pantai Mok Nik (aka Monica Bay), there's a restaurant selling truly delicious satar called Restoren Wan. Any relation? purrr....meow!