Sunday, November 13, 2016

Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington is the capital of New Zealand and, after Auckland, the second largest city with 405,000 people.  It is the world's most southernmost capital city.

Wellington is located on the southwestern tip of the North Island near the Cook Strait which causes the average wind speed to be more than 26 km/hour (16 mph) making it the world's windiest city.

There is evidence that the Māori were living in New Zealand around 1280.  The British settled the Wellington area in 1839.  In 1865, Wellington became the capital.

In Māori the city is Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

The Beehive is the executive wing of parliament.  The building is ten storeys high and there are another four underground.  Construction was completed in 1981 and it is next to Parliament House which was built in 1922.

The St. Paul Cathedral serves the Anglican Diocese of Wellington.  It was consecrated in 2001.

The Supreme Court of New Zealand is fairly new.  It was created in 2004.  Prior to that I think that final legal rulings were made in the UK probably a hold over from colonialism.




The National Library was established in 1965.





Wellington Town Hall is at Civic Square.  It doubles as a municipal building an as a concert hall.  Construction completed in 1904.

The National War Memorial was dedicated in 1932 on Anzac Day.  There is a memorial for an unknown soldier.

Next to it is the New Zealand Dominion Museum.  Currently there is a major exhibition on WWI.

Cuba Street is pretty much the bohemian area of town.  There are some very groovy shops, galleries, and cafes.

It's also home of the Bucket Fountain which was completed in 1969.

The Wellington Cable Car is a funicular railway running from the Central Business District up to the Botanic Garden.

The Botanic Garden was established in 1868 and covers 25 hectares (62 acres).

Victory Medal has been on display at the garden until tomorrow when it will move to France.  The 36 pairs of feet, representing a small platoon, honours the more than 7000 New Zealanders who died fighting in WWI.

Kiwis are pretty progressive.  In 1893, New Zealand became the first country in the world to give women the right to vote.  At some of the crosswalks near parliament are Kate Sheppard signals honouring the country's most famous suffragette.

Four of the lights at Cuba Street have a silhouette of Carmen Rupe who was a drag queen and activist.  The lights mark the 30th anniversary of the Homosexual Law Reform celebrating diversity in the country.

Te Papa Tongarewa is the national museum.  The museum focuses on New Zealand history, Māori culture, and the environment.  The current building opened in 1998.  The museum is excellent!



Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War is currently on display marking the centenary of WWI.  Gallipoli was the first campaign for New Zealand in WWI.

Te Papa has a giant ammonite on permanent display.  It weighs over 1200 kg (2,646 lbs) and is over 140 million years old.  Natalie's grandmother discovered the thing in 1977 and it was fully excavated in 1978.

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