WETA Caves

During my weekend trip in wellington I visited the viewpoint on mount Victoria. Enjoyed quite some time in 'Te Papa', the national museum. Te Papa is maori, which loosely translates to our heritage, very fitting for a museum. Even though the country is very young, there is still quite a lot to tell about the history of New Zealand. Especially the Maori history and culture is very interesting and the big difference with other tribes around the world is that these people were not completely gunned down by the every expanding European countries a century ago.

Instead they swore fealty to the English crown and became part of the commonwealth. Still the cooperation did not go through without any bumps in the road, all the stories about the transitions from a country without people, to the maori tribes, to European settlers to the modern age and its world wars are described in this museum. Together with quite some expositions about the flora and fauna, this museum took quite a lot of my time! #1 place to visit in wellington and definitely a place you can spend a full day in (also, it is free).

Aside from the museum, I visited quite a lot of breweries (Wellington is the #1 craft beer place in NZ), but still the thing I liked the most was 'WETA caves'. WETA caves is a special effects studio, which has become famous for its work on… The Lord of Rings. Yes, you see a lot of this movie coming back throughout the country (Hell's Pizza has a pizza called 'Mordor'). Aside from the Lord of the Rings this studio worked on district 9 (great movie) and too many to mention other movies. They also made the gigantic smeagol/Gollum statue which makes the terminal of the Wellington airport a lot more appealing. I took a tour through their studio, but sadly no pictures in there…. I saw statues, drawings and props used in the movies, which were really impressive. Especially the plastic they use to make a lot of the props is awesome, because something looks made of metal but is not and is a lot lighter and less dangerous. In the picture you see me with one of the trolls from the lord of the rings and hobbit movies :)