An Odyssey Down Under: Australia and New Zealand Day 16

Friday, February 21

Today began with visiting Zealandia. We had an excellent docent who took us through the park. Zealandia is an urban ecosanctuary that is completely fenced and encompasses 560 acres. There are many native New Zealand animals, trees, and plants that we were able to see. When New Zealand was inhabited by the Europeans in the 1800s, this area that is now the western slope of Zealandia was not good farmland for the settlers so it was left to become a forest again. The eastern slope still has remains of farming and human impact but slowly plant species have returned thanks to the ecosanctuary.

We walked through the Cable Car museum.

At lunch we had the opportunity to drink the Taha Tonic drink. Taha is made from natural ginger, manuka honey and pure New Zealand water. It was delicious!

This afternoon we had a guided visit to Te Papa Tongarewa: Museum of New Zealand. On our walk to the museum we saw many sayings and poems along the Wellington Writers Walk along the harbour.

After our tour we had some free time to explore the museum on our own. Below is a slideshow of some of the exhibits that we visited with our guide!

On our own we went into the special exhibit: Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War. It tells the story of the Gallipoli campaign during WWI. It tells the story through eight New Zealanders eyes during this time. The giant sculptures are 2.4 times human size. This exhibit was well done and very emotional.

We also stopped in the Earthquake House to experience a simulation. Where we live, the chance of a high magnitude quake is slim.

We left the museum and walked over to the Wellington Museum.

We didn’t have much time before the museum closed so we focused the majority of our time going through the special exhibit: Suffrage in Stitches. This textile work was created for the 125th anniversary year of the women’s suffrage in New Zealand. Its length is the same as the original petition and it consists of 546 individually fabric panels that were designed and tell the stories of those that signed the petition or relatives that influenced the 546 makers of the panels.

Leave a Reply