Wellington was a great last stop on the north island. I hopped off the bus for a few days to check out the views from Mt. Victoria, explore Te Papa (the excellent national museum), and stroll through the botanical gardens. It’s easy to be a tourist in Welly because the center is so compact. The cable car was the only public transportation I took, and that was just for fun.
I also set aside some time for a Lord of the Rings tour. Yes, I am a nerd. Hobbiton was closed for filming, so I had to delay my geeking out until Wellington. The tour with REAL MOVIE LOCATIONS was a little bit lame (you may recognize the trees below from approximately one second of film), but Weta Cave was cool. I enjoyed posing with gollum and touching expensive merchandise like hobbit ears. Here’s the real deal about LOTR tourism: just look out the window when you’re driving. Almost every beautiful thing you see is somewhere in the movies.
In the next post, I’ll be moving on to the south island. Shout out if you’d like to see more mountains, beaches, or wildlife – I have too many pictures of all of these things.