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David’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 27 Feb 2018

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

MapFeb 26th. Long and excellent day in what I didn't realise but now understand is known as windy Wellington. Throwing it down this morning as we headed into the city via bus. Started with Te Papa, the national museum of New Zealand which was impressive particularly a war canoe and a Maori meeting house. Plus some excellent geology stuff! Then the Weta tour. Been looking forward to this and it was even better than expected. We were picked up in Wellington and driven out to Miramar ( a suburb on a harbour peninsula) which I had never realised is where Miramar pictures get their name from and where Weta is based. A lot of focus on LOTR of course but they were keen to show the range of films they are involved in which again I hadn't realised. They are second only to Pixar in special effects, have been offered billions to relocate to Hollywood but refuse and have built an industry from virtually nothing in, what was, a run down industrial area. Fascinating insights into the special effects and props/ costumes. Some photos with Azog and Gollum and a troll. Then the cherry on the cake. Something else I hadn't realised is that Weta have remade Thunderbirds and we got to see the see the miniature sets they have created- Tracy Island, Thunderbird 2s hangar and Lady Penelope's mansion - the works. I was immediately 8 yrs old again - brilliant. Then back into the city, a wander round the harbour, then we found a place doing 2 for 1 on Beef Wellington, it would have been rude not to! Another superb day.