Wellington, the windy political capital city of New Zealand, is situated overlooking a picturesque harbor with colonial homes perched on the surrounding hillside. The city, rather compact and not much larger than an American suburb, contrasts the heritage buildings with modern condominiums and shop lined streets, theatres and galleries.  Since the majority of film producers, directors, writers and actors are clustered here, the city is commonly known as “Wellywood” and you can catch up on the latest local Indie flick as well as all of Peter Jackson’s blockbusters here.

Shopping and eating along Cuba Street, Manners Mall, Courtenay Place will take up a whole day and a stroll along Oriental Parade is a pleasant way to spend an morning followed by the huge must see Te Papa Museum.  Terry and I aren’t the typical museum buffs, but could have easily spent an entire day in this educational, hands-on museum. We were like little kids pushing all the buttons, climbing in and out of model homes and playing educational interactive games for hours!  A visit up the cable car to the Botantic gardens offers a 360 degree view of the city and the Wellington Zoo houses the kiwi (flightless bird) and a plethora of native and non native wildlife.  We had heard that you can attend the Parliament House open forums, but didn’t get a chance to research or attend the tours.

Wellington also boasts some great international and gourmet foods, so all you foodies would have a grand time sampling all the favorites and local delicacies – the fresh green lipped mussel is a treat!

In our few days there, we also managed to catch up with Manali’s childhood Bahrain friend, Warren and his wife, Kelly, after almost 15 years! The wonders of social networking still amaze us everyday!

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