I had the privilege of spending two nights in New Zealand's delightful capital city, Wellington, which I would rate as my second-favourite city in NZ, right behind Queenstown
December 13-15, 2004

01-Wellington Wellington, just around the corner from my hostel, on Monday, December 13, 2004 02-StJohnsPresbyterianChurch St John's Presbyterian Church, Wellington 03-BarSign Bar sign on Cuba Mall in Wellington ... less than a week prior to this, a smoking ban went into effect in all New Zealand bars ... strangely enough, I was in a bar down in Queenstown at the stroke of midnight on the night the ban went into effect, and it was amusing watching so many people chain smoking right up to 11:59 that evening, lol 04-CubaMall Cuba Mall, at the heart of Wellington 05-WaterBuckets Water buckets along Cuba Mall 06-MannersMall Manners Mall, an offshoot of Cuba Mall 07-Abrakebabra Abrakebabra, an awesome Turkish kebab restaurant on Manners Mall, where I had a delicious Turkish pizza for supper 08-Bank-BurgerKingBuilding An interesting building for a Burger King... 09-CityCentre Wellington City Centre 10-CoolBridge A cool bridge 11-WoodenBridge Atop the cool wooden bridge 12-BridgeDeck Bridge deck 13-WoodenFish Wooden fish 14-LambtonHarbour Lambton Harbour, part of Wellington's vibrant waterfront 15-Monument Monument, most likely to the Maori and/or the Treaty of Waitangi, though that's just a guess 16-Harbourside Harbourside 17-Harbourside Harbourside 18-LambtonHarbour Lambton Harbour 19-CapitalE Capital E, at the City Centre, on Tuesday, December 14, 2004 20-CityCentre City Centre 21-WoodenBridge Wooden bridge 22-LambtonHarbour Lambton Harbour ... everything sure looks better with blue skies, instead of low grey stratus clouds 23-TePapa Te Papa 24-Marina Wellington Marina on Lambton Harbour 25-Wellington Wellington 26-TePapa Te Papa, the National Museum of New Zealand 27-Marina Marina 28-Marina Marina 29-TePapa Te Papa 30-TePapaSign Te Papa 31-TePapaTongarewa Te Papa Tongarewa, 32-TePapa Te Papa 33-MaoriMarae Maori marae (meeting house) inside Te Papa 34-TeHonoKiHiwaiki Te Hono Ki Hiwaiki 35-MaraeDescription Marae description 36-MaraeWelcomeArch The marae's welcome arch 37-ArchDetail Arch detail 38-Marina Marina 39-StainedGlass Stained glass in the marae room 40-WallArtwork Wall artwork in the marae room 41-WallArtwork Wall artwork 42-WhareMeetingHouse A more traditional Maori meeting house, a whare (pronounced 43-WarCanoe Maori War Canoe 44-WarCanoeDetail War Canoe detail 45-TreatyOfWaitangiReplica Enlarged replica of the Treaty of Waitangi ... the Treaty of Waitangi, signed in 1840 by the British and Maori tribes, is seen as the birth of New Zealand as a nation, and is analagous to the American Declaration of Independence or Constitution in terms of importance to and reverence from their respective countries ... in fact, the Treaty of Waitangi is still to this day referenced as the basis for many legal decisions by the courts 46-CorrugatedIronCar They had some of everything inside Te Papa, including this corrugated iron car 47-MaoriBible An old Maori Bible 48-PauaShellSurfboard Paua shell surfboard 49-PharLapSkeleton The skeleton of Phar Lap, a famous racehorse from the 1920s that was born in New Zealand, and raised and trained in Australia, the all-time best racehorse in Australian history ... most Aussies still resent America for the suspected poisoning that caused Phar Lap's death in the States a couple months before he was to run in the Kentucky Derby ... at any rate, Phar Lap's skeleton is here in Wellington, his heart is in Melbourne, and his hide is in Canberra, so he's all over the place 50-RuralNZExhibit Rural New Zealand exhibit 51-CornedBeef 52-MerePounamu Mere pounamu ... pounamu is the Maori name for jade/greenstone, and mere like these were status symbols for Maori women, and could also be used in combat, as a very lethal club or axe at close range (primarily to the back of the head/neck area) 53-FilmArchive New Zealand National Film Archive, with plenty of newspaper articles on LOTR, from the first stages of casting, filming and development on through the film premieres :-) 54-Wellington Wellington, a truly awesome city in my opinion 55-Cathedral Cathedral 56-MajesticCentre Majestic Centre, one of downtown Wellington's skyline landmarks 57-Wellington Wellington 58-FrankKittsPark Frank Kitts Park 59-Rowers Rowers 60-Rowers Rowers 61-Sculptures Sculptures 62-FrankKittsPark Frank Kitts Park 63-Footbridge Footbridge 64-TheManor The Manor 65-Tunnel Tunnel for SH2 66-MtVictoria On Wednesday, December 15, 2004, the view from Mt Victoria in Wellington 67-MtVictoriaSummit Mt Victoria summit 68-LambtonHarbour Lambton Harbour and Wellington 68a-Wellington Wellington 68b-Wellington Wellington 68c-Wellington Wellington 68d-Wellington Wellington 69-TrackStart Start of the track that leads to a couple LOTR sites 70-ShortcutToMushrooms LOTR fans should recognize this as the place where the four hobbits come tumbling down the hillside out of Farmer Maggot's field, to find a 71-MushroomsSite Shortcut to mushrooms site 72-FlightToBuckleburyFerry The hobbits made their flight to Bucklebury Ferry through this wooded hillside 73-HobbitsPath Hobbits' path 74-HobbitsPath Hobbits' path ... it's cool that they were able to film so many scenes right here in a park in the middle of a city of 200,000 people! 75-FrodoNazgulSite This is about where Frodo shouted at the other hobbits to 76-HobbitsPath Hobbits' path on Mt Victoria