Lonely Planet called Wellington "the coolest little capital in the world." This photo shows the parliament building on the right, and the Beehive, a circular building that houses legislators' offices. NewZealand.com is New Zealand's official website.
They have an estimated four hundred private cable cars, since many homes are set high on a hill. This is the public cable car that opened up development of this hillside. Now the hillside has roads, so the cable car is a tourist attraction.
This is the logo of the Cable Car Museum at the top of the hill.
Undercarriage of a hundred year old cable car in the museum. Our tour guide was from Flat Earth New Zealand Experiences. We also went to Wellington's Museum of City & Sea on the waterfront. To find all of Wellington's museums, go to Museums of Wellington.
Old St. Paul's Cathedral is a registered historic property, and the history is described at New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Our guide told is that if such a church would be built today, it would cost multiple millions of dollars just to buy the wood. It was built in the 1800s of native New Zealand wood. They now host monthly jazz concerts, private weddings, baptisms, funerals, and other events.
The American forty-eight star flag and Marine colors have flown in the building since World War II and will continue to fly until they disintegrate.
From the church's collection of fabrics.
Mojo Coffee factory where we sampled New Zealand coffee.
An ancient cannon atop Mount Victoria in the city's green belt.
Wellington green initiatives
The Wellington Youth Hostel, built with sustainability in mind.
Lisa Gebbels, business development manager at the hostel, shows off their recycling bin, which includes a box for unwanted clothing. The hostel drops off bundles of clothing to local charities.
This copper coil inside the wall, a GFX gray water heat recovery system, uses hot shower water running toward the drains to heat cold water on its way to the boilers on the roof.
The "50 things that we do/you can do" sustainability bulletin board educates travelers who pass through the youth hostel.
Ohtel is a sophisticated urban paradise, built with sustainable features.
The original home was moved to make way for the hotel, then owner and designer Alan Blundell built the hotel to his modern tastes. The lobby and all the rooms are furnished with mid-century modern furniture that he personally located and purchased for his hotel. Each room is unique; each with great harbor views.
Another view of Wellington from the green belt. This is the location of a demonstration wind turbine.
This fence surrounds Zealandia, a wildlife sanctuary for kiwi and other native birds. The fence is designed to keep predators out of this valley, to allow the area to go back to what nature intended. Wellingtonians said that since Zealandia started, there has been a noticeable increase in birdlife around the city.
Creatures of the Wellington Zoo welcome us to their domain in the green belt around the city.
Our guide shows us a stuffed kiwi and an illustration of how large their eggs are compared to their bodies. Kiwi are endangered because rodents introduced to the country eat their eggs. Also, kiwi are flightless birds, making them vulnerable to exotic species.
Our group got to meet Tahi, the zoo's one-legged kiwi. He lost his leg in a farmer's steel jaw leg trap, but survived, and will live out his life as a celebrity at the zoo. Kiwi live thirty-five years; Tahi is about seven years old now. Kiwi are nocturnal, so we could not use a flash. Click here to read Tahi's story.
From the south coast of the Wellington area, you can see the snow-capped mountains of the South Island.