New Zealand Parliament

New Zealand Parliament

Tuesday 15th April

Anne here …

Yesterday we had a much needed trip to the laundrette! Yeh clean clothes again.

Just in time for me to be reasonably tidily dressed to visit colleagues in the Office of the clerk of the House of Representatives and in the Library of the New Zealand parliament. Thank you so much for a genuinely fascinating morning. I would have loved to stayed longer chatting about the similarities and differences in the ways that we work but it was a great introduction to New Zealand politics, the parliamentary buildings including the themed Committee rooms, the lovely Library, the Chamber and the government’s Beehive building.


Birds of New Zealand

Anne here . . .

Lots of things in New Zealand feel incredibly familiar and yet there are enough differences to remind you that you are definitely on the other side of the world, for example wooden houses. But also as soon as you wake up, the bird song is noticeably different. An early morning reminder that we are away from home.

So on Sunday 13th April, Chris, Belinda and the kids took us to Zealandia Eco-sanctuary in Wellington. Really, really interesting and a great way to become much more familiar with the different types of birds that up until now we had only had random sightings of. Most of the native birds are much larger than ours, some look as though they are too heavy to fly, and some are too heavy to fly. We saw: Tui, Shags, Takahe and Kaka.

Really cool.

Rugby World Cup Sculpture, Wellington

Meeting our distant cousins

Anne here . . . Saturday 12th April.

Maori Canoes, Wellington

Maori Canoes

Once again a completely different day. We met up with distant cousins, Chris, Belinda, Amelia and Ben. We had the best welcome ever, even though we had not met before.

We all went off to the Museum of Wellington City and Sea – a really interesting introduction to some of the history of Wellington. Already I am finding Wellington a very relaxed and comfortable city to be in. The Lagoon area by the waterfront is a fantastic area, lots of people enjoying themselves e.g. a temporary ice rink (we didn’t skate!). We were spotting giant, decorated eggs which have been distributed around the city for fun and as a way of raising money for charity.

Windy Wellington? It did live up to its nickname a little but so far no more than anywhere else.

Arrival in Wellington

Anne here . . .

The end of our first two weeks and our time in South Island. It does feel a bit of a watershed moment. But we have arrived safely in the North Island. We travelled by Bluebridge ferry (okay but not great) but there were fantastic views of Wellington as the ferry docked.

We had one night in a fab hotel in Cuba Street, with fantastic views of the city rooftops. There was a real Friday night Cuban party atmosphere in the area and we had fantastic food in Enigma bistro/cafe bar, and lush ice cream afterwards. By the way we are averaging at least two lush cappuccino coffees each a day!


We’re a couple of days behind with our blog mainly due to being off the net for a few days and the effects of jet-leg. We’re much better today but our first day in Auckland totally knocked us for six, Paul especially. It seems that being a seasoned traveller in Europe doesn’t qualify you for long-haul!!
About to fly down to Queenstown from Auckland. Gorgeous weather here.