Our last two and a half days in Wellington were pretty rainy ones. That was okay mostly because we had a lot of preparation to do for our big tramping trip anyways.
Day three started with a lot of wind and rain - thus making it a perfect day to visit the Te Papa Museum. We went there after getting our hut passes as the DOC Center in town and wandered through the different exhibitions where we learned a lot about New Zealand - before the first settlers, how it changed when the Maori settled and then the changes that the british (called Pakeha) brought when they came to New Zealand. There was also a great exhibition about Maori Art and Culture and a part about the boats and sailing methods that polynesians must have used to first sail to New Zealand and eventually become the Maori.
Last but not least was a very impressive exhibition about New Zealand's war effort during WWI - it was gripping and personal, essentially told by the stories of a few individuals - those were rendered as huge life-like figures that marked the beginning of each section. The exhibition also had many interactive elements, e.g. walking through a trench and hearing all the bombs, granades and shouting, there was a section where you could send a morse message, and more.
Pretty cool were also the three dimensional maps that showed the back and forth of the front lines.
All in all the exhibition made us very exited for the future of museums - there is so much you can do today to enhance the experience and let the visitor be part of it. We really liked it.
Day four was reserved for food shopping and preparations for our trip. We did take a moment though to take the bus down to Miramar to visit the famous Weta Cave, where some of the original requisites of the Lord of the Rings movies are shown and you can watch a short documentary about Weta, and its subsections, the Weta Workshop and Weta Digital. Unfortunately we didn’t have the time to do a tour of the workshop - that would probably have been very interesting - but we still had to order and repackage all our food.
That took us quite some time. We prepare little packages of Porridge (Our mix contains rolled oats, lots of sugar, cinnamon, some chia seeds, milk powder and diced dried apple rings). We also got lots of couscous, pasta and instant mashed potatoes. To make live easier once on the trail we packed all ingredients for each meal into little ziploc bags.
When we're all done with this adventure I think we need to have a "best of TA recipes" post on here.
Our last half day in Wellington came a lot faster than anticipated - we packed up our things, said our goodbyes to our lovely host and her little dog, and then we were on our way downtown. There we took a short stop dropping off a bag with some excess clothing with a complete stranger, who offered to keep it safe for three months. The Te Araroa Facebook group really is a wonderful place to get to know people walking the trail and also trail angels that make your journey easier. I can’t believe just how nice and helpful the Kiwis are.
Then we made our way to the Bluebridge that would take us to Picton, from where we’ll start our Te Araroa experience on the Queen Charlotte Track.