Te Papa and the wind

I think I blame our hotel for the fact I wasn’t blown away by New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa.

It’s not a bad museum, but I felt there wasn’t a lot of depth to it. Some good stories, one or two interesting items, but little to really hold your attention.

Our hotel’s main feature is an eclectic collection of art and objet d’art spread everywhere – cool paintings, a stuffed bird, a gunshot captured in resin – all sorts of stuff. And the museum felt like that to me – a bunch of stuff, but little that had real meaning.

The exception was the special exhibition on the Gallipoli campaign which was simply outstanding. Individual people’s stories and artifacts put into the wider context and between them telling the whole story with real emotion. It was worth visiting the museum just for that.

Giant squid

The other two things I liked were the giant squid – largest in a museum – and a gun from Cook’s Endeavour.

I should, to be fair to the museum, also say that Jennifer thought much more if it than I did – in fact she rates it highly. That said, the rest of the afternoon throws both our judgement into some question.

After the Museum we had a cup of coffee and a cheese scone. New Zealand does scones very well, it must be said. They should take great pride in their scones.

Then we decided to go to the lookout at the top of Mt Victoria. Now we’d walked the harbour-side in the wind, we knew there was wind – so going to the top of the most exposed spot for miles around made no sense at all. Didn’t stop us.

The top has spectacular views looking out from Wellington in all directions. It also has serious winds. Serious enough that the gusts were blowing us off the footpath in spite of us bracing ourselves; serious enough that they blew Jennifer’s sunglasses right off her face (my glasses were already being firmly held in place by my hand). I’m trying to convey that there was a lot of wind.

Still walking and wind made a really nice craft beer taste all the better.

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