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Grateful for clear blue skies and calm seas, we set sail from Picton for Wellington, on a 3 and a half hour car ferry.

Beautiful hey?

Kia Ora Wellington!

Arriving fairly late, we checked into the Top10 campsite for a couple of nights. Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum, was top of our agenda for our only day in the capital city.

Te Papa Tongarewa literally means ‘container of treasures’, and on the 6-floors of exhibitions, we certainly discovered gems about New Zealand’s land and people, and listened to their stories told with passion.

‘Awesome Forces’ taught us about the geological forces that have shaped New Zealand’s landscape, plants and animals. We particularly liked being shaken up in the Earthquake simulator house!

The ground-breaking exhibition about Gallipoli tells the story of the Gallipoli campaign in World War I through the eyes and words of ordinary New Zealander’s who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances.

We also enjoyed the ‘Mountains to Sea’ and ‘The Collossal Squid’ floors! The collosol squid, the heaviest invertebrate on Earth, is world famous for being the only complete specimen you’ll see anywhere in the world. Despite their size, large colossal squid specimens in good condition are rarely available to scientists, so there was lots of fanfare around this one! There’s lots of fascinating information and videos online: http://blog.tepapa.govt.nz/2014/09/11/colossal-squid-the-body-parts/

After hours inside, we strolled along the beautiful waterfront and through the city centre – all easy walking as the city’s so compact.