Wellington is the capital of New Zealand and a magnificent city. It was named for Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, famous as the victor in the battle of Waterloo. It sits upon an excellent harbor and our ship docked close to the city center. We were able to walk into and around the city with ease. Surrounded by mountains, it is called "Windy Wellington" for good reason as the breezes sweep across the harbor and into the city.


Wellington became the capital in 1865. Today the Parliament meets in the building to the right in this picture, while the offices of the government are located in the landmark building known as the Beehive.


Our chief interest was the Te Papa museum. This is truly a first-rate museum and is innovative in many ways. The museum details the history of New Zealand from ancient times to the present. It has many interactive exhibits. It is also a marvel of architecture and engineering.


A feature of the museum is this National Marae, a colorful representation of the traditional Maori meeting place.

The structure is both traditional and whimsical at the same time. Various ceremonies of national importance can be held in this special place.


The first church in Wellington was St. Paul's which is located near the Parliament building. Originally Anglican, it is today a non-denominational structure favored by newly weds. As a guide inside said, "This is a fully consecrated church for the whole nation."


Wellington is a busy, large city with a population nearing half a million in the region. It is sophisticated, with a fine shopping area. But it is also graceful, preserving fine examples of buildings from an earlier era. This building is found at the Queen's Wharf, a place for exhibitions, cafes and pubs.

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