December 9, 2023 Museum Day (Day 73)

It was windy today, VERY windy, but that’s common in Wellington we’ve heard. No hiking on ridges for us today, instead we rode the bus into Wellington city centre to visit some of the free museums available. Almost immediately after we got off the bus we passed an historic building that wasn’t even on our list, the Old Government Buildings. Signage beckoned us through the open doors and a gentleman met us and gave us a quick explanation of the building and a leaflet guide and we set off to see the building.

The facade of the Old Government Buildings. It looks like stone but is built entirely of wood!

The foyer is aglow with the rich unblemished by knots, honey tones of kauri wood. Dressed for the Christmas season.

This sign outside describes more of the uniqueness of this building.

We moved on up the road to our original destination, another wood building from the 1860’s. This one a church built of wood due to the 1855 earthquake that shook Wellington so bad that stone buildings were deemed unsafe! Old St. Paul’s (because a new cathedral was built in the 1960’s that the church moved to) was empty from 1964 to 1967 when the government finally bought it and it was restored by the NZ Historic Places Trust. A beautiful building using native timbers.

Kauri wood was used for the roof (not the beams), the walls and the pews.

Heading south towards the waterfront we passed the ‘Beehive’ and the Parliament Buildings. They allow tours but you need to book in advance.

The old and the new. The Beehive houses the Executive Wing of the NZ Parliament. It’s construction began in 1969 and was completed in 1981. The Parliament building was built around 1922.

We next headed to an art museum. The NZ Portrait Gallery, in one of the ‘sheds’ of the waterfront, repurposed when the waterfront was reclaimed from an industrial wasteland and turned into a hub of cultural, social and artistic activity. We moved on to the Wellington Museum, housed in another old building on the waterfront, the Bond Store that in it’s day held incoming cargo until the duties were duly paid on the goods! This museum was much more eclectic and interactive!

Having fun in the Maritime heritage exhibit!

And more fun in ‘the Attic’!

After another art museum, the City Gallery, we ended up back at Te Papa, nickname for ‘The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa’ to see some of the exhibits we missed last visit. We finished up going through “The Scale of Our War” an exhibit about New Zealanders in the battle of Gallipoli in WW1. It was sobering and totally mesmerizing. Especially the visuals on the damage various munitions; bullets, shrapnel, shells and grenades, can inflict on a body. We were so engrossed that we ended up being ushered out at closing time again!

One Response to “December 9, 2023 Museum Day (Day 73)”

  1. Linda D Charny Says:

    Gallipoli: Who knew what a great wartime leader Churchill would become during WWII. He was, I believe, Secretary of the Navy? when he ordered this unwinnable battle.

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