It feels terribly civilized to wake in a hotel, shower, dress, to go down to breakfast and choose from a buffet of at least 4 courses, if you so desire. Hotel life has not featured highly on these travels.
Te Papa – everyone says you MUST visit Te Papa and it’s just over the road from us. As in Australia, I am so impressed by the meeters and greeters. You can even book a personal tour! They help orientate you and suggest a few highlights to make the most of your visit.
The geology area has clear depictions of volcanos and earthquakes, and hardly surprising because poor Christchurch is still experiencing after shocks today. There is a house you can enter to experience seismic activity.
There are so many audio and visual explanations, lots to try and to do. It’s attractive and engaging!
The Natural History section has a specimen of a giant squid, pickled for all to see. The video records how a fishing vessel had pulled it from the sea, alive, with a large fish attached to its mouth. It was some 4 meters long. I felt unsure why, or how it died.
John was particularly impressed with the cannon rescued from the bottom of the sea, which had once been thrown overboard by Captain Cook because they needed to reduce the weight of their boat, in order to free themselves of the Great Barrier Reef.
But you cannot take it all in! So we leave and return to our hotel for a cup of coffee, before the next leg of our discovery.
Up the hill by cable car to the botanical garden and the Carter National Observatory.
Their planetarium is brilliant. Incredibly factual and incorporating the most up to date information, this show comes in two parts. The first a tour of our solar system, exploring the weather on neighbouring planets and the second exploring the night sky of the Southern hemisphere. After this we went round their museum, which was full of interesting audio visual aids to support learning. We loved the telescope