Saturday, 31 July 2010

Wellington Trip continued

Jules took us to see the building which had housed her art school until the start of this year when it was relocated to Lower Hutt. Now empty this once grand old building is in a state of disrepair. Sad to see as it has such a presence about it.
It was the setting of Peter Jacksons movie "The Frighteners" starring Michael J. Fox. Superbly suited to the role I must say! Spooky even in the middle of the day.


I guess before I post my latest photos I had better finish posting the rest of the shots of our Wellington trip. We had stayed with Jules and Carrie in Lower Hutt. Jules is a student at "The Learning Connection" Art school and she was in the middle of her holidays so she was our tour guide. Carrie is a tutor at the school but unfortunately she had to work. Next stop after the Weta Cave was the recycle centre shop. (thats what you get with an art student for a tour guide haha!) Actually it was great, Troy bought twenty hard-backed photography books for $15. We thought they were a set only to discover later they were all the same issue... bugger! But we have 19 presents sorted for next Christmas :) Next stop CARLUCCILAND! Imagine Walt Disneys welder son on acid opens a tourist park. No offence Mr Carlucci, it was wonderful. I guess it was because it was drizzling that we were the only ones there. The three of us and our tour guide Ms Blackchicken.Ms Blackchicken shows Jules what looks suspiciously like my last car, a toyota corolla but I don't remember it getting crushed by a rock....Troy checks out the minigolf course while I checked out the loo. Strangely enough the urge to pee was suddenly lessened by the thought of having to watch myself do it reflected in three surrounding walls. Eventually I went while studying the floor quite intently.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Intrepid Journey part 2- the Weta Cave

When I was three years old I suddenly became too afraid to walk past the hall cupboard on my own. My mother discovered I was petrified of our Tellus Vacuum cleaner and she finally realised it was because I thought it was a Dalek from "Dr Who!" To this day I swear thay are at least distantly related! modern version above ^
I finally got to see what was inside the real thing when Troys sister Jules took us to the Weta Cave in Miramar, Wellington city.
Strangely enough the weird tentacled creature at the controls was nowhere near as frightening as the robotic exterior.

If you need to update your raygun Dr Grordbort has a very nice selection !

The infinity Beam Projector is a personal favourite.

Who could forget this face - the mighty Kong himself. I just couldn't help myself...
I had to purchase this limited edition model of his skull for my collection.
And of course the Weta Cave included an extensive array of artifacts and collectibles from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. This man-sized Orc resides above the counter as if about to attack the dude at the til.

A very life-like Gimli.
One of many collectibles. Troy also carries his "precioussss" around his neck heh heh

This guy is larger than life and guards the doorway. Almost as scary as our old vacuum cleaner!

Intrepid journey part 1

On Friday morning we set off on our intrepid journey to the bottom half of the North Island. Five and a half hours later on a drizzly evening we arrived at Garys house in Featherston. Unfortunately the rain persisted all weekend so sightseeing was limited to a trip to the Early Settlers Museum at the end of the street. Housed in what was once a school building, now over 100 years old, we walked into a poorly lit dusty collection of memorabilia overseen by a woman who seemed as old as the collection herself. Featherston was the site of a Japanese P.O.W. camp with an intriguing history. After a while the attendant was replaced by an elderly gentleman who remembered to turn the rest of the lights on which helped immensely! All in all $2 well spent.
Sunday night we drove to Wellington & on Monday visited the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary. 225 Hestares of land encircled with a predator proof fence, the park is a conservation island and includes many rare and threatened species. We were asked to search our bags before entering to make sure they didn't contain any mice, rats or stray cats that may have stowed away without our noticing! Strangely enough about the third species we came across was a mouse whose furry brown ass was sticking out of the hole he was digging in a clay bank.
Without the presence of predators (besides the odd mouse obviously) the birds are extremely laid back and easy to approach as this kingfisher demonstrated.Bellbirds were common around the feeding stations set up in the park.I was keen to see some robins and thought I had photographed one feeding in the tree above but I'm not actually sure wether its a robin or whitehead (since I've never actually seen either before.) I was delighted to see this beautiful saddleback feeding next to the track altho it was rather hard to photograph. Such georgous colours and a beautiful voice.

Other species of interest we saw were Kaka, stitchbirds and a pair of falcon. Also plenty of tui, fantail, shags, & scaup. We didn't see the elusive tuatara or weka but our visit was cut short when it began to rain. Bugger!