After arriving in Wellington in the early afternoon (Aug. 25), the bus drove up to a scenic overlook on Mount Victoria to get some great views of the city. Wellington was described by our bus driver Gavin (who lives in Wellington) as being like San Francisco, and after wandering around it for a while, I can see why. It's a nice little city, centered around a bay, with a vibrant culture of its own.

One amusing anecdote shared by Gavin. Several years ago, Wellington decided to adopt a new slogan: "Absolutely, Positively Wellington". This slogan became an outright phenomenon, on bumper stickers and T-shirts, until you couldn't go anywhere in New Zealand without seeing it. In fact, Gavin claimed that he saw a T-shirt in New York City. It got to the point where, of course, a backlash began with the inevitable slogan, "Absolutely, Negatively Wellington". And he was right - we saw stickers throughout New Zealand. Marketing gone mad.

Unfortunately, we were only able to stay one afternoon in Wellington due to time constraints. I would have loved to spend more. It was a lovely city, very scenic, with lots to do. But while I was there, I got a nice walk in, taking the cable car up to the botanical gardens, walking through those, and then walking back to our hostel along the waterfront. Later that evening, a bunch of the Magic Bus crew went out to dinner at a Malaysian place before crashing early because we had to catch the ferry to the South Island at 8AM the next morning.

Some pictures:

View of Wellington from Mount Victoria

View of the harbour from Mt. Victoria. You can see the South Island faintly in the distance.

Another view of Wellington from the top of the Cable Car. Mount Victoria is across the city to the right.

The Sundial of Human Involvement in the Botanical Gardens. Stand on the date, and your shadow points to the time on the pedestals. Very cool.

The "hands" of the Sundial of Human Involvement.

A succulent garden in the Botanical Garden

A silverfern, one of New Zealand's national symbols (along with the Kiwi). Named as such due to its shiny underside seen here.

The Peace Flame Garden, with the eternal flame representing the memory of Hiroshima.

One of the Parliament buildings of New Zealand, known as the Beehive.

The view from the laundry room in our hostel (it was halfway through the trip). Nice laundry room - it had a view, a TV, a boom box, and an internet connection.

Back to Eric's New Zealand 2002 page.

Eric Nehrlich's WWW home page / nehrlich@alum.mit.edu