Wellington and LOTR Giants!

Beautiful Wellington NZ – central hub for the making of The Lord of the Rings and dubbed “the coolest little capital in the world” by Lonely Planet. It is the political capital of NZ, and a movie-making and cultural center.

We stayed in Lyall Bay

Welly’s most popular surf beach. A 10-minute walk from our AirBnB to our friend’s home, or in the opposite direction, a coast track for a stupendous walk. Daily heaven! Each evening, bundled up in our puffy coats, we followed barefooted footprints of surfers in wetsuits toting boards to and from the beach.

Weta Cave Workshop

Full-scale sculptures, props, artifacts, and apparel designed by Weta artists for hundreds of films, notably Lord of The Rings. Founded by Richard Taylor and Tonia Rogers.

Red Rocks Coastal Walk at Ōwhiro Bay

An 8km walk on gravelly, sandy rocky coastline (a tad hard on the feet) through Devil’s Gate. No elevation – unless you want to climb the hills beside you that ascend to the sky.

The Windy City

Wellington typically has 178 days a year gusting at, or often well above, 63 km/h (40 mph), (metservice.com). The average breeze is 22 km/h (13 mph).

Central Business District

Downtown was easily explored on foot: Parliament (The Beehive), Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa “Our Place”) and the waterfront promenade. Although NZ had moved from COVID lockdown to Level 1, the city’s art/ music, ballet theatre venues were closed. We might not have left if we’d had a taste of that.

TePapa – ANZAC – Australian and New Zealand Forces: Te Papa and Weta Workshop joined forces to create an exhibit like no other. WWI war scenes from the battles in Gallipoli, Turkey were recreated with giant figures and amazing detail. The exhibit remains in place until 2022.

A special exhibition from the World of Wearable Art (WOW!) WOW is a permanent museum in Nelson and an annual competition for original, innovative and well executed wearable art. A prize pool of over $185,000 (NZD)

Designers enter from the worlds of fashion, textile or industrial design, jewellery, architecture, engineering, sculpture and painting or homemaking.


The world’s first fully-fenced urban eco-sanctuary conservation project (2.5 acres) reintroduced over 20 species of native wildlife, some absent from mainland NZ for over 100 years. The tuatara, a living dinosaur, has outlived dinosaurs who became extinct about 60 million years ago

Kapiti Coast & Paraparaumu Beach

A day’s drive to Kapiti Island – a bird sanctuary (sadly, still closed after lockdown). The surrounds were magnificent with a glimpse of South Island’s Kaikoura Mountain Range, to an overabundance of beach, bush and coast walks. A twisting, curvy road back towards the city of Upper Hutt.

Click HERE for Martinborough region, Lower North

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5 thoughts on “Wellington and LOTR Giants!

  1. Rhonda Sachs Albom July 21, 2020 — 4:20 pm

    Some really impressive shot of Wellington, one of my favourite New Zealand cities. I still haven’t been up the Kapiti Coast, but this is encouraging me.

  2. Cheryl Lippert July 19, 2020 — 6:07 pm

    Wellington looks fun for sure! Your blog is so amazingly professional! Good on ya!😉

  3. Love seeing your walking path around Wellington! And the bird video is hilarious. Thank you for taking us with you xo

  4. The pictures are amazing. Beautiful statues. What is the story behind the hand?

    1. “The Hand” is kind of creepy, isn’t it? It is a large sculpture on the roof of Wellington’s Public Library, and some people are NOT fans. I guess it was also unnerving when they installed it using helicopters.

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