So, after a rafreshing start to 2018, we head to Wellington. Big place, but it’s got a good feel. Bright sunny days help! Geoff and I have fond memories of Tepapa museum, so that is on our list. We are also keen for some sort of LOTR”s thing. Sadly it seems there is no huge studio where one can walk into middle earth. However, a good second is Weta Studios. Located at the end of a small street in the outskirts of town. ie in the middle of nowhere, the actual visitable but if the studio is small, but packed. The cave trolls are outside, lifesize, to greet us. Lurtz is inside, as is a goblin! Much exitment. Thus small studio has grown to be one of the main special effect places in the world. Sadly the tours were all based on ‘thunderbirds’ which we all have negative interest in, so we contended ourselves with wondering round the shop (where two pieces of Smaugs treasure were bought) round the little museum with orc/uruk hai weapons. Lots of helmets, including Merry”s. The lion the witch and the wardrobe was also represented by the snow queens wand and  Peters  armour. As the icing on the cake, they got to try on Gandalf’s hat and staff and an axe. Much fun had by all! Tepapa was not met with as much enthusiasm. Things were not helped by the fact that we had to park not as close as the trio would have liked. This involved an actual walk and plenty bleating. Despite themselves, they did like the museum, with giant squid and Maori war canoe! Back outside in the baking heat,  they got lucky with an impromptu icecream and we all had a wonderful swim in beautifully warm sea. Bliss.

Well, ho for south island

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