Zealandia is an urban ecosanctuary just outside Wellington and a great place to walk. We got there by taking the Wellington Cable Car up the hill then picking up the free shuttle.  New Zealand didn’t have any mammals other than a few bats until humans arrived 800 years ago. First the Maoris, then the Europeans. … Read more

Lord of the Rings Tour


We took a tour of several Lord of the Rings filming sites with Flat Earth. We got to see some of the countryside too. There were four of us on the tour, all Lord of the Rings fans. Our tour guide, Dave, was an extra in the movies. (He played an orc and a Gondorian … Read more

Northern Explorer


We took the Northern Explorer scenic train ride from Auckland to Wellington as a way to see more of the country and get from one to the other. It was quite pleasant and the scenery was great. Our cab to the station was on time, check-in was smooth, and the view out the window was … Read more



We loved Wellington. It’s quirky, walkable, has some great sights and restaurants. And it is windy! Day 1: Auckland to Wellington Arriving from Auckland via the Northern Explorer scenic train, we got a shuttle from the train station to Wellington City Cottages where we’ll be staying. They’re right at the end of Cuba St, which … Read more