New Zealand Nature - fine weather option

This excursion will explore two areas of natural bush which are popular destinations to not only the locals but are attractive tourist destinations.

The coach will leave Te Papa at 10:45 am on Wednesday 2 November and take a short drive to Zealandia. There, the tour comprises of a walk through the native bush around two water reservoirs inside a sanctuary. It also includes interactive exhibition that will take you to the journey of restoration.

Zealandia, formerly known as the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary is only 10 min drive from the Wellington CBD. It is a protected nature reserve spread over 225 hectare which was established in 1995 to restore the biodiversity. The fully-fenced sanctuary is an attempt to restore native birds, reptiles, flora and fauna which were destroyed by early humans and predatory mammals they introduced with them. It is now home to dozens of reptile species, hundreds of plant species and thousands of kinds of invertebrates.


Next on the tour is a coach trip out to Kaitoke Regional Park which is 45 minutes north of Wellington. Located at the foothills of the Tararua ranges, the park spans over 2860 hectares covered with steep, bush-clad hills, rimu and beech forests. It is a popular spot for picnics, barbeques, swimming, camping, hunting, horse riding, mountain biking, running and hiking. Hutt river gorge provides some tranquil swim spots. The bush-clad tracks take you through native forest with wonderful views of Upper Hutt valley. The park was a part of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy shooting location. Rivendell, an Elven town in Middle-earth, sets were created for the shooting and later “Elvish Archway” replica was erected at the site.


Kapiti Coast: Wet Weather only option

 If the weather is not suitable for the Zealandia-Kaitoke excursion described above the following wet weather option will be taken:

Pataka Art + Museum - Southwards Car Museum - Brewery Tasting Room

PATAKA Art + Museum in Porirua City has developed a reputation for show casing the best in contemporary Maori and Pacific Arts, as well as contemporary New Zealand, Asian and international arts & culture. The exhibitions in these spaces are mainly curated in-house by the Contemporary Arts Curator and the Social History Curator. They are also used for  both national and international touring exhibitions.

Designed and built by the late Sir Len Southward, the world reknown Southward Car Museum houses the southern hemispheres largest private car collection. The building also houses extensive conference and function facilities, a theatre (complete with operational pipe organ), a cafe, restaurant facilities, all of which are set in six hectares of park-like grounds. The museum itself is home to over 400 automobiles and various other exhibits including aircraft, bicycles, a range of vintage tools and other automobile memorabilia and even a vintage Fire Engine.

The collection includes many famous makes and models of classic and vintage cars with more being restored and procured all the time. Among the most popular are Marlene Dietrich's 1934 Cadillac Town Cabriolet, a 1915 Stutz Indianapolis race car, a gull-winged Mercedes-Benz, a 1950 Cadillac "Gangster Special" that had belonged to gansgter Mickey Cohen and an 1895 Benz Velo imported to New Zealand in 1900.

Sir Len Southward and his wife Lady Vera Southward began collecting cars in 1956. The first of which was a Model T Ford for which Sir Len paid £40. Having achieved business success, Sir Len began to buy and restore old cars, constantly adding to his collection. After his retirement, Sir Len devoted much of his time to the car museum which was opened in December of 1979.


 Another location on the itinerary for this wet weather option is a visit to the Tuatara Brewery Company.



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