There doesn’t seem to be much in Wellington to amuse us, but we found the Te Papa museum (The Museum of New Zealand) great with the girls. Although they weren’t keen on going (how would five-floors-of-museum-exhibits grab you for a Sunday treat?) we soon found out it offered lots of entertainment for children and grown-ups.
Like the “Shear a Virtual Sheep” shed, where the girls could try their hands at sheep shearing, without all the trouble of real sheep or real shears. If I describe it, it sounds rubbish, but it was much, much better than it sounds. You run a bar code reader over a toy sheep, which has been plastered with bar codes. Just to make it easy, they’re all arranged in number sequence, and you have to run the bar code reader over them in the right order, against the clock. Mmmm, okay, if you’ve read the last two sentences, then I should repeat “it was much, much better than it sounds” – but that’s not going to be difficult heh?
There was all the usual modern museum stuff too – like earthquake simulators (a bit more real when they show you the footage of the house down the road which suffered it), maori canoes, old newsreels, art and immigration exhibits. And the girls found the “Discovery Centres”, where they could read, draw and dress up to their hearts content.
So in the Pacifica Discovery Centre, Charlotte and Emily got to dress up in hula skirts, and practice their beach dancing. And in the New Zealand Discovery Centre, they dressed up in Victorian school uniforms and played at being in a classroom (that must come from 6 months without lessons – I can’t imagine they’d play ‘Schools’ if they were at home!). When they discovered the ‘Dig Up a Dinosaur’ exhibit, they were completely over the moon. To be able to uncover a dinosaur skeleton in a huge sandpit – they didn’t make museums like this when I was little! We eventually left the museum about 6 hours after we arrived, to complaints from both girls. Not bad for a museum day.
In the evening we went up to Sarah’s Mum’s cousin, John and his wife Delia, and with Gloria and Michael again for the evening. They’d spent the last three weeks around Australia, so we all caught up with our respective travel stories.