Wellington At Ease
Wellington At Ease
Wellington is the capital city and third most populated urban area of New Zealand, after Auckland and Christchurch. It is at the southwestern tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Rimutaka Range, and it is home to approximately 400,000 residents. The city was named after Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington and victor of the Battle of Waterloo. The Duke's title comes from the town of Wellington in the English county of Somerset. It is New Zealand's political center, housing Parliament, the head offices of all Government Ministries and Departments and the bulk of the foreign diplomatic missions in New Zealand.
On this Wellington tour, you will travel south within the Wellington central city. Your tour will first take you through the city as your guide points out landmarks and sites and their relevant history. You will see the famous Beehive and Parliament buildings, and Old Saint Paul's Cathedral. The cathedral is an example of 19th century Gothic Revival architecture adapted to colonial conditions and materials. It is constructed entirely from New Zealand native timbers, with stunning stained glass windows. The interior has been likened to the upturned hull of an Elizabethan galleon, with exposed curving trusses and kauri roof sarking. The flags displayed in the nave include the ensigns of the Royal Navy, the New Zealand Merchant Navy, and the United States Marine Corps Second Division, which was stationed in Wellington during World War II.
You will also make a short stop at Lady Norwood Rose Garden. Nestled in the heart of Wellington's Botanic Garden, this rose garden has more than 100 formal beds featuring over 3,000 roses. Among them is a heritage fountain presented by Lady Norwood, in whose honor the garden is named. The roses are a mixture of traditional and modern varieties in fabulous colors. They bloom spectacularly in the summertime, emitting a fragrance that fills the surrounding air. The glorious atmosphere of this garden makes it a must see while in Wellington for great photo opportunities.
On this excursion you will also have the option to take a ride down on Wellingtons iconic cable car at your own expense, for a nominal cost of approximately $3.50 US. The ride down takes approximately 5 minutes. Guests not wishing to ride the cable car will be driven down to the bottom to join the rest of the group before continuing on. Next, you will have a drive around rugged scenic bays.
Lastly, you will also be treated to 360-degree views of Wellington and the harbor from the lookout at Mount Victoria. Mount Victoria was used twice as a location in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
Please Note: At the end of the excursion, you will be given the option to be dropped off on Lambton Quay instead of your cruise ship for some free time on your own. If you choose this option, you will have to make your own way back to your cruise ship, an approximate 20 minute walk.
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