The Start of 2019

The Terracotta Warriors and Weta Workshop Visits
We had three days visiting Wellington city in January, with the aim to have a look through the Weta Workshop (of Lord Of The Rings fame) and to also visit some of the Terracotta Army being displayed at the Museum of New Zealand. 

Weta Studios.

After an early arrival and getting settled into our motel, we caught a bus and headed out to the Weta Workshop complex. To get this far one has to book onto one of the six or so tours, which vary from $28 to $145 for an adult. We chose the more modest Weta Cave Workshop Tour at $65. It was enough for me and it covered much of how they made all the different items for the various films; from monsters, medieval armour, swords and the like, models, and, well, just about anything really. The attention to the detail on any item made was really impressive. Some 48,00 items were made for The Lord of the Rings, 6623 weapons and armour were crafted for The Great Wall film, and I like the comment that the swords made looked real enough but as actors soon got tired if they had to swing the real things around so they made them a lot lighter. Apparently, the Queen’s people heard of this and now if you happen to watch the Queen bestowing a knighthood on someone, it just might be one of those lighter swords made by Weta Workshop! In all it was interesting but just over priced I feel. 

The Terracotta Warriors waiting.

The Terracotta Warriors craftsmen could easily get a job at Weta Workshops I’d say. The eight life sized 2300 years old warriors, part of 8000 or so sculptures of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, were on display at the Museum of New Zealand so we went and had a look. Every sculpture was different, perhaps replicating the men in the army? It did make me wonder if each soldier was copied from real life, what happened to the living after? They may have been substitutes instead of being made a sacrifice  but if I was one of them, I’d be a little nervous after my ‘duplicate’ was finished! Also on display were many other items, made of gold, jade and bronze too. The detail on each item was really something special. One really needs to stop awhile, not 2000 odd years but some time to ‘feel’ and look as one watched one of the motionless figures. Well worth seeing and at a modest price too. 

We walked through the World War 1, Gallipoli display once more and admired the detailed life looking soldiers and equipment of Peter Jackson’s display.


The life like detail of a soldier operating a machine gum at Gallipoli.

The Gallipoli Retreat. Rifles were set up to fire at random with the aid of water for the enemy to think soldiers were still there.


Inside the Lake Head Hut. Shirl, Karla and Derilyn resting.

Lake Rotoiti and Back

We had a visitor from London and wished to show her something of our New Zealand way of life regarding our outdoors. We did have a day up to the Mt Arthur Hut and a little beyond, to climb higher than Ben Nevis’ 1345 metres in Scotland so that was a pretty good effort. Later we thought it would be good to experience an overnight stay in a New Zealand mountain hut so off we went.

We took it easy going up Lake Rotoiti via the water taxi then we walked over to have a look at the Coldwater Hut, crossing the Travers River. Back at Lakehead Hut and it was pretty full of overseas people so not the ideal situation. The next morning we rose early and had breakfast along the track a bit. Well, we got away from the foreigners but were joined by the sandflies!  It was a good couple of days out though and the ice-creams were good when we arrived back at St Arnaud.


Crossing one of the back waters coming back from Coldwater Hut, near the Lakehead Hut.


Native Misletoe.


The exuberance.


Coming Out?
I’ve been pondering for the last year and have now decided to be fashionable and to ‘Come Out’. I suddenly feel like rushing out and doing a wheelie on my penny farthing bike. So? Well I’ve become one of those octogenarians!  Once I get my breath back, I’ll explain. 
You see, people talk about someone who is “You know, he is really old” and then I recognise that the person they are talking about is a lot younger than me. This could be embarrassing so I’ve found it best to keep my mouth shut… And then strut off without falling over  something. Now I’m an official ‘old person’, although I still don’t feel old, it just takes a little more time to do things! 


Rainfall for January and February – what rainfall?  In January we had 6.5mm and during February we had 2.5mm. Our average rainfall for these months were 115mm and 84mm respectively and we are now officially in a drought. The rains will come but not too much at once please.

1 Comment

  1. Derilyn

    As that visitor, can I just say thank you again. Mount Arthur and Nelson Lakes (sandflies excluded…) were both amazing things to experience and I’m really looking forward to another trip over to see what else is planned!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *