Onehunga Bay, Near Wellington

A Kiwi Christmas Near Wellington

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Having done most of our Christmas shopping in Napier we just had to get some food on arrival in Tawa.  Tawa is a short drive out of Wellington.  It was Christmas Eve so we stocked up on the food we thought we would need over the Christmas period and headed to our next AirBnB stay.

Craig and Sarah would be our AirBnB hosts for the next four nights and we were greeted by Craig on arrival.  He showed us around the lovely downstairs apartment which was perfect for our needs.  Craig and Sarah had become parents only two weeks earlier and we spent some time chatting about sleep deprivation and how hard the adjustment to parenthood is.

We soon settled in and the kids both wrote a note to Santa which they left with some milk and a carrot by the small ornamental tree we had purchased.  They went to bed excited, but not sure what to expect from a Christmas on the road. Would he manage to find his way to Wellington?

Santa came overnight and left eight little gifts for each of our kids.   They were so happy that he had found them on our travels!  Our Son, who has never been materialistic, couldn’t even believe that he had got as many as eight presents!

We had a simple Christmas lunch of pre-cooked roast chicken, mashed potato and carrots.  As a family, we always take a walk after Christmas lunch, and we did the same this year, exploring our surroundings.

Later that afternoon Craig popped down and asked if we would like to join everyone upstairs.  Sarah and Craig had family over.  Craig’s parents were here along with his sister, brother-in-law, nephews and nieces.  Sarah’s Mum, sister and nephew were also over too.

We spend the afternoon upstairs and were made to feel most welcome. In the early evening, we went back downstairs.  Mum rang home as was feeling very homesick during the Christmas period.

Fun at Onehunga Bay, Wellington

Fun at Onehunga Bay

Boxing Day was spent relaxing. Mum had been poorly for a few days and didn’t feel up for much.  We booked a tour of the Weta Workshop for the following afternoon and relaxed watching DVDs. Later in the afternoon we took a short drive to Onehunga Bay and we all relaxed on the beach in the sun.

Mum hadn’t improved the following day so she found a medical centre and went for an appointment.  She returned in time to make the trip into Wellington to the Weta Workshop.  Weta is a series of companies that create props and special effects for major blockbuster films. Some of their titles include The Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, Avatar, District 9 and many more.

We posed with the Troll that stands outside before looking at the various miniature figures that they also produce in the shop.  After a short twenty-five-minute video explaining the background of the company we were ready to be shown around a section of the workshop that produced film props.

Outside Weta Workshop, Wellington

Outside Weta Workshop

The tour only covered a short area of the prop workshop and no photos were allowed as the film companies still hold the rights to the props.  It was still very interesting. First, we saw the process in creating a gun for District 9 from conception to design, moulding, production and final details.  Through the tour, we saw many different props and were told the process of creating them and the materials used.  Our Son especially loved learning about this.

Weta also have a digital production company which is responsible for a lot of CGI in films.  The BFG and Pete’s Dragon were two films that the kids had been watching recently and when we looked and found that Weta Digital had been involved in the creation of both films (and Pete’s Dragon was filmed in New Zealand), they so excited and were keen to watch them again!!

We returned to the apartment and packed our bags ready for our departure to Whanganui the next day…