New Zealand Weekend 3: Choirs and Quays

After an up and down week I was SO ready for the weekend. My plans were thrown off slightly, but these things happen.

My plan for Saturday was to visit Te Papa, and then head along the quay and maybe up to the Botanic Gardens. It started on track, I had breakfast at a local cafe, then headed off to Te Papa. Even though I spent a lot of the past week at Te Papa, I only actually saw the one exhibit, which felt like a bit of a waste. When I arrived, I was slightly bewildered to find the NZ Symphony Orchestra set up and serenading visitors. I enjoyed the surprise concert, then set off to see the rest of the museum.

To be honest, I wasn’t in love in the exhibits. They were interesting, but none of them blew me out of the water. I did find the current iwi exhibition fascinating, or more specifically the nature of the exhibit in general. The current exhibit has been organised by the Rongowhakaata iwi to share their cultural heritage, but the exhibitions change to share the stories of various iwi. This was definitely the most insightful exhibit, and the fact no photography was allowed made it feel more immediate.

It was as I was leaving this exhibition that the trouble started. I found myself in a big open room surrounded by people singing Christmas Carols. Next thing I knew, I was being handed a score and just like that I accidentally joined the volunteer choir for Carols with the NZSO at Te Papa that afternoon. It may have been unintentional, but I sure did have a lot of fun. Singing in a choir and playing in the orchestra were some of my favourite things about school, and it was fun to revisit that experience.

By the time all of the was over, it was already 4pm. I had time to wander along the quay and then headed to Cuba St for some dinner from the pop up night market.

Then, today (Sunday) I had the best intentions of heading up to the Botanic Gardens. Unfortunately some bad weather put a stopper in that, so after some errands and a bit of quayside Christmas shopping I headed back to my room for a lazy afternoon of YouTube videos. I still have a full weekend in Wellington left, so I have a bit more time to fit in the last touristy things I want to do!

Tonight I’m actually catching an overnight sleeper bus to Auckland, for some research interviews tomorrow. So that will be an interesting way to start my final week in NZ!


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