How many people can report being ensconced in a world-class museum during a tsunami drill?! There we were in Wellington, New Zealand, for the Society of American Travel Writers’ 2011 convention. We had taken time to visit the Te Papa Museum (www.tepapa.govt.nz), the renowned venue that exhibits the history, art and architecture of the Maori (New Zealand’s indigenous people)–and much more. When the alert occurred we were ushered up to the top floor of the museum where, coincidentally, some of the best exhibits are located. We stayed for nearly two hours learning about New Zealand history and culture. Three days later we returned to the museum for the SATW’s final reception and dinner. Te Papa is a must for anyone visiting Wellington. Whatever your agenda when visiting this city, be sure to check it out!
And when you have some downtime in Wellington, dubbed ” the coolest little capital in the world” by Lonely Planet (and known for its lively cafe/restaurant/bar scene), relax at some of the city’s top watering holes (alleged to have more per capita than New York City!). Favorites include: Martin Bosley’s (www.martin-bosley.com), Logan Brown (www.loganbrown.co.nz), The General Practitioner (www.thegp.co.nz) and the Matterhorn (www.matterhorn.co.nz), among others. Another tip: for great views of Wellington’s harbor, go to Stellin Park for a wonderful panorama.