I let my dodgy hire car coast freely down Mount Victoria along Alexandra Road, which brought me down into the suburb of Newtown.
As well as some interesting houses (some painted in bright oranges and blues), Newtown is the home of Wellington Zoo.
Wellington Zoo is built on the side of a hill (but you must remember that most of the city is on the side of a hill), so it can be quite a taxing effort to explore. As far as zoos go, Wellington is average. It has all of the animals that you would expect to find in a zoo (apart from elephants - but a local told me they all now live in the local parliament buildings...), and I managed to get round the whole lot in just over an hour.
However, the best thing about the zoo is its Kiwi House. This is a room that is kept in complete darkness, and houses native kiwis, owls, and an assortment of lizards. Unlike other kiwi enclosures in the country, the one at Wellington Zoo has no glass or anything between you and the animals. You must stand there for 10 minutes, completely silent, until your eyes adjust, and then the animals will all start creeping out of their hidey holes and around your feet. Magic.
Now, go back to the car and let's get going... although you will probably have to walk a long way to reach the car. Parking at the zoo is useless! [more]
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