Friday, April 17, 2009

The allure of our capital's history

I am a true, born-and-bred Aucklander, second generation (my paternal grandfather came here in 1912, and three out of my four grandparents have ashes deposited in the clay soils of Auckland). And yet -- this doesn't stop me being quite fascinated by heritage in other places. (Of this, I'm glad, for if I were not fascinated, then I'd never venture forth and find new stuff. Tragic.) I loved visiting Melbourne a few years ago (and want to do so again); Sydney, with a bit of exploring, wasn't bad and revealed her past rather well, especially the Powerhouse Museum; Christchurch is some place I'd like to return to, and see Lyttleton this time, maybe even Akaroa as well; I'm quite fond of Matamata, Tauranga, Cambridge and Taupo, and deeply love Rotorua.

And then, there is Wellington.

I've said before in this blog that I've come to realise that NZ local history allows me to explore, to find out, to go looking for the answer to questions which keep on popping up -- and when I find the answers (if I do), they are usually interesting. Wellington is one of those places I'd love to have time to explore, as thoroughly as I could. The brief time I was there on a stopover on the way back to Auckland, the city's weather was beautiful, and I was hooked. Now, yes, I realise her weather can be atrocious. Then again, I come from Auckland ...

If I get the chance to spend more than just a few fleeting hours down there, I wouldn't go back to Te Papa (it didn't impress me at all), I'd return to the Museum of Wellington City & Sea (one of my favourite all-time museums, a true explorer's paradise), probably spend lots and lots of time at the National Library, and check out Wellington City Library as well. One thing has always impressed me about Wellington City Council's websites -- they have very good heritage content. The library's site is no exception. Check it out when you have some time.

I'm still a dyed-in-the-wool Aucklander, though. I love to explore, but I also love coming back home.

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