Curious Clocks in New Zealand

Maybe I have too much time on my hands, but after seeing the neat historical clock in the Old Bank Arcade in Wellington I thought I’d look for other curious clocks around the country. There’s no better place to start than a clock museum …..

Claphams Clock Museum, Town Basin, Whangarei
Claphams Clock Museum in Whangarei has over 1600 clocks and timepieces. The collection was started in 1961 when the Whangarei City Council paid a token sum for 400 clocks belonging to local man Archibald Clapham.

Gymnast alarm clock at Claphams Clock Museum

Gymnast alarm clock at Claphams Clock Museum

Archibald was an aspiring clock-maker turned clock … Read the rest

Shapeshifter Sculpture Exhibition

This year’s Shapeshifter outdoor sculpture exhibition in Lower Hutt has over 50 sculptures made by 44 New Zealand artists. Works are on display from Friday 26 February – Sunday 20 March from 11am – 7pm daily. Entry is $10 adults. All sculptures are for sale. (Have a sneak peak on Facebook).

Shapeshifter is a biennial event and we attended in 2014, in part to see a sculpture made by wood sculptor and carver Kevin McCardell from Tauranga. Kevin’s work is described as life like, is it ever. Even though I knew I was going to see a park … Read the rest

Sweet Wellington – Louis Sergeant Sweet Couture

Update 2018: Louis Sergeant Sweet Coutere has relocated to 111 Lambton Quay.

Louis Sergeant Sweet Couture is a little bit fancy with the large portrait of Marie Antoinette coordinated with the light fittings, couch, and cushions.

Louis Sergeant, Wellington

Louis Sergeant, Wellington

French staff added to the fancy vibe as they took my order for a halloumi and caramelised fig sandwich. I was surprised at the number of savoury options on the menu as I had gone prepared to eat pastry. Eat pastry I did though and the chocolate eclair was the stand out for me. Choux pastry is filled with dark chocolate … Read the rest

Wacky Wellington

Wellington has a few wacky and well known attractions like the Cuba Street bucket fountain, the lobster loos on the waterfront, and the political puppets at The Backbencher Gastropub on Molesworth Street. These attractions are mentioned in our A-Z Travel Guide to Wellington on $10 or less. We recently spent a couple of days in the capital looking for more wacky attractions that don’t necessarily fit a $10 budget …

Carlucci Land Mini Golf - metal sculptures meet good fun

Carlucci Land Mini Golf – metal sculptures meet good fun

Carlucci Land Mini Golf, 281 Happy Valley Road
Carlucci Land mini golf course is built into the hillside on Happy … Read the rest

Drinking for good in Wellington

Recently I wrote about Ngopi in Auckland, a Malaysian cafe that donates its profits to charity. In Wellington there is an espresso bar in a container on lower Cuba Street called Stories. Stories Espresso Bar was set up by youth organisation Zeal to provide employment and work experience for young baristas.

Stories Espresso Bar, 40A Cuba Street

Stories Espresso Bar, 40A Cuba Street

Zeal run barista courses, but the young people who completed the training often found it difficult to get a job and gain experience. This is where Stories Espresso Bar steps in, young people get work experience under the tutelage of an experienced barista, … Read the rest

Wearable Art

All sorts of curious items find new life as wearable art – used tea bags, bird wings, and even whole budgies – Budgerigar Brassiere. One designer mentioned half a gallon of Mac’s Gold beer in her materials list although that may have helped fuel her creativity.

It’s not only curious items but also common materials that are turned into stunning wearable art. In 2009 Alaskan carpenter David Walker won the Supreme Award at the World of WearableArt Awards Show (WOW) with ‘Lady of the Wood’. The design is a reproduction of a 17th century ball gown and is made … Read the rest

Museum Art Hotel, Wellington

* Museum Art Hotel is now QT Museum Wellington *

I’ve read that interior designer Michael Nolder was tasked with creating ‘New Zealand’s best bar and something completely over the top’ when redesigning Hippopotamus Bar at Museum Art Hotel in Wellington. In my opinion he nailed it, here it is in all its elegant glory ……..

Hippopotamus Bar, Museum Art Hotel

Hippopotamus Bar, Museum Art Hotel

The rooms at the hotel are currently undergoing a ‘Coco Chanel inspired’ renovation. The Classic Rooms we’ve stayed in were definitely missing the quirky and creative touches apparent throughout the public areas of the hotel. There was nothing at … Read the rest

Thirsty Wellington – Unusual Places For A Brew

Below are a few unusual places for a brew, alcoholic or otherwise in Wellington ….

The Backbencher Gastropub, 34 Molesworth Street
The Backbencher Gastropub is opposite Parliament and has a political theme. There have been a series of satirical political puppets strung up over the years. Prime Minister John Key unveiled a new set of puppets in 2013, including one of himself disco dancin’. We’ll see if he’ll be ‘stayin’ alive’ after the 2014 election.

PM John Key disco dancin' & Minister Gerry Brownlee working on the Christchurch rebuild

PM John Key disco dancin’ & Minister Gerry Brownlee working on the Christchurch rebuild

There are a few spaces to eat and drink. You can … Read the rest

More than movies at Roxy Cinema & Embassy Theatre in Wellington

We don’t go to the movies often enough, it’s a cheap ticket to a foreign land, or at least a window into another world. We didn’t go to the movies in Wellington either, but we did find there’s more to Roxy Cinema in Miramar and Embassy Theatre in downtown Wellington than movie theatres. (And excellent theatres they are too according to rave reviews I’ve read).

Art Deco facade of Roxy Cinema in Miramar, Wellington

Art Deco facade of Roxy Cinema in Miramar, Wellington

Old fashioned sweets in lolly jars for movie munchies

Old fashioned sweets in lolly jars for movie munchies

Roxy Cinema was formerly known as Capitol Theatre and was built in 1928. The last movie screened … Read the rest

Craft beer at Black Dog Brew Co in Wellington?

I really wanted to like the Lucky Mongrel golden ale at Black Dog Brew Co, but it was the White Fang wheat beer that got me up for a second glass. Mike’s pick was the Golden Lab, I don’t know if they’re attempting to match beer to personalities but Mike’s definitely a docile lab and I can be feisty at times.

White Fang & Golden Lab at BlackDog Brew Co

White Fang & Golden Lab at BlackDog Brew Co

Tasting tray $24

Tasting tray $24

You know you’re drinking in a working brewery at Black Dog, big shiny silver tanks sit next to boxes of Chomp NZ Pale Ale. There’s a growler … Read the rest