Uphill – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Walking to the lookout on Mt. Victoria in Wellington

U is for uphill. Practical Information:  New Zealand is a country created on volcanic fields, so up is a common direction. This photo was taken when we had hiked about half way up Mt Victoria in Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city. For an uphill walk, it’s a relatively easy climb to 196m above the city, where we were […]

Penguin – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Little Blue Penguin (ferry penguin) in New Zealand

P is for penguin . . .  or precious.   Practical Information:  Native to New Zealand these little blue penguins are fairly common on New Zealand coasts and also found in southern Australia. They are the world’s smallest penguin, standing just over 25cm (10 inches) and weighing only about a kilogram (2.2 pounds). They are […]

Lord of the Rings – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Gollum on display at the Wellington Airport in New Zealand

L is for Lord of the Rings… or large. Practical Information:  Wellington airport bills itself as the middle of Middle Earth. The Gollum photoed on the page was installed in October 2012. The total exhibit has three fish and is 13 metres long and 3 metres high. The Lord of the Rings trilogy utilized over 150 filming […]

Kaka – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Kaka, a native forest parrot of New Zealand

K is for kaka. Practical Information:  The kākā is a large forest parrot found on the North Island, South Island and Stewart Island.  With between 1,000 and 5,000 remaining, they are considered nationally vulnerable. Generally considered diurnal, they are also active in a full moon or on fine weather evenings. Often heard before they are seen, they make a […]

Cable Car: #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Cable Car in Wellington New Zealand

C is for Cable Car . . .  or climb. Practical Information:  On the “must see” list of most visitors to New Zealand’s capital city, the country’s only funicular railway runs from the centre of town on Lambton Quay up hill for 612m. Once at the top you will find the Wellington Botanic Garden (free), the Cable […]

The Art of Coffee Roasting: Behind the Scenes at Mojo

Coffee roasting at Mojo Roastery in Wellington New Zealand

Breathing in, I can always tell when we are nearby coffee roasting. To me, the earthy, nutty aroma is a mix of two of my favourites: coffee and chocolate. I know there is no chocolate involved, but it triggers that part of my brain. Hubby is really into coffee roasting. So much so that he roasts […]

Two Powerful War Exhibits in Wellington New Zealand

Gallipoli The Scale of our War at TePapa the National Museum of New Zealand. It is one of two war exhibits in Wellington

War exhibits don’t typically make it onto my list of things to do. However when one is created by Weta Workshop (Lord of the Rings) and the other by director Sir Peter Jackson, these war exhibits suddenly peak my interest. Both are currently on display in New Zealand’s capital city of Wellington. Each is overwhelming […]

Wellington’s St Paul Cathedral: Gothic Revival vs Modern

Old St Paul Cathedral in Wellington New Zealand

Old St Paul Cathedral in Wellington caught me by surprise. The streets of New Zealand’s capital reflect an active, upbeat, modern city. The general architecture styles are eclectic, contemporary and interesting. Then there is old St Paul Cathedral. Built entirely of native timber, this 19th-century gothic-revival masterpiece is well worth a visit. The high, vaulted […]

Colourful Photos from Wellington Botanic Garden

A rainbow of colorful hydrangeas in Wellington Botanic Garden New Zealand

Half the fun of the Wellington Botanic Garden is getting there. We arrived into town late in the day, checked into our apartment, and headed to Lambton Quay. It’s the centre of Wellington and the location of the Cable Car entrance. At the top is the Wellington Botanic Garden. I am generally not a huge fan of this type of place, but […]

Our Favourite Wellington Restaurants

Salad at Karaka cafe in Wellington New Zealand

Wellington restaurants have it all. Our favourites are generally comfortable, somewhat casual, and always serving great food. The city offers traditional, international, and eclectic options. Wellington may be a city known for its coffee but take a look at some of the food we tried at several Wellington restaurants and see if you agree it is also a city for […]

100 Strangers Project Completed in Wellington NZ

100 Strangers Project in Wellington New Zealand

For some reason the 100 Strangers Project was a huge challenge for me. I am almost embarrassed to admit that I started it in May 2014. A year and a half later I am pleased to report I have completed the 100 Strangers Project. This beautiful stranger was my final shot: I have read lots […]

Hiking Mount Victoria in Wellington

View while hiking Mount Victoria in Wellington New Zealand

A few eyes rolled when I suggested hiking Mount Victoria during our recent visit to Wellington, one of my favourite New Zealand cities. At 196 metres, it is taller than any natural point in Auckland, and the 360 degree views from the top are well worth the effort. And effort it was. We were later told we […]

DeJa Vu: New Zealand’s Rainbow of Random Hair Color

Random hair color in New Zealand

Random hair color seems to be everywhere these days. I am not that brave, although mine has changed quite a bit in the past year. When I read about the deja vu blog fest these random hair color images were the first thing to pop into my head. Simply put it is hosted by DL Hammonds, […]

Sarah’s Sunday Snapshots #37 – Kapiti Coast Textures

Leaves, Kapiti Coast in Wellington, New Zealand. Copyright Sarah E. Albom 2015; for more photos of Wellington, visit the blog

Last weekend I was on an AFS camp on the Kapiti Coast north of Wellington and, naturally, I brought my camera along. With only carry on for the flight (limiting my weight to 7kg) I brought my new lightweight 24mm lens for the weekend. Following the theme of several previous posts, I decided to take photos […]

Wellington Photos: 20 Reasons It’s My Favorite NZ Getaway

the Beehive is one of the buildings of New Zealand's parliament

Wellington is so much more than just New Zealand’s capital city. It’s a vibrant eclectic mix of architecture styles, unusual street art, culture, and history. It’s been my favourite weekend getaway destination since my first visit nearly 12 years ago. A picture is worth 1000 words, so I will show you why I love Wellington in […]

How to Easily Add a Color Splash with PicMonkey

How to add color splash

Several readers asked how I did the color splash on black and white photos in the last post. It’s so easy, I thought I would share the step-by-step process here, using PicMonkey, a free software. The basic steps are also the same in Aperture or Adobe Photoshop: Upload the photo into your favorite editing software. […]

Find South with Stars: Things I Learned at Carter Observatory in Wellington, New Zealand

New Zealand's largest refracting telescope is in Carter Observatory, Wellington, New Zealand

From the big bang to space exploration, Carter Observatory in Wellington took us through time with colorful exhibits. Sarah and I visited during our recent mother-daughter adventure. We went on Saturday night in hopes of seeing the  refracting telescope at work. We were tired after a morning Walk Wellington tour and a visit to the […]

Photos: A Rainbow of Hair Color in Wellington New Zealand

Rainbow of Hair Color in Wellington New Zealand

People watching from a cafe on Cuba Street in Wellington, New Zealand, Sarah suddenly had an idea “Hey mum, I challenge you to do the 100-Strangers Project featuring a rainbow of hair color.” It’s a new twist on an old challenge. Last year I never completed the 100-Strangers Project as I am too intimidated to […]

Walk Wellington – Best Way to See New Zealand’s Capital City

New Zealand Parliament and the building nicknamed the Beehive in Wellington, the Capital City

Walk Wellington is the perfect name for the city tour we took to kick start our mini adventure in New Zealand’s capital. We went open minded, expecting to learn a bit about the history and architecture. Our expectations were far exceeded as we discovered a city filled with mystery and surprise around every corner. It’s […]

Sarah’s Sunday Snapshots #27 – Hobbit Movie Costumes

Glamdring - elvish sword of Gandalf the Grey

Last week while at a waterfront cafe in Wellington, New Zealand mum and I came across a glass case containing the costume of Legolas from the Lord of the Rings (LoTR). Me, as a huge LoTR fan, became extremely excited when we found out that there was a whole trail of Hobbit movie costumes scattered about […]

Wellington’s Best Desserts are at Strawberry Fare

Sticky Date Pudding at, Strawberry Fare, Wellington, New Zealand

Strawberry Fare calls it a Black Forest Tower. I call it chocolate perfection on a plate.  It took only a few bites before I realized: this dessert is exactly how I envision heaven (only heaven has fewer calories). Wellington may be packed with restaurant options, but Strawberry Fare is my clear favorite. We went for […]

Zealandia, New Zealand Wildlife the Way Nature Intended

Tuatara in the bush in New Zealand

Tucked up over the city of Wellington is Zealandia, an eco reserve reminiscent of the days before humans arrived in New Zealand. A predator proof fence surrounds the sanctuary, creating an “island” within New Zealand’s capital city and allowing birds and other native creatures to live wild as nature intended. In contrast to the Wellington […]

Wellington Zoo, Home to the Only Bear in New Zealand

Sun Bear at the Wellington Zoo, New Zealand

Wellington Zoo calls itself the “Best Little Zoo in the World,” and they just might be accurate. Having lived most of my life near large cities with somewhat famous zoos, I thought I had seen it all.  Not so. The Wellington Zoo offers many surprises, and is worth a visit.  It’s one of the highlights […]

Sarah’s Sunday Snapshots #26 – Wellington Textures

Giraffe spots at the Wellington Zoo in New Zealand

This weekend has been very exciting so far – mum and I have been in Wellington since Friday for a mother-daughter weekend, and it has been awesome! Wellington is full of interesting sites and activities (which mum and I will be writing about in the weeks to come) and we’ve been having lots of fun. Today I […]

Bizarre Wellington Street Sculptures are Colorful Fun

The Waharoa of the Marea at Te Papa, Wellington New Zealand

Wellington is an exciting, eclectic mix of modern, traditional and cultural street art.  Melissa and I had a blast exploring the city and discovering so many interesting Wellington street sculptures. Often thought of as the soul of the city, colorful Cuba Street is a meeting place for friends, buskers, shoppers and diners.  We chose a […]