Saturday, December 31, 2011
Friday, 30 December: Auckland Museum
Well, the former cyclone continues to put a damper on our activities in Auckland: today, our trip to the Tiritiri Matangi island nature reserve was canceled due to 90 knot winds blowing around the island. So, in steady drizzle, we walked to the Auckland Museum to explore New Zealand cultural and natural history. Before venturing inside, we took a photo-op with a HUGE tree on the museum's grounds (see picture). The museum had an incredible display of Maori (first successful human inhabitants of New Zealand) artefacts, including an entire whare runanga (meeting house) and a beautifully-carved waka (tribal war boat). The nature history section of the museum highlighted the flora and fauna of New Zealand, and it was great to view up-close many of the organisms that we will see in the wild in the next few weeks. The museum was a 'choice' (New Zealand for 'awesome') alternative to the island nature preserve, but we're all looking forward to some summer sun!