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 A morning at Zealandia’s new exhibition. Recent editorials in the Wellington press criticised their choice to put up – nay, double – the fees, now that the multi-million dollar exhibition has been built. Well, our little family felt happy to pay our annual membership fee in return for the smart new cafe, the shop stuffed with kiwi goodies and the wonderful exhibition.

It was suitably scarey when reminding us of how the natural flora and fauna of NZ was destroyed, and the displays captivated the children while keeping us adults interested too (loved the film of how they tested the fence against pests – boy, those stoats fly!). The sound-responsive bird display (“Don’t shout or you’ll scare the moa”) and the interactive pukeko and giant moa were crowd-pleasers.

More than anything, though, was that the exhibition was emotive enough for us to be champing at the bit to get out into the sanctuary with an eagerness that I’m not sure we felt before it was built. A pleasant work now has a real motivation – to explore this brave and ambitious place of beauty. A work in progress, for sure, but we now have another great attraction in Wellington, a wonderful local cafe near Karori and a reminder of something far more important: that we should be trying to preserve and promote our environment for future generations.

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How often do you clean behind your fridge? For us, clearly not often enough.

For the non-New Zealanders, this is a weta (not very alive, though) about 3 inches long. Just a baby.

Nice contrast with the shiny bead, I feel…

Peering out from the glass, the ghost sheep search in vain for green pastures. Can you see two?

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