An Unprecedented Amount of Rain…

That is what we’ve been dealing with.

At least, that is what all the Kiwis keep saying about the gloom-inducing weather here in New Zealand.

Flooding and mudslides and fog… oh my!

It started raining around our second week here and it feels as though it hasn’t stopped. Not ideal considering the real highlights of a visit to Kiwi country are ALL outdoors.

So what do you do when its raining in New Zealand? Go to museums right? We have been to a handful, but somehow never on rainy days. Visiting these museums has never been our goal at the outset of the day, but we end up there anyway.

So, instead of some awesome pictures of New Zealand’s gorgeous scenery or adorable wild-life, here is a recap of a truly FASCINATING museum.

But, seriously, we really enjoyed it.

As it happens during most travels (and sometimes in regular life) you hop on the wrong bus.

One frustrating Saturday back in March, this happened to us. However it turned out for the better.

We had spent the morning annoyed, still on our quest to find a camper. The car fair we had trekked out to had no viable options in the very small pool and had been difficult to navigate to. Our frustrations quickly rose when we realized we had gotten on the wrong bus back to our hostel.

As soon as we realized, we hopped off at the next stop. We then stumbled upon a little farmer’s market, where we ambled around, feasting our eyes on the local bounty. Had we not just eaten breakfast, we certainly would have had a feast for our bellies as well.

Parnell Farmer’s Market

The Parnell market butts right up next to the Auckland Domain, the oldest and one of the largest parks in the city. It also houses the Auckland War Memorial Museum, a fantastic museum and memorial that, until that day, we had been regrettably unaware of.

Seeing the neoclassical building in the distance we decided to give it a shot, since our day could only improve. It was a fantastic distraction and greatly improved our moods.

The exhibitions covering the first two floors vary dramatically. My favorite was one covering Kiwi design in all aspects ranging from furniture to clothing.

Jason especially liked the natural history exhibits, with incredibly life-like models of New Zealand’s varied fauna as well as dinosaur fossils.

One of the more unique experiences was a volcanic eruption simulator. A group of around 12 are crammed into a cookie-cutter model home where a large screen depicting one of Auckland’s dormant volcanic cones sits where the window should be. After a few minutes of anticipation a terribly-acted news broadcast beams through the television warning of the impending eruption. Finally, in the distance we see it erupt. The model home shakes and ash begins to fall as a tsunami picks up near the base of the volcano. A seriously terrifying prospect.

The top floors are a memorial to those who fought in both the first and second World Wars. Wall after wall is covered with the names of the fallen along with the theater in which they fought. The memorial is combined with a few exhibitions covering the different Wars as well as a memorial for those lost in the Holocaust. It is a powerful memorial, a monument in Auckland not to be missed.

On our way out from the museum, we ended up entering a special exhibition sponsored by Spark (our mobile phone carrier) celebrating music. We quickly learned that it covered solely Kiwi music, and funnily enough the only song we recognized was “How Bizarre” OMC. Remember that 90’s one hit wonder? They were Kiwis! Who knew? I hope it gets stuck your head, like it was for me.

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