When I think galleries, I generally think art – paintings, sculptures and photographs. Poetry is not something I associate with a gallery, but it was poetry that surprised and amused us at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts on Wellington’s waterfront. I’d never heard of Ben Stokes, but his “Place to Be” hip-hop-rap style poem bought a smile to our face. Ben is New Zealand’s 2014 National Poetry Slam Champion, and in this poem he describes exactly what makes New Zealand such a fantastic Place To Be. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Go on….hit the play button.
Wellington hosts numerous other private and publicly funded galleries peppered along its harbour foreshore. In addition to Shona Moller, the Art of Dr Seuss, the Portrait Gallery and the City’s Civic Gallery, we were also wooed by the art work (and motor bikes) in the foyer of the Museum Art Hotel. The décor and elegance of the foyer immediately transports you away to another world. If I ever had to stay a night in Wellington City, I’d love to spend it at the Museum Art Hotel. Check out the video on the hotels home page.
BizDojo is a great name, and I was introduced to this New Zealand company of go-getters late last year, when it was announced that the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland had signed a partnership agreement with them to create, launch and operate a series of innovation centres. Given my professional interest in business innovation, I took the opportunity to pay BizDojo a visit whilst I was in Wellington. Nick, one of the BizDojo co-founders showed me around and I was really impressed with the buzz and atmosphere created by their resident community. Nick described BizDojo as a “curated co-working space”. Currently, 120 people are working out of the Wellington space and I’m told that the gross revenues generated by these start-ups, creatives, entrepreneurs and freelancers exceeds $92million! Young innovative risk takers are people I admire, and they will be the ones to create our future. Hats off to BizDojo and its community of entrepreneurial go-getters.
Cycling can be a very social past time, and if you are able to meet up with some local cyclists when travelling, it can open up a whole new world for you.
I was fortunate to meet Mino in Brisbane last year when we were both at a mutual friend’s birthday. Mino and I got talking and soon realised that we shared a passion for cycling. Knowing our New Zealand trip was on the horizon, Mino encouraged me to make contact when we arrived in Wellington and he’d organise a ride with me, and that’s what we did. Mino understood my aversion to “hills”, so arranged a flat ride around the Bays with two of his riding buddies. Although it was still dark, it was a beautiful morning when we headed off from Chaffers Wharf, out around Oriental Parade. Lyall Bay was our destination for coffee, passing Evans Bay, and Scorching Bay with the sun finally poking it’s head over the horizon as we pedalled our way past Worser Bay. It was lovely to see the Inter Islander Ferry heading out across Cook Strait, making its first run to Picton for the day. We made Lyall Bay with just a hint of a head wind, and enjoyed our coffee at the Spruce Goose Café. As we sipped our coffee and shared cycling stories I started to get a sense that this “flat” ride was about to take an upward turn. It was only a couple of km’s down the road that I looked up and saw Mt Victoria standing in our path. My new Kiwi riding buddies had a giggle to themselves and lead the charge up the hill. Mt Victoria only peaks at 196m, however, the climb seemed to go on forever. By the time we reached the summit, my trusty “Strava app” told me we’d climbed a total of 1,009 gut busting metres, but I’d made it without a stop. The view from the summit was magic, providing a 360⁰ panorama across Wellington. It was worth the pain.
The great thing about a climb up Mt Victoria is that you have to ride down the other side. By the time we got back to Chaffers Wharf we’d covered 32km and seen some of Wellington’s most beautiful scenery. I sincerely thank my Kiwi riding buddies for their company, and for the unexpected gut busting climb that they threw in………just for fun.