I had a lazy start, sleep in, as had booked a Weta Workshop/Studio tour for 11:00. I went via Mt Victoria, another first for me I think (although maybe went up there as a kid). The weather was still mixed, but the clouds and glimmer of sun made for some nice views.
The Weta tour was great. Must admit I found the Thunderbirds set visit more interesting than the Rings & fantasy stuff but admired the craftmanship and dedication apparent in all their work. Glad to see how they make the magic: hard work and creative thinking.
A demo of sculpting, using scrunched up aluminium kitchen foil as the medium!
One of the few areas you are allow to photograph on the tour.
I parked the little car on a nearby bookshelf…
After that it was great to catch up with fellow car enthusiast Jack Yan. Although we ‘met’ well over a decade ago via blogging Jack is a professional publisher (amongst other things) with titles including the fashion/lifestyle Lucire (web & print) and his (hobby) carcyclopædia Autocade. Searching my own blog (while writing this, trying to figure out when we met) I found a 2008 post referencing “Lucire’s Car to Be Seen in for 2008 - Fiat 500”. I’d totally forgotten about it but still agree with this quote:
We have both struggled to buy manual cars, less than 10% of sales now in NZ, but Jack went further afield than I. He imported his Renault Megane from the U.K."! This was the inaugural "NZ European Three Door Manual Coupe Club" (NZETDMCC?) meetup! :)
After that I did visit Zealandia, after missing it yesterday, which is an impressive predator proof fenced wild life sanctuary around a former water reservoir. Great to see a patch of NZ wilderness preserved, recreated, so close to (in) the capital city. The weather was better, still overcast & damp but no rain, and I had time for a decent walk. Mostly saw bird life but was impressed with the flora, fauna and visitor centre displays.
Although a fresh water reservoir marine birds fly in at evening to overnight at Zealandia!
I also saw another white 500 parked on the road side. It was a good opportunity to see the visual differences between a Fiat and Abarth 500. Most obvious is the extended snout (needed to fit turbo intercoolers apparently), bigger wheels, extra cooling ducts, side skirts, more prominent roof spoiler and twin exhaust rear bumper ‘diffuser’. A standard 500 has 0.9-1.4 Litre (44-75kW/88-133 N-m) engines, the Abarth Esseesse a 1.4 Turbo (118kW/206 M-m).
After that it was an early night, for me, as had to be on the road by 06:00 next morning to get to the interisland ferry on time!