Parts of Wellington were overwhelmed by tourists today, with two big cruise ships in port.
At the cable car this morning, the queue of visitors waiting to buy tickets stretched out and along Lambton Quay.
At the Botanical Garden, all parking was full before midday.
Weta Cave was closed, but tourist buses drove out to Miramar regardless, so that visitors could look at the outside of the building which they couldn’t visit and where they couldn’t spend their money.
Some of the tour operators offered the Roxy as a consolation prize, with Gandalf and Gollum inside the main entrance. Hundreds of photos were taken.
A number of Russian tourists were among the sightseers from the cruise ships. After being disappointed at the Weta Cave, they could be seen at the Te Papa Store, spending, spending, spending.
Today’s two cruise ships were the Diamond Princess, with 2600 passengers, and the Celebrity Solstice, with 2800 passengers. Both berthed at 8am. Both departed at 6pm.
Twenty-five cruise ships visited Wellington in the last three months of 2012. Another 66 are scheduled to arrive over the first three months of the new year.