July 23, 2015

Wellington will forever be ingrained in my mind as "The city where I didn't get to try an Occulus Rift".

I've wanted to try out virtual reality ever since I was 10 and RTE used to show The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest.

Wellington is a small, rather scenic city. It surrounds Wellington harbour and has lots of mountains around, which makes you feel like you're never really in a bustling city centre.

We had only one day so rather than do any real research we wandered around to see what there was. On a Saturday, which was our only day, there's a large underground market in a carpark where I finally managed to buy gloves. Hands now snug, we purposely marched forward to go up another Very Tall Thing. This time it was a funicular rail up a large hill with some nice botanic gardens. I've yet to go a Very Tall Thing and find that the view was rubbish so as always, it was nice.

A nice harbour
Wellington from far away
You can't move for botanic gardens in NZ

Much to my dismay there was a huge museum on the harbour and we weren't yet hungry enough to go for dinner so we had to go in. This was the apparently famous Te Papa museum which to its credit has a huge variation of stuff, including a timeline of controversies in NZ's history. Dan spent many hours looking through the history of Air New Zealand section and on my third run of the exhibits I noticed a lot of people queuing. I peered past the first person into a fake plane cabin where everyone had a virtual reality headset. I didn't even care what they were showing on it, it could have been a virtual geology lesson, they were using Occulus Rifts. I had to try one. I wrenched Dan away from a really boring display about a really boring pilot who was born in a really boring place in a really boring year and we took our places. Suddenly a woman appeared and said to the man IN FRONT OF US, 'I'm sorry but we can't accept any more people for today. Sorry everyone.' And cut off the line.

I wept.

Wellington is really nice though. If I had a choice of NZ cities to live in, I'd probably pick it.

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