Wellington is a beautiful setting on a harbor set up against green hills, a compact, walkable downtown, and many spread-out suburbs. I gave two talks here to local geoscientists, including one in the largest wooden building in the Southern Hemisphere, a lovely structure with native wood interiors, and the other in a film studio turned GNS (Geological & Nuclear Science) center, where work on the Lord of the Rings movies was done. The talk was in a large theater used for movie viewing.
Cliff Atkins, of the University of Victoria, Wellington, put together a lovely field trip to the Wairarapa region, an up and coming wine producer, with interesting geology to boot.
The south Wairarapa Valley is the site of a Pliocene-Pleistocene, narrow paleoseaway that existed in a forearc basin (1-3Ma). We also viewed Pliocene marine mudstones uncomformably overlain by Quaternary deposits.
The coast has uplifted marine terraces overlain by fluvial deposits. Other stops included Mesozoic basement greywackes and pillow basalts.