Weta Cave and Miniature Effects Tour
Fantastic tour for those with a love affair for Thunderbird's both young and old.
As a treat for our sons 8th Birthday we headed to Wellington for a few days holiday.
On his actual birthday while we were there we surprised him with a trip to the Weta workshop cave where you can see prop replicas from movies like "The Lord of the Rings" and other movies. We also surprised our son with a Miniature effects tour . He loved it !!! secretly so did we, it was fantastic.
Because we were staying in the city and the Weta Cave is on the Miramar Peninsula about 20min out of the city we had a look in to the different options of transport to get there.
The Weta Workshop actually offer their own transport from the I-Site in the city out to the Cave as an option when you book your tour, this would have been a fantastic option to use and i do recommend booking this if you decide to go for a visit. But for us as we knew we were not going to return straight back to the city after, we opted to catch the bus out there and it work out fine for us, the kids actually loved it been country kids it was a great novelty for them and added some extra fun to the day.
Once we got their, we checked in to let them know we had arrived and then went about checking out all the wicked sculptures and displays around the Cave. The cave is actually a shop so there was soooooo much to see it was really cool !!! Our son was loving it he could have spent a good hour just looking at ever amazing thing in that shop.
Then it was time to go on our tour !! we were incredibly lucky that we were actually the only people book in on our time spot so we go a whole tour just to our family !!! such a fantastic added bonus on our boys birthday - with him been ASD he can often ask a million trillion billion questions lol some times this can get a bit overwhelming when other people are their so this was perfect !!!
We headed out side listen to our safety briefing and then jumped in to the van and off we went !!
The guy taking our tour was fantastic!!! he was such a laugh and had our kids in fits of laughter the whole time. He was also 1000% understanding and accommodating of our son and is 20 million questions ever 2.5 seconds, it was fantastic !
You drive around to where all the studios are, with a running commentary along the way telling you what each building is for and what is going on in the - well the ones he was aloud to tell you about that is.....
We get to the studio all set up for the miniature tour, which just happens to be all about the hit TV show, Thunderbirds are GO. The kids were over the moon!!! one of their favorite shows of all time and they get to see how they make it !!
Quick photo opportunity before heading in where for the most part their is not photography aloud.
The tour was fantastic !!! it blew our expectations !!! it was incredibly informative, as adults it was engaging and very interesting. There was so much to see and everything was really well set up as you moved through the rooms. For the kids it was like been in a candy shop, they didn't know where to look first !!! some of the technical talk was over their head but they did not mind at all, they were lost in the world of minutes with a thousand things to explore and take in.
One thing I was really impressed with was our guides ability to start each explanation of each stage with words and descriptions to capture the kids attention. He would engage with them teaching them parts of the process, then slowly turn the conversation on to adult terms as the kids attention slowly moved in to exploring the items of discussion - it was seamless he had it down pack. The kids would learn something from him then get in to exploring the room while he carried on extending that explanation to the adults. No one was left uninformed and not once did we feel stressed about the kids as ever step of the way he had them engaged and occupied.
We moved from room to room soaking in the information and exploring, finally in the last room we were all able to explore and there was a few items ok to photograph.
Once you have learnt a bit about how they build these incredible displays it become hard to unsee some of the amazing details. You start to look deeper in to items to see what details you can find it's fantastic.
We definitely finished this tour which took about 45min with big smile's all around, both the kids and us got so much out of it and really enjoyed it. We would very much look at doing some of there other tours or even a work shop if we were in Wellington again some time
Great value for money something i highly recommend, I think our kids were the perfect age been 6 and 8 years old at the time. You could take younger kids but you would want them to have a real passion for Thunderbird to stay interested I would think.
"The Thunderbird tour was awesome!!! i had so much fun!" Marcus O'Donnell aged 8
What to Bring
Time and Distance
The tour was 45min, I would allow a full hour just incase running late or over in time. At least a good 30min to explore the Weta Cave or even longer if you have a child like ours who was interested in every tiny detail.
The Weta cave is not very big, prams are a tight squeeze
Cost at time of trip (July 2019) : Family pass for the Miniature tour consisting of 2 Adults and 2 Kids $72, not including transfers - Weta Cave is free to visit.
- Gift Shop