Wellington has magnificent scenery, great opportunities for outdoor recreation, and two top wine-producing areas close by. Exclusive Outgames day and evening tours will show you the best of the region.

Day Tours
Richmond Gardens
Wairarapa Garden Tour
Thursday, March 17 2011, 9am – 5pm (Please arrive 15 mins earlier!)
Tickets $75. Bookings: registration system
Meeting point: Wellington Railway Station – ticketing office

Stunning gardens and fabulous wine will be the theme for The Outgames Garden Tour. We catch a train from the Wellington Railway Station, then glide past the harbour and on to the sun-baked Wairarapa valley. At Carterton we board our coach. The first stop is at Richmond Gardens, one of New Zealand’s most impressive formal country gardens. We’ll enjoy morning tea and a guided tour.

Next is Assisi Gardens, where we’ll find a complete contrast with areas of informal New Zealand native plantings on a hillside with spectacular views over the Wairarapa Valley. A packed lunch is provided, along with wine tastings. There is an opportunity to buy wine by the glass or bottle.

The wine is supplied by the next stop on the Garden Tour, Te Whanga (pronounced ‘teh fonga’) Farm, an old and very typical Wairarapa farm, complete with historic garden and homestead.

We’ll catch the train for a leisurely return to Wellington, arriving back in the city at 5.30pm.

ProudToBeGay-DavidHindley.JPGMagical History Tour
Organised By LAGANZ
Sunday, March 13 2011, 2pm – 4pm (Please arrive 15 mins earlier!)
Tickets $20. Bookings: registration system
Meeting Point: Coach Pick-Up Point outside Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand

All Enquiries: Hugh Young: hugh@buzz.net.nz

The Magical History Tour is coming to take you away!

In Aotearoa New Zealand, we now enjoy almost complete equality in human rights and law – the age of consent is the same (16) for all, Civil Union is marriage in all but name, we are accepted in the military, openly gay men and lesbians hold high public office and our transgendered Cabinet Minister led the world. But it was not always so. Human rights protection dates from 1993 onward, legality of male sex acts from 1986. Before then, we faced constant risk of exposure, shame, loss of jobs or homes, and for men, imprisonment.

This two-hour guided bus ride through historic GLBT Wellington will tell the stories of how these changes came about, and the lives of famous queer folk, both New Zealanders and others, where they actually happened. This tour will be a fascinating, moving and amusing introduction to a side of New Zealand the guidebooks won’t tell you about, and for New Zealanders, a journey back to a past that should never be forgotten.

Your guides are retired gender studies lecturer Dr Alison Laurie and retired gay broadcaster and collector Hugh Young. The tour is sponsored by the Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand (LAGANZ). It ends at the Wellington Bus Terminal (near the Railway Station). Tickets are $20, Book and pay online. Numbers are limited so bookings are essential.

SENSIBLE-SHOES-web.jpgwMap.jpgThe Carbon-Neutral Sex-Positive Art Tour
Wednesday 16 March 2011, 3.30pm – 5.30pm (Please arrive 15 mins earlier!)
Price: FREE! *Bookings are essential. Bookings: Arts Convenor
Meeting Point: On the pavement outside Photospace Gallery, 37 Courtenay Place, Central Wellington.

Please note: Photospace Gallery is on the first floor and can be a little hard to spot, so we will meet on the pavement – if you’re outside the Sahara Kebab Cafe you’re in the right place!

Art galleries tend to be found in peculiar places. Wellington galleries are no exception, and as such a stroll around these venues is a view into the private heart of Wellington city.

Your tour guide, Siren Deluxe, will take the guess work out of locating the cities hot dealer galleries and lead you with confidence up unlikely staircases and down the art world alleyways.

During two hours (only about 30 minutes of which is walking) visit many of the cultural venues supporting the Outgames by exhibiting queer artists, and art with a focus on sexuality. During the tour, we will hear from some of the gallery directors about the works they have on show, and meet some artists in the flesh.

The tour will conclude at Mark Hutchins Gallery where an event marking the opening of Rebecca Swan’s latest body of work will be in full swing. Here, we will find a ‘kissing booth’ where the artist will be photographing willing couples in private, and adding these images to the exhibition on the night.wportrait-messed.jpg

What an opportunity – spend a couple of hours sauntering around the city admiring art, and then possibly even become art!

About your guide: Siren Deluxe is a Wellington-based artist with a passion for sexual heritage and artwork about sexuality and gender identity. You can see her work at http://www.sirendeluxe.com/.

What to bring: Comfortable walking shoes and perhaps a bottle of water… oh, and a love of (or spritely curiosity about) art.

Evening Tours
Zealandia By NightLittle spotted kiwi_2002_PeterDaniel
Tuesday, March 15 2011, 6:30pm – 9.30pm (Please arrive 15 mins earlier!)
Tickets $75. Bookings: registration system.
Meeting point: Coach pickup point outside Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand

Our Zealandia By Night tour provides a completely different and magical experience, taking you and your Outgames companions into a 220 hectare forest sanctuary after dark to see rare New Zealand wildlife.

Begin your tour with highlights of our fully immersive and interactive exhibition, and discover how this safe haven was created. Then step through the predator-exclusion fence into the forest, where you will experience something incredible – evening birdsong that hasn’t been heard on the New Zealand mainland for more than a century.

As darkness falls, your gay guide will start looking for our elusive national mascot – the kiwi. Over 100 call our valley home, so there’s a good chance of spotting one foraging in the leaf litter! You may see kaka parrots, and tuatara – the small lizards that trace their ancestry back to the dinosaurs. Often, the glow-worms are so bright you won’t even need your torch!
This is an utterly unforgettable experience – New Zealand at its very best.

Coach departs Te Papa (Wellington central city) 6.30pm Tuesday 15 March, returning to the city at approximately 9.30pm. Bookings are essential.

Minimum age for the tour is 12 years, tours go ahead regardless of the weather. Sturdy footwear is required, torches are supplied.

http://www.visitzealandia.com/

Other Tours
Read about our exclusive behind-the-scenes tours at Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum. Details of other trips, dates, prices and booking details will appear on this page in coming months.

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