As this is the place I’ve decided to call home for a year I thought it would be apt to dedicate several posts to Wellington. And in doing so urge you to add one more destination to your bucket list, by depicting this divergent city for the quirky, multi cultural, coffee loving Capital it is.
I’m unsure of what led me to choose Wellington over Queenstown or other scenic beauties that had caught my eye – maybe having been dubbed the coolest little capital in the world was what sold me. All I was certain of was that if I could live in a city that was good enough for Lonely Planet and experience the landscapes New Zealand was famous for then I was more than happy to spend my OE here.
One thing you can’t miss when wandering around Wellington are the artists that flood the centre from dusk until dawn. Thirsty for fame, or at the very least some spare change, people from all walks of life showcase their interpretation of street entertainment.
Wellington has some of the funkiest places to grab a bite. Namely on Cuba Street, home to retro clothes shops, vinyl record stores and atmospheric eateries like Ekim Burger below who serve the most heavenly burgers from a static van at the corner of Abel Smith Street and Cuba. And what they lack in their ban of booze they make up for in taste of nostalgic hip hop music.
If you’ve come to appreciate the landscapes NZ boasts, then head for the Waterfront. There are copious amounts of things to delve into whilst you’re there, especially on any given Sunday. Learn to paddle board, join the locals in queueing for a Kaffee Eis ice cream, or stock up on fruit and veg from the Farmers Market.
If you’d like to get a taste of the culture there’s Te Papa, the Museum of NZ who have created some fascinating exhibitions. Amonsgt these are Gallipoli; the scale of our war and the story of the Giant Squid that was discovered in 2007 and is now displayed at the museum for you to view.
Solace of the Wind sculpture by Max Patte in 2008 situated along the waterfront is a powerful piece of art that leans north into the harbour’s fierce gales
There’s no easier way to see the best of the city from a bird’s-eye view than to hike to the top. This walk in particular is en route to the Mount Victoria Lookout, passing through the town belt to reach the pinnacle where you’re rewarded with panoramic views of the city, the harbour and the south side to Lyall Bay.
Writing this has inspired me to share more of Wellington and what I’ve come to appreciate since settling here. More importantly it has made me appreicate the bigger picture and that standing back from the sequence of regularity on an overseas experience is essential to preserving an element of travel, adventure and excitement in the journey you find yourself on.