A long weekend in Wellington…

Ok, I’m going to say this up front – Wellington is one of my absolute favourite cities to visit. It’s got a harbour, it has great food, it has amazing views and it’s got soul. The advertising is right – it really is the coolest little capital, and I really do need to come up with a story that will showcase this fabulous city in a way that does it justice.

I’ve been coming to Wellington most years since my bestie first moved back – 2004? or thereabouts – and the colour (and weather) never ceases to amaze me. It’s the perfect getaway for when life gets a tad noisy, or I need some bestie time, or…just because.

I’ve posted heaps over the years, so if you’re interested, check out the Wellington posts here.

Flying into Wellington…

Flying in is part of the fun – if the day is clear the views as you cross the Sounds are incredible. The waters around New Zealand have a particular blue-green colour that is truly unique.  Of course, a photo out of a plane widow doesn’t do it justice, but you get the idea.

Then there’s the airport itself – Wellington is known for its winds – why else would the rugby team be the Hurricanes? And those winds can give you an awful lot of landing for your money…just saying.

Where we lunched…

Where’s Charlie? I’m a huge fan of Vietnamese street food – you all know that, right? And one of the things I’ve missed since moving to the Sunshine Coast has been a decent pho – although Nguyen Brothers at Maroochydore has given me hope.

Walking into Where’s Charlie? on Lambton Quay, you’re immediately met with the smell of amazing beef broth – just like in Vietnam.

Yes, the pho is good.

Pho at Where’s Charlie?

Where we touristed…

The Beehive

Parliament. Yes, really. I love finding out about the political systems of other countries, and was surprised to find that New Zealand’s is so different to ours – and, in may ways, more progressive and inclusive than ours.

Even if, unlike me, you’re not interested in the political system, the buildings themselves are well worth seeing – even if it is just for the art and the architecture.

Without going too far into the history and the politics, the NZ system is responsible for a number of firsts on the world stage – including giving women the vote. As I said, well worth a visit.

Tours are free and run on the hour from 10am – 4pm.

Oh, one last thing, the tours take you down into the basement to show you how the engineers have strengthened the building in the event of an earthquake – bearing in mind that Parliament is just 400m away from the main Wellington fault line…or something like that. Really fascinating stuff. For more information, check out the website.

Where else we touristed..

Supreme Court of NZ

We called in and had a look at the Supreme Court. there was a rather riveting sounding case going on at the time – something about fluoride and water levels I think – so we couldn’t actually have a look at the chamber. We could, however, peek through the glass – and well worth a peek it was, even if the photo is crap.

Where we wandered…

Pukeahu – National War Memorial Park

The park houses memorials from a number of countries that New Zealand either fought with or in. There are still more to come.

The Belgian memorial was unveiled in October 2017 to mark the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele.

The Australian memorial is below…so is the spiel from the website.

“The rugged red sandstone columns represent the heart of Australia: the ‘red centre’. Each column stands on a band of the same red stone, between them bands of grey stone symbolise the New Zealand landscape: the interweaving is a perpetual reminder of the united destiny of the two nations.”

My favourite was the English memorial – Whakaruruhau, which in maori means to protect, shield and shelter. Essentially it combines an English Oak and a Pōhutakawato form one single leafy canopy – the shelter of the name.

Whakaruruhau, Pukeahu

Where we cocktailed…

At Hot Sauce, the the QT Museum Hotel (the old Museum Hotel). And spoiler alert – the cocktails were good.

Where we dined…

 

Pomelo, Oriental Bay. Ok, this place isn’t just good, it’s great. Really great. Seriously amazing Asian food.

Of the entrees we had I’d be hard pressed to pick a favourite – although if I could only eat one of them again I think it would be the soft-shelled crab…or the tataki.

If you do go, you absolutely must have the duck red curry – with roti and rice on the side. Fabulous.

You’ll find them on Facebook.

Afterwards, take a walk along the harbour front to work off a smidgeon of it and take in the colours of the long twilight.

 

Where we tasted the waters…

Te Puna Wai Ora – meaning the spring of life – is a public water fountain supplying pure untreated artesian waters from the springs running beneath the Hutt Valley.

Locals bring their water bottles to fill from the springs. Seriously cool…and good tasting water too.

Where we took a drive…

Makara Beach

Out to Makara Beach.

On Wellington’s west coast, this is a relatively narrow, but very pretty drive that brings you out at a windswept pebbly beach with everything a good windswept pebbly beach should have – views, driftwood, and blue blue water.

At this time of year the lupins and other wildflowers are out – so are the cyclists, as this climbing, windy road is a popular training choice for those preparing for the Taupo circuit…so keep an eye out for them.

Because it’s Thursday, we’re celebrating our happy. Wellington makes me happy, but what about you?

The Lovin’ Life Linky is brought to you by Team Lovin’ Life: Deep Fried Fruit, DebbishSeize the Day ProjectWrite of the Middle50 Shades of AgeLifestyle Fifty  and, of course, me.


28 Replies to “A long weekend in Wellington…”

    1. Thanks…I usually have an aisle seat because I have the world’s worst bladder at altitude & can’t sit still, but this trip I was lucky enough to have an empty seat beside me #winning

  1. Wellington is definitely a favourite City of mine. I am fortunate to have spent quite a bit of time in NZ during a past career. I love Christchurch but Wellington definitely holds a piece of my heart. The food, the shopping, the harbour, the food, the wine, did I mention the food. And of course the irrespressibly friendly residents. Can’t wait to get back and I love that arrival in between the hills and the water – magnificent.

    1. Oh the food…I love how you always see Wellingtonians out being active – even with those hills and that wind. When my bestie’s hubby suggests that a walk is “undulating” I know that it means going up a very long way and then coming down a little way before going up again.

  2. I’ve been to NZ many times, but I’ve never thought of visiting Wellington. To be honest I thought it would be a boring place. However you have just convinced me otherwise. Sounds like you had a fab weekend. #TeamLovinLife

  3. I’ve not been to Wellington but it looks lovely. Of course much of NZ is lovely… a cooler, prettier and slightly more eclectic version of here I tend to think in my limited experience there.

    My bestie is moving back here from NZ in January and just mentioned she’s been there 8yrs which was surprising to me as I hadn’t realised it’d been so long!

  4. Wellington is one of my favourite places too. It’s always so alive and inspiring. I love the diversity of the shops and cafe’s there, it’s great that it has not been over run by chain stores. The bucket fountain in Cuba mall, the cable car to Kelburn & the ferry to eastbourn are some of my picks.

    1. I’m about to transfer the posts over from my other site from previous NZ road trips (mostly South Island) & hikes – keep an eye out for them…

  5. I loved seeing your updates from the weekend and this was a bonus to read more! Thank you for sharing. ONE day I may travel again and a hop, skip and a jump over the Tasman would do it, right? D xx

    1. We always seem to fit a lot in – it helps that I stay with locals. Otherwise Wellywood can be tad like Canberra in that you have to know where to go – and yes, I like Canberra too, but you have to know where to go.

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