It was always a dream of mine to visit New Zealand and I took the chance to spend a month there in late 2014. Two of those weeks were spent in Seatoun, an eastern suburb of Wellington. I’ve been looking through a lot of old photos lately and they reminded me of some of the reasons I loved Windy Welly, as the city’s affectionately known, so much:
- Wellingtonians. Everyone I met seemed to have a smile on their face and all the time in the world to help out. There wasn’t a rush. The calm and laid back ways of the people I met made me take a step back, too. I also got a sense that they really cared about each other and the City. All of this was accompanied with colourful creativity, a sense of adventure, and humour.
- Welsh Dragon Bar! Marketed as the only Welsh bar in the Southern Hemisphere, I visited Welsh Dragon bar on the day Wales played the All Blacks. I felt comfort and happy to experience a slice of home all of the way from the other side of the world, it almost made up for the fact that we lost. 😉
- Middle Earth. From the lady who threaded my eyebrows to a friendly waiter, so many people had a story to tell about how the Lord of the Rings and/or The Hobbit had worked their way into their everyday lives during filming. I was staying within walking distance of Weta Cave, a mini museum from the special effects company that brought those two films, as well as many others, to life. I’d recommend a trip there to anyone who finds themselves in Wellington.
- Bays For Days. You’re never too far from beautiful blue in Windy Welly which, in addition to the City being built up on hills, meant stunning views. Seatoun Beach, Scorching Bay, and Oriental Bay were highlights for me.
- Cuba Street. Cuba Street is made up of a trail of vintage shops and quirky cafes. It’s known as a place for artists and other creative folks to gather. Buskers are one of my favourite parts of any City and I found them here. 🙂
- Maori Culture. I made multiple trips to Te Papa, the National Museum of New Zealand. The museum is free to enter and there’s so much to explore! I found it particularly fascinating to learn about Maori culture and loved coming across sign that told me I was in a “Maori Speaking Area” while out on a walk one day.
- Walking Trails. I surprised myself by the amount of walking I done while in Wellington. The views and catching sight of little blue penguins made it worth the while.
Wellington definitely felt like a home away from home and there’s so much that didn’t have time to explore. Fingers crossed I make it back one day!