Visited from the 24th to the 26th of November 2018.
Prices quoted are in New-Zealand Dollars : 1€ = 1,71 NZD.
Wellington, is the capital city of New-Zealand located in the southern parts of the North Island. It is well known for being the world’s windiest city. “Windy Welly” as the locals call it, is easy to explore on foot and has a vibrant creative culture fuelled by great food, wine, coffee and events.
1- Start your day at Oriental Bay.
This suburb has the closest beaches to the central city and I have heard that you can have very nice brunches. We enjoyed some delicious pancakes at the Tasting Room where there is also a large choice of New-Zealand wines.
2- Head up to Mount Victoria lookout.
Atop 196m-high, Mt Victoria is the city’s most impressive viewpoint. The walk is very pleasant and easy to find. Once you’re on the top, there is a park on the right and a lookout on the far left. On your way back, there is even a slide which is pretty fun!
3- Do some shoppings on the famous Cuba Street.
Cuba Street is the main pedestrian mall of Wellington. I really liked the atmosphere and the energy of this place! There is something for everyone here: shops, craft breweries, restaurants, coffee shops, gift shops and the famous bucket fountain.
4- Eat something nice.
There are a lot of restaurants around Cuba Street so I am sure you will find something you like! We ate at a malaysian restaurant, Satay Kingdom, which is a bit hidden but very cheap : 7 NZD for a chicken curry with traditional bread. I also recommend you the Ombra where we shared some tapas with a glass of wine and a surprising cheese and wine ice-cream!
5- Discover the Maori culture at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
No trip to the Kiwi capital is complete without an hour in Te Papa Tongarewa which literally translates to “container of treasures”.
We almost spent 3 hours and there is a reason why!
There’s a Māori marae (meeting place), a half-ton corpse of the largest colossal squid captured to date, cultural objects focus on New Zealand history, exhibitions on Maori culture and New Zealand’s natural world.
I was also very impressed by the hit exhibitions (open until April 2019), Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War, which brings to life the Anzac campaign through the stories of eight New Zealanders. Each of them is portrayed at a pivotal moment on a monumental scale – 2.4 times human size – in stunning sculptures created by Weta Workshopp, the special effects company that worked on Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
Entry is free.
6- Admire the view over the bay along the Waterfront walk.
While eating a delicious ice-cream from Gelissimo Gelato, enjoy the waterfront walk and its view over the bay with the colorful houses.
7- Explore the CBD and the Parliaments.
Walk through the business area and then visit the New Zealand Parliament Buildings consisted of the Parliament House (1922), the Parliamentary Library (1899), the executive wing called “The Beehive” (1977) and Bowen House (1991). Different guided tours are available.
8- Join a historic trip on the Wellington Cable Car.
Built in 1902, it offers a charming escape from the busy city streets to the peaceful Botanic Gardens in only 5 minutes (5 NZD one way).
9- Get lost in the lovely Botanic Garden.
Enjoy 25ha of unique landscape, views over the city, protected exotic forests and the native bush. Go for a walk through the historic Bolton Street Memorial Park where many of the city’s pioneers are buried. I particularly liked the Rose Garden and the Begonia House.
Entry is free.
10- Head back to the city center or visit Zealandia.
Zealandia is an ecosanctuary trying to restore the valley to the way it was before the arrival of humans. 18 species of native wildlife have been reintroduced back into the area (6 of which were previously absent from mainland New Zealand for over 100 years).
That’s the perfect place if you want to see vulnerable species and native birds in their natural environment.
Prices: 19.50 NZD for general day admission – 55 NZD for a 2 hour guided tour – 85 NZD for a guided tour by night.
Prior to the arrival of humans, Aotearoa (New Zealand) was isolated and unique. Without any mammalian predators an ecosystem of remarkable flora and fauna had evolved – the likes of which could be found nowhere else in the world.
Sadly, over the last 700 years, that paradise was almost destroyed by humans and the mammals they introduced with them.
Introduced predators decimated New Zealand’s native and endemic species, who had evolved without needing defence from mammals for millions of years.
Since human arrival, at least 51 bird species, three frog species, three lizard species, one freshwater fish species, one bat species, four plant species, and a number of invertebrate species have become extinct.
11- Have a drink in one of Courtenay Place bars.
Courtenay Place is one of the main streets of Wellington. It is known for its entertainment and nightlife. Indeed, many restaurants are open late and most of the bars stay open until dawn.
For the accomodation, we stayed 3 nights at a friendly airbnb very well located. (Andrew – around 90 NZD per night).