It’s true, well, certainly from all the Capitals that we have visited, Wellington is pretty cool!
We visited Wellington as a family in 2009 on our way down to Southland to live. I’ve visited again numerous times with work, but the extent of my visits have been a night or two each time, and seeing only the inside of a conference room in the daylight. So, Matthew and I we were pretty keen to get back to Wellington for a proper explore. We fitted the trip to coincide with the New Zealand Scout Jamboree in Feilding which Eira was attending.
On our arrival on New Years Eve, our first impressions weren’t all rosy. We hadn’t chosen well with the first hotel where we were staying two nights, and needed a room swap due to the state of the room and the fact the toilet wouldn’t flush… we got an ok second room and proceeded downtown to find a restaurant that I had visited a few times with work. The Malaysian restaurant may not look much from the outside, and its service isn’t the slickest – however, the food is very nice and very reasonable – http://www.kkmalaysian.co.nz/. Don’t expect to be there for long – they are quick at serving and you do get the impression that they are aiming for volume of people. If you are looking to sit down for a meal over a few hours, with a relaxed atmosphere – this isn’t for you.
This was my meal, very tasty, I think it was Kung Po Chicken.
After a good feed, we wandered through Wellington. I have to say, on first impression, a few of the streets looked a bit run down. Here’s what I mean:
Broken glass, graffiti and rubbish.
However over the time we were there, we came to realise that this wasn’t a fair representative of Wellington as a whole. There are some shops that pull down doors at night – some of those doors have graffiti on them, which is a great shame.
We dropped into an Irish Bar and had a few drinks before wandering down the main street. It’s very rare for Matthew and I to do this; we don’t often get the opportunity to go out as a couple.
To my delight, we carried on down the main street and stumbled across a Welsh bar.
Hmmm… can you tell how delighted I was?
The atmosphere in this wee little bar (in the middle of a road – the building used to be pubic toilets!) was fantastic. The whole bar was decorated from top to toe with Welsh stuff. And yes, there were quite a few Welsh accents in the room . They also had a singer singing some old favourites.
The owner opened the bar about 10 years ago, and came from Bridgend I believe (correct me if I’m wrong Mr Bar-owner!). They are on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Welsh-Dragon-Bar-Wellington/203580576352926.
A few photos of the inside.. sorry they are so dark. I used my iphone instead of my other camera.
After singing the New Year in, we wandered back to our hotel through the streets of Wellington. Or rather – fought against the crowd. Wow, it was amazing – Wellington was so alive with people. There was such a buzz in the City. And everyone seemed jolly but very well behaved – plenty of Police presence but I saw no issues.
The next day we took the tram up to the Carter Observatory – well worth a visit, especially on a rainy day as it was.
I was amused to see my colleague featuring on one of the wall displays:
The following few days, we drove up to Feilding to pop into the Scout Jamboree, before making our way back down to Wellington for our last few days visit.
In our last few days in Wellington, we visited Parliament and the Beehive building. A great tour – free of charge – and well worth it for any visitor.
We also visited Old St Paul’s (former) Cathedral.
And… best of all.. we visited the Weta Cave. Read about Weta here – http://www.wetanz.com/ . They are known for their work with the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit, as well as many others! I couldn’t take photos of the workshop tour – but it is definitely worth going on . I did get a few photos within the shop and outside …
One of my best moments in Wellington (and if you’re from the UK, you will understand this!):
This is an Ezibuy store – they stock some NEXT items
I only purchased the essentials… handbag, trousers, tops, shoes…
The rest of our time in Wellington was spent shopping, eating, walking around (and a brief visit to Te Papa). And I have to say, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The City is so vibrant, so alive, and has so many shops! And having a waterfront, on a nice sunny day it offers a lot more activity in terms of kayak hire etc.
The rest of my photos are below – for a ‘feel’ of the City (mostly for mam!). Apologies for the standard of my photos – I used my iphone much of the time (convenience) – and if the City looks deserted, its as most of the photos were taken on a public holiday – but believe me, the rest of the time, there were plenty of people!
Thank you Wellington for a great time – we will be back!