Tomorrow, when this is due to go to press, I’ll be on a plane on my way to Wellington, New Zealand.
I’m there for a few days to help a very special friend celebrate a very special birthday.
Despite the miles, she’s one of my closest friends. I’m looking forward to seeing her, I’m looking forward to being back in Wellington.
So, todays Friday Five…on Thursday… is about Wellington- and five of my favourite things about Wellywood.
Naturally top of my list would be seeing my friend, but that aside:
1. Flying in…
Flying in is always a treat. Coming in over the Southern Alps, and across the Sounds is definitely worth a peek out the window.
And because of the ever present winds, you generally get plenty of landing for your money.
Coming in by ferry from the South Island is equally as spectacular. If you get a good crossing, you get an amazing view of Marlborough Sounds. If you don’t, you get windblown- but to me that cleans your brain very effectively of fug…sort of through one ear and out the other.
Yes, that came out loud.
2. The Weather…
On a clear day it feels like you can see forever, on the next you might feel as if the next landfall really is Antarctica!
The wind is ever present and the sculptures around the city are a constant reminder.
If, like me, you like your weather a little intense, a little Scorpionic, and always changing, be prepared to be invigorated.
If you want to see forever, take a drive up to Mount Victoria or the Wind Turbine above Brooklyn.
You might see mad Kiwis running up the steep and narrow, winding roads to the summit. They breed them tough here- I think that’s because of the weather too.
3. Te Papa Tongarewa…
The Museum of New Zealand- a don’t leave town without visiting place.
Maori culture, history, a Marae (communal meeting place), the earthquake house, plenty of interactive stuff for kids & a colossal squid. Oh, and the bits of Pharlap that aren’t in Australia. Pharlap was arguably Australia’s most famous racehorse, but was bred in New Zealand and died under suspicious circumstances in the US.
This all happened back in the 1930s, but he was so revered that his heart is in Canberra, his hide in Melbourne & his skeleton in Wellington. Poor bugger.
Oh, and the conspiracy theories still rage.
While you’re down that end of town, take a wander around the foreshore- there’s some great spots for a meal, a beverage or a shop.
Speaking of which, there’s lots of good foodie spots. My only warning- if you like your coffee, stay away from the franchised coffee bars.
Oh, and don’t ask for a skim flat white- it’s a “trum” flet white. Should I say right now that I do love the accent too?
4. The Cable Car
I know it sounds corny, but I love it. And it’s a great way of getting to the Botanical Gardens without having to raise a sweat. I can’t find my photo…it has to be in a file here somewhere!
Not strictly in Wellington, but absolutely close enough to duck across the hill for. Catch a train, get yourself on a tour or hire a car, but if you like your wine, the Martinborough region has some great drops- and all just over an hour from Wellington.
The other great thing is they’re all within bike riding distance of each other…or you can walk between quite a few.
And when you’re finished sampling, there’s some really cool gift shops to fossick through.
Want more New Zealand? Check out these posts. A couple will link you across to my astro site, but trust me, these are astro free travel posts: