The most common reaction we got from people in New Zealand when we told them we were heading South to Wellington for the rest of the winter was “you know it’s colder there right?” or “well if you like wind you’ll like Wellington..I guess” or just straight up “interesting…”. Then again, prior to making it to New Zealand, everybody we’d talked to that had been said that Wellington was by far the place to be if you wanted to settle down for a month or two.
They were right. Everybody. Yes, I’ve never seen so much wind anywhere. Yes, it was much colder than Auckland. Yes, it’s the best little city.
We arrived in the height of winter in Wellington which meant lots of brisk morning walks. Then again, it was never too cold as long as you were moving. Wellington has a funny way of being cold while also making sure the sun peaks out every afternoon. Here are some snaps of Wellington’s wonderfully hilly suburbs.
One of our favorite parts of Wellington so far is the Red Rocks Walkway along the south coast, starting at Owhiro Bay and winding west around the beach along the bottom of the north island. It was along this walkway that we experienced the kiwi hospitality that the Te Araroa is know for, and we hadn’t even started walking the trail yet. We met Val when I commented on her Cypress Mountain vest (a popular mountain by Vancouver). Turned out her son lived in North Vancouver so we chatted away. Five minutes in and Val was passing along her information should we need a food cache dropped off, or should we want to spend the night when we pass nearby Val’s place down south.
Back to the red rocks, about an hour or so of walking, you do indeed stumble upon some red rocks, but the real excitement lies just half an hour further when you reach the seal colony. It was a beautifully sunny day and we were fortunate enough to see not one, not two, but maybe fifty or sixty seals lounging on the rocks, snoozing the day away.
Another fun spot near Wellington is Eastbourne, a short twenty minute ferry ride across the harbour. There’s a few hills to climb and at this time of year, they’re full of wild flowers. There’s also endless beach to walk along and of course, everybody loves a good ferry ride.
The CBD itself is full of fantastic food, and lots of coffee (post to follow!). There’s a pathway along the waterfront that takes you by sculptures, sailboats, and buskers.
Last but not least, what good is a city if it doesn’t deliver the best of cotton candy skies sunsets?