Ron Laughlin The Ultimate New Zealand Travel Guide
The capital city of Wellington
On my website I have created three different routes south one down each coast and one down the middle. It will be dependent upon your time here how you will want an itinerary created. Generally due to lack of time I recommend south to Waitomo Caves area over to Rotorua and/or a stop in Hobbiton then either directly to Wellington or to Napier then to Wellington. This is done in about a week allowing time in each area to experience the activities, etc.
……..and now over the hill to the suburbs and the city of Wellington:
From Featherston it is through the Pakuratahi Forest and over the Rimutaka Hill and down into the outlying suburban areas of Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt and into the city of Wellington itself.
My favourite city in New Zealand. I lived and worked in the heart of the city for eight years and enjoyed every day. One of the positives of Wellington is it is a very compact and easily walked city to just about everything you want in a very short time. It is the capital and political heart of New Zealand and the country’s second largest city.
It is a cultural, cosmopolitan centre everyone can enjoy. The population is around 164,000. Average summer temperature is around 20 degreeC and around 6 degreesC winter with average sunshine and rainfall. It is a windy city at times reminding me of Chicago.
Driving time from major North island cities:
Auckland to Wellington: 658km (404mi) - 9 hours 25 minutes
Rotorua to Wellington: 460km (289mi) - 6 hours 35 minutes
Taupo to Wellington: 380km (238mi) - 5 hours and 25 minutes
Napier to Wellington: 323km (140mi) - 4 hours 35 minutes
It is a great city for cafes, restaurants, some of the best in the country along with live music venues, bars and night clubs, shows and entertainment both Kiwi and international. Be sure to check out funky Cuba Street and Courtney Place for great entertainment day and night. Lambton Quay and Willis Streets for shopping.
Walk the waterfront and be sure to visit Te Papa the Museum of New Zealand while there and also the Maritime Museum. For the motor home visitor there is a park to stay right downtown but expensive. Coming in on route 2 there are two parks outside the city to stay at.
At the Te Papa Museum, check out the interactive technology that allows you to take a virtual ride in a Maori canoe, make a bungy jump, feel a simulated earthquake or experience the eruption of Mount Ruapehu. Te Papa means “Our Place” and a fully functioning Maori meeting house involves you in Maori ceremonies. In its more traditional role, the Te Papa Museum houses invaluable collections of the arts and artefacts of the country and its history.
Check out our Parliament and the “Beehive” with a free tour where they hang out and be sure to take the cable car to the Botanic Gardens.
Top Five Things to Do:
Visit Te Papa - the Museum of New Zealand
Check out Cuba Street
Take the cable car to the Botanic Gardens
Do a Lord of the Rings Tour where Peter Jackson and crew created the Lord of the Rings movies (now the Hobbit)
This is a beautiful 225ha (550 acre) eco-sanctuary for your best opportunity to see some of New Zealand's rarest birds, reptiles and insects in the wild ten minutes from downtown.
It would take up way too much space if I listed all the cafes and restaurants we really love in this city but here are a couple off the top of my head.
First for the coffee nut you will be in Nirvana. More cafes here per capita than there are in New York City and some really awesome coffee roasters creating top quality coffee. If you see a Mojo coffee sign go in and the same with Supreme Coffee.
On Cuba Street -
For breakfast I prefer either Plum café or the Matterhorn (great menu).
Logan Browns is one of the best restaurants in New Zealand
The Hotel Bristol has jazz night on Thursdays.
Best Turkish restaurant is Istanbul
Indian is Tulsi
And around the city is:
The White House, Oriental Parade
Monsoon Poon, Blair Street
Shed Five, Queens Wharf
Martin Bosley's Yacht Club
Arbitrageur Wine Room, Featherston St
And as I said so many more…………………………..
Enjoy my favourite city........................Ron
The Capital City of New Zealand - Wellington
Take the Bluebridge across
An invitation to the city by Her Worship
the Mayor of Wellington