In the last fortnight I have visited Christchurch, Dunedin, fleeting visit back to Wellington and then Hamilton last weekend.
This weekend will be spent in Wellington so I thought I would share my perfect Wellington weekend. Actually, to be fair, its a great Wellington weekend, rather than my perfect one; as my perfect one would also include people constantly telling me how wonderful I am, random free stuff, chocolate and definitely the use of a car.
Wellington is also the only place I know of to have a disclaimer in its boast; “Can’t beat Wellington on a good day!” – ask any Wellingtonian.
So, with only 5 weekends left in NZ, 3 actually in Wellington, here are my suggestions for 48 hours in Wellington.
My favourite breakfast is at Word of Mouth, on Molesworth St but they are not open for breakfast on the weekend, so second place close to where I am living goes to the Backbencher gastropub in Thorndon, across the road from the Beehive.
If you haven’t done the tour of the beehive yet, walk across the road and join one. They are free and go every hour on the hour.
Walk into the city and catch the cable car up the hill to Kelburn.
Head to the lookout (as you get off to the right at the top) and read the info boards illustrating the local hills and ranges and learn how earthquakes shaped the surrounding countryside.
Head right to Carter Observatory at the top of the botanic gardens for a show at the Planetarium.
Once you have finished gazing at the stars, venture further up the road (5 mins walk) and stop in at one of the cute Kelburn village cafes for lunch. Kelburnites also have access to a great deli – but unless you want to carry your salami and homemade pasta around all day, (lesson learned) best to do those purchases another time.
Once fed and watered, head back out to the road and follow the spray painted birds on the footpath for a walk to Zealandia (3km). There is also a free bus if you don’t want the walk (depends on the size of your lunch).
Zealandia is “the world’s first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary – a conservation success and safe haven for some of New Zealand’s rarest native animals. Remarkable species of birds, reptiles, insects and more are living wild within a beautiful 225ha (one square mile) valley – just 10 minutes from central Wellington”. How could you go wrong here? Spend the afternoon watching native birds, tuataras, wetas and geckos.
Dinner. Hmm, a couple of options, head back into the city:
Midnight Espresso. I don’t know if this is my favourite place for dinner, but its definitely a Wellington experience.
Perfect for people watching, and you can eat off a old space invaders machines; vegetarian – so you feel healthy right up until you see the slabs of cake on offer.
Sweet Mothers Kitchen for N’Orlins inspired meals – get there early as its small and busy
If it’s a warm summer night, get a gourmet fish box from the Mt Vic Chippery, a bottle of wine from Kent Terrace, walk around to Oriental Bay and sit on the sand to eat. Watch excited kids run back and forth into the water, people running along the foreshore, listen to the cicadas, buy ice cream from a cart along the waterfront for the walk home