There and Back Again: road tripping in New Zealand

14 days, 2400 kilometres, two calm ferry rides, one horrible virus, one broken contact lens, and countless family memories.

Dunedin to Waverley and back again by car, with various side trips along the way.

What a way to spend the school holidays.

Dunedin – Kurow – Lake Tekapo – Christchurch – Blenheim – Waverley – Wellington – Hanmer Springs – Methven – Dunedin

Hakataramea Valley Hakataramea Valley Church of the Good Shepherd, Lake Tekapo Lake Tekapo Lake Tekapo Kaikoura Fur seal, Kaikoura Moa Brewery, Blenheim Moa Brewery, Blenheim Virginia Lake, Wanganui Virginia Lake, Wanganui Virginia Lake, Wanganui Wellington Hanmer Springs Hanmer Springs Hanmer Springs Hanmer Springs Terrace Downs Terrace Downs


Tales of {NZ} Travel: Wellington

Tales of NZ TravelI’ve had the pleasure of visiting Wellington a few times, and I’ve gotta say, I love it there. There’s a “triangle” that people refer to which encompasses Dunedin, Wellington and Melbourne, and it’s said that if you live in one of these cities, you will fall in love with the other two. They are all similar – on different scales, of course – and I love all three; there is something familiar about each of them that is hard to pinpoint.

My last visit to Wellington was back in 2006 – Labour Weekend, in fact, so exactly seven years ago. Golly – I bet it’s changed since then! My trip coincided with Diwali, so the friend I was staying with took me to the city’s celebrations and we had such a great time.

Wellington is a very creative city, as well as being our nation’s capital; the arts and politics seem to sit rather harmoniously side-by-side, which is a bit of a juxtaposition. It is a pretty city, famous for its wind, and there’s a vibrant atmosphere. There is so much to see and do, but here are some of my favourites:

Oriental Parade
Even though the winds tend towards the “brisk” side, a walk around Oriental Bay is a must. If you start further out from the city, you can walk around and reward yourself with a nice cold beverage at one of the bars on the foreshore. A popular place for corporate lunchtime runners, if I remember correctly.

Mount Victoria
The walk (or, if you’re foolish like me – the run) up the hill is rewarded with fabulous (if windblown) views across the city

Mt Victoria(Image from Catching the Magic)

Embassy Theatre
Most famous for the premiers of The Lord of the Rings movies, and for being adorned with a giant gorilla for King Kong, this is a theatre worth popping into, even if you don’t want to watch a film.

Te Papa
Our beautiful Museum of New Zealand – such an interesting and fun place to visit. I’m keen to get back to Wellington with our boys, as I think they’d love it, and it’s also important to us that they have a firm feeling for where they come from.

Cuba Street
Probably Wellington’s most famous street, home to an eclectic mix of cafés, shops, boutiques and bars, as well as the Bucket Fountain and lots of quirky artistic pieces. Worth strolling down, even just to soak up the atmosphere. While you’re strolling around this and the other city streets, look down – the storm-water drain covers are pieces of art too.

Chocolate Fish Café
If you’re staying with a local, or if you rent a car and ask someone where you should dine, you will invariably be sent the way of this café. They serve great coffee and amazing seafood (as well as other non-fishy dishes); be warned that if you arrive at your “usual” brunch or lunch time, you’ll probably have to wait for a table.

For more tales of the fun that can be had in Wellington, pop on over to see what these local lovelies have to say about living there:

The Adventures of MNMs
Catching the Magic