Going from Melbourne to Wellington was a bit of a shock to the system. after the hustle and bustle of melbourne initially Wellington felt small and quiet. That feeling didn’t last too long although even now having left the city is struggle to think of in as a capital mainly because it feels to friendly and compact to fit that description.
Wellington had always had a spot on my itinerary not because I had a burning desire to go there but because for the last two years it has been the place my friend Erin calls home (there’ll be more about Erin later in a separate blog).
Having insider / local knowledge available has definitely caused me to have a bias towards Wellington but I feel even without my excellent host it would have ended up with a soft spot for the city.
Wellington is the furthest capital city from london in world although for many reasons including Britain’s dark colonial past (and present?) in many ways it feels very familiar. My impression of Wellington is it is probably one of the most chilled out capitals in the world.
Wellington is know as the windy city and for good reason not only is it windy but like the UK the weather changes frequently so if visiting bring layers, bring waterproofs and be prepared for outfit changes.
Central Wellington is so compact it often seems silly to bother with public transport in fact thanks to my pa Kate most of the time we just got around on foot and wheel. There are hills in Wellington but if like us you stay in the CBD they are fairly spread out.
By in large access in Wellington was better than I have experienced in Australia however sometimes access was dependent on having a non-disabled companion & good puzzle skills & finding accessible toilets is definitely more difficult.
The major access challenge of the city is the dropped kerbs , they exist but they are a bit of a free rollacoaster ride often steep with drains and gullies.
Things to do in Wellington
Much like melbourne Wellington is a foodie city it is definitely somewhere you eat and eat well (although much of our eating was driven by Erin’s knowledge of cocktails which led to more than one expensive meal ☺)
Apart from eating we visited the following attractions
- Te papa
- The Wellington museum
- The cable car and museum
- Cuba Street
- The parliament
- The cathedral and old St John
I would recommend a visit to the parliament whether a tourist , it’s an interesting part of new Zealands past and present which is free and accessible to do.
The tale of two museums
Coming to Wellington everyone said see te papa and as expected for the national museum of new Zealand it is worth a visit but for me it was not the best museum in Wellington that honour goes to the Wellington museum.
The Wellington museum is definitely the under-appreciated little brother of te papa but that hasn’t stopped them from creating an enthralling visitors experience with excellent use of multimedia technology, and innovative exhibition displays which invite visitors to critically evaluate what is being presented.
Wellington as new Zealand’s cultural capital
Wellington prides itself on being the cultural capital of new Zealand and there’s lots to choose from just with everything in new Zealand on a smaller scale than elsewhere in the world.
However we were very lucky to be in Wellington for one of the cultural events of the year Cuba Dupa a massive Street festival along the central shopping street Cuba Street which sees bands, artists and food taking over the street for a weekend. It felt like the place to be in new Zealand. Erin and I also accidentally ended up at the centre of a brass band performance. I can’t say that will happen to every visitor but it’s certainly given me an amazing memory
Wellington is definitely worth a visit.