We arrived into Wellington early Friday afternoon, timing our visit perfectly for the start of the weekend. It had felt like a while since we had been in a proper city, and we were therefore both excited to explore.
Firstly, and most importantly, we decided to see if Wellington’s reputation for serving excellent coffee is well deserved. After wandering along the trendy Cuba Street, we stopped at Customs by Coffee Supreme, which came highly recommended. With it being another very warm day, we enjoyed some great iced coffees, accompanied by an even better filled donut.
We continued our walk, passing through the Civic Square, before arriving at the busy waterfront. Home to a number of sculptures, as well as a variety of bars and restaurants, the area is clearly very popular, while the view across the harbour is also spectacular.
After a few hours of exploring, we joined the Friday afterwork drinks crowd at the popular Rogue & Vagabond. We found ourselves a spot in the beer garden amongst the cushions and beanbags, and sampled some of the Wellington region’s many craft beer and cider offerings.
With so many different restaurants and cuisines to choose from, it seemed like a great opportunity to have a break from cooking in the van. After checking lots of menus, we settled for some very tasty vegan Asian food from Aunty Mena’s.
The following morning we decided to visit the lookout situated at the summit of Mount Victoria, which towers over the city. The trail to the summit is a popular walk, however for once we were not feeling especially energetic, and decided to drive instead. The views across the surprisingly compact city were stunning, however it quickly became apparent why Wellington is know as the Windy City and we were soon rushing back to the shelter of the van.
We drove back down along the winding roads that lead to the summit, before parking at Oriental Bay. The beach is just a short walk from the CBD, and is clearly a very popular spot for some weekend exercise, with lots of runners and walkers on the parade.
Keen to sample another of the cities many cafes, we stopped for some excellent brunch at Lido, before walking to the Lambton Quay terminal of the Wellington Cable Car. The historic cable car dates back to 1902, and rises 120m into the hills overlooking the city.
After a short five minute journey, we arrived into the top station in the suburb of Kelburn.
The Kelburn station is situated at the entrance to Wellington’s Botanical Gardens, and we enjoyed a meandering walk through the gardens, taking us slowly down the hill before ending back in the city.
We returned to Cuba Street area, and found our way into Hannah’s Laneway, a narrow street lined with creative studios and small independent businesses. More importantly, this meant we also stumbled across Fix and Fogg, a small hidden hatch serving probably the best peanut butter on toast we have ever tasted!
Nearby in Aro Valley, we visited the tap room of the internationally renowned Garage Project brewery. There was a wide range of interesting beers to try including a ‘Day of the Dead’ chilli beer as well as a ‘Cereal Milk’ stout.
Staying in nearby Petone, our Sunday began with a relaxing stroll along the beachfront of Days Bay. We stopped for a coffee at Chocolate Dayz, before continuing along the coast to the larger and busier beach of Eastbourne.
After some lunch, we drove inland to Upper Hutt, where we met with my great aunt and uncle, Christine and Nik, who had invited us round for a belated birthday party for Nik. We had a great afternoon and were able to meet the entire family, including four very energetic grandchildren!