Wellington is the capital of New Zealand and one of our favourite stop offs during our time on the Kiwi Experience. Having come from the serenity of River Valley we enjoyed being back in a city full of life and people. We stayed at YHA in Wellington, which wasn’t the one reserved for us by Kiwi, it was slightly cheaper and in our opinion, nicer. If you’re planning on staying elsewhere other than the beds pre-reserved for Kiwi Experience passengers, perhaps think to book ahead of your trip, as rooms often get booked up, especially in the busier places like Wellington or Queenstown.
One of the main things to do in Wellington is the hike up Mount Victoria, from which you get the best views of Wellington City and the Harbour. We were blessed with the weather during our time here making the walk even more spectacular! Following our short walk we headed down to Oriental Bay to lie on the beach for the afternoon and soak up some rays, and en route down, we caught sight of a pod of dolphins which had apparently been surrounding the harbour for a few days! It was amazing. The beach area is small but perfect if you’re there on a sunny day, the water is so flat and there’s a little pontoon you can swim out to (however do watch out for the jelly fish!)
Although our visit to Wellington was short and sweet we did of course have time to experience the nightlife. Starting our evening at Wellington Night Market for a bite to eat was great fun. Reminding us of quirky food markets in Brixton, you got the chance to wander around looking at all the different food stalls. The market offered practically every type of cuisine and we really were spoilt for choice, for those on a budget we would definitely recommend making the most of some of those tasters. After the market we hit up The Arborist (recommended by a friend) and treated ourselves to a frozen margarita, enjoying a live band whilst the sun went down. The decor is really funky and they have a happy hour from 4-6pm so well worth a visit. There’s another great rooftop bar we discovered on our way back up called Dirty Little Secret, which was packed full of people dancing with a great DJ and drink prices weren’t too crazy. Following this bar we then headed to Laundry Cuba Street. This place was opened four years ago by three friends looking to exchange their lounge into a bar where the could host their families and friends for drinks, food and gigs. We absolutely loved this place and were lucky enough to visit on a Friday night where at midnight the manager replaces all the furniture with a dance floor and the DJ set commences. Although slightly pricey we can honestly say its the best music we’ve heard in 5 months!
On our two days in Wellington we managed to fit in some culture and visited the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tondarewa. For those looking to find out more about New Zealand’s history, this is the place to go. Offering a number of different exhibitions we left aside a couple of hours to wander around and immerse ourselves in New Zealand’s past. There’s heaps of information on the Maori culture, something we were fascinated by as the Maori’s founded New Zealand 650 years ago, yet their culture is still extremely present in NZ today.