Last weekend we welcomed our first visitors: Meagan, Byron, Cheree and Saphia to Wellington! Meagan and Byron are TV producers and presenters as well as being the creators of Travelling Unplugged. This fun-filled TV series tracks their adventurous globe-trotting and their Facebook page is well worth a look! They have just emigrated from South Africa to New Zealand and own a company called 4 Shores Media. For Meg’s birthday Byron surprised her with a road trip to Wellington and they stopped off at the Polynesian Natural Spa in Rotorua on the way. Meg’s sister-in-law Cheree happened to be at a conference in Wellington that weekend too so we celebrated in style, firstly with chocolate Guinness cake, which I got ID-ed for when buying the ingredients….Really?! I’m 32!
To inspire the creativity of the amazingly talented Taylor duo even further, we explored the award-winning Weta Workshop and went on a Weta Cave tour. It was amazing to see the props and costumes in Peter Jackson’s movie-creations workshop and hear about how they are designed and produced. We got to hold to swords from Lord of the Rings and Narnia! Very cool. Sadly no pics were allowed inside the studios but we were allowed to pose outside with the slightly terrifying creatures from LOTR. If you go, book in advance as this attraction is very popular at weekends.
After a quick pit stop for coffee at the highly-recommended Maranui Café (a trendy little brunch spot in Lyall Bay) we headed straight to the waterfront and Te Papa Museum.
Later that afternoon we collected our friend Saphia from the airport and headed out for a bite to eat on Cuba Street. There are so many bars, restaurants and eateries to choose from on Cuba Street and we eventually decided on Mexican cuisine at Flying Burrito Brothers. We managed to negotiate our way downstairs with the buggy into the furthest corner of this rammed, rustic restaurant without knocking over any drinks. Phew-although it was close on a few occasions. It was well worth the effort! Our visit to this restaurant confirmed that Kiwis are definitely the friendliest people on the planet. As I was doing my “Sorry, excuse me, sorry” routine as the buggy ploughed over people’s coats and bags, a lady quietly said ‘Do whatever you can to get out with your little one and your friends- we don’t mind you squeezing past.’ Another lady offered to change Sophia’s nappy so I could ‘enjoy the evening’. She then immediately retracted the offer as she thought it made her sound weird! Sweet though. At about 8pm Sophia drifted off to the land of nod in her buggy and we enjoyed chocolate and chilli burritos washed down with sangria! Delicious.
On Sunday, Saphia ventured onwards to the South Island in a cute little camper van and we paid Mount Victoria Lookout a visit. The viewpoint is set 196m above the city and offers panoramic views of the harbour, city and surrounding suburbs. Apparently the slopes of Mount Victoria provided one of the settings for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.
With so many more tourist things to do in Welly and the end of the ski season to catch at Mount Ruapehu before winter ends, this definitely still feels like at holiday!