Well, ‘The Coolest Little Capital’ certainly is living up to its nickname. We have been ploughing our way through this windy city’s sights and I seriously have been concerned on occasion that our house, let alone my skirt, is going to blow away! Still none the wiser of how to dress for this climate, (apart from: leggings, leggings, leggings) we just layer up, pack sun hats and woolly hats and get on with the exploring. Here are a few of our favourite places to date:
On a sunny day the coastal road around Miramar (Shelley Bay Road) from Evans Bay to Lyall Bay has the most stunning scenery. Each turn uncovers even more beautiful bays: Shelley Bay, Scorching Bay, Tarakena Bay and Seatoun harbour to name but a few. On a clear day look out for the snow-capped mountains of the South Island (and probably a few of naturists on Breaker Bay too!).
Not only is Miramar the home to Peter Jackson’s studios, the Weta Cave and Weta Digital, it also boasts a very cool art deco luxury cinema and restaurant, the Roxy. We did not find popcorn being sold at this classy little establishment, instead it’s the type of place that you are more than welcome to purchase a carafe of wine, a tropical cocktail or a luxury hot chocolate to take into the screening! Very fancy.
Cable Car Museum and Botanic Gardens
Right in the centre of the city is the Cable Car rail link from Lambton Quay to Kelburn, which first opened in 1902. Functioning as a mode of transport for commuters as well as a tourist attraction, this funicular railway ride takes a mere 5 minutes to travel the 120 metres to the viewing platform which gives panoramic views of Wellington harbour.
The view alone is well worth the fare. Once you’re up there the Planetarium and Cable Car Museum are right on the door step too. You can purchase a return journey but after wandering around the Cable Car museum we strolled all the way back down to the city through the Botanic Gardens. We travelled with the baby backpack as there were lots of steps and steep pathways. It did take forever but it was a beautiful walk and we stopped for a picnic lunch. At one point the path from these beautiful gardens to the city centre led us through a graveyard-a bit odd but the rest of the walk was lovely!
I know I am slightly obsessed with the weather, but a sunny day at Wellington Zoo is a brilliant day out. I went there in August with some friends for the annual ‘Winter Wednesday’ deal and we saw loads of animals soaking up the winter sun. It reminded me a lot of Belfast Zoo, as it is set up high above the city. You could easily spend the whole day here as there is so much to see. We walked amongst the wallabies and emus, got mooned by a cheeky baboon (pun absolutely intended) watched the lions and penguins being fed and petted the tamer farm animals. I particularly enjoyed dressing Sophia in her giraffe knitwear in the African enclosure. Definitely a photo to dig out for her 18th! It was a great day out and a super work-out pushing the buggy up and down those hills-we just kept thinking of the toned posteriors that we would all leave with!
Seeing the Wellington Lions play at the local Westpac Stadium was a great night out and meeting Leo the Lion mascot was literally the best thing ever (for me, not Sophia- she was a bit terrified after meeting a real lion at the zoo). The game, which the babies surprisingly showed no interest in, was televised on Sky and I was ready to wave my ‘Hi Mum’ sign if the camera panned past us. Unfortunately it didn’t so I kept on spoon-feeding Sophia pureed something whilst scanning the scoreboard and trying to keep track of the ball. It was tense in places but the Lions delivered and were victorious. It was so exciting that I dropped my brand new phone after the game and didn’t realise until we got home….. containing all of my photos (no, of course they weren’t backed up) and contacts and life generally…. so we drove back the next morning (on Father’s day-brilliant) and unbelievably found the phone under my seat! Miracle!
Plimmerton, a picturesque coastal village north west of Porirua, on the road to Kapiti, is the perfect spot for a quiet day soaking up the sea breeze. Today felt like the first day of Spring in this quaint little village, which stretches about 3km along the coast and gives lovely view of Porirua harbour. As the road at the end of the village is marked ‘Private’, it seems that more fishing boats than cars passed me by, with the noisiest of all being the seagulls. It is so peaceful here with the waves lapping at the rugged rocks just beneath the edge of the pavement. The beaches stretch out for most of the length of the bay and there are a handful of shops, a play park, eateries and delis as you arrive, where I got to try a very tasty People’s Coffee. It is the perfect spot for non-hilly buggy walks and picnics.
Kapiti Coast adventures and a last-minute ski trip blog posts coming soon!