First impressions of Wellington

We arrived in the NZ capital a week ago and these are some of my first impressions…

At the top of the cable car track

There are heaps of coffee shops, bars and restaurants to explore.

Tired, hungry and fresh from our flight, we stumbled upon Viva Mexico in Newtown. A taco shop with outdoor tables and great food. It was really busy for a Sunday and after we ate a band started up. They got the crowd dancing and a couple of the bravest joining in with freestyle vocals. Another early favourite is Fidel’s cafe on Cuba Street – we dropped in for coffee and came back the next day for brunch. They have an extensive menu and Rob had a great breakfast burrito.

Also picture houses are a-plenty.

One of the first things we do in a new city is locate the nearest independent cinema. Recently earning the title ‘Wellywood’, as well as filming locations, there are plenty of cinemas in the city. So far we’ve visited The Embassy to see Her. Originally opened in 1924, the cinema building is a true classic with a sweeping marble staircase and grand proscenium arch.  Thanks to recent restorations the sound picture quality is state-of-the-art. I fancy going on film location tour soon.

Wellingtonians wear great footwear and there are lots of shoe shops.

Obviously a generalisation, but I’ve already got my eye on a few pairs of boots and people seem to take pride in their footwear.

Around the harbour

It’s poles apart from Auckland.

As expected, but it’s tricky to resist comparisons between NZ’s two biggest cities. I think when people are travelling here from overseas, it’s a toss up between which city they’ll head to first. Like Auckland, Wellington also has a beautiful harbour area but the city itself is more compact. Auckland has more high-rise head offices, whereas Wellington is predominantly government departments. We have been quite lucky with the weather (so far!), Cyclone Lusi passed over quietly and we’ve had mostly sunny days. I have been warned about Welly winters though!

Wellington - Matt Horan
Photo by Matt Horan

We’re settling in well and have found a flat close to the city centre. We’ve got a good feeling from the city so far and think it’s somewhere we can happily spend a few months.


2 thoughts on “First impressions of Wellington

  1. It rained for most of our stay in Wellington but I liked it so much more than Auckland because it was compact! Nice little bistros and stuff, and we spent ages in Te Papa.

    • Aw yea, we’ve only spent a few hours there so far but sure we’ll be back. Need to research day trips around the region too. Hope all is good with you.

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