It’s insanely easy to fall in love with The World’s Coolest Little Capital, Wellington New Zealand.
We didn’t expect to love being back in a big city but somehow Wellington managed to change that. With it’s perfect weekend farmer’s markets and late night street markets, it’s beautiful coast and parks, and perfect coffee, it’s hard not to love.
Thankfully Wellington was so lovable and made us forget about the awful four ferry right from the South Island. I get pretty bad motion sickness and Andy doesn’t and being on a wavering ferry for four hours can induce sickness. As my face turned from white to green we decided the only safe place to do was on the top deck outside. For almost the entire four hours the wind pelted our faces in an attempt to ensure I didn’t lose my lunch. Thank goodness for understanding boyfriends.
When we finally got off the nausea machine we had a short drive into the city. Instantly you get a sense of what Wellington is all about. Bustling city streets, beautiful buildings, street art, a wonderful beach, a stunning library and ocean front view.
It’s truly spectacular.
And oh boy did this city feed us well! We both found some of our favourite foods instantly at the market. Jamaican jerk chicken and Belgium waffles. REAL Belgium waffles with pearl sugar!
With that being said, lets focus on those Belgium waffles for one second, The Hot Wafel is a little food truck that serves these bad boys and they know how to do it right. These things taste EXACTLY like they’re straight out of a fresh European bake shop, with all the perfect toppings to satisfy any sweet tooth. If you go to Wellington you need to find this truck and treat yourself!
In the morning after we had come out of our food coma we set to the streets for adventure. Every adventure needs hydration and we luckily ran into one of Wellington’s well known Soda shops, Six Barrel Soda. This little gem is literally a hidden one, it’s off the main street down a little alley with nothing more than a small sign showing you the way. Once you find it though it’s like ascending into soda heaven.
They specialize in unique and traditional sodas and they’re seriously good! Not only are there a variety of flavours to choose from but there are a variety of ways to drink these flavours. What we mean is you can get a tester with six flavours, a soda float, just a regular class, or maybe you want a glass bottle. The decision is yours!
We started with a taste tester platter, which was decorated amazingly might we add). From there we each chose our favourite flavour and got a float. We loved their flavors so much we bought a bottle of syrup to make our own on the road. Best drink choice we made in New Zealand (besides obviously the wonderful Bundaberg Ginger Beer). Please do yourself a favour and find this little gem while you are in Wellington!
After hydrating ourselves we did one of our personal Must-Dos and a Wellington Must-Do.
Visit WETA Workshop, of course!
If you have read some of our other posts or follow our blog you’ll know by now we are pretty big fans Toklien fans. Which means we also love the trilogies by Peter Jackson, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. The WETA Workshop is the place where most of the costumes and visual effects for the movies were born. Which ultimately means it’s really not a place we can miss.
It’s not expensive in the slightest to do a walk through of the Workshop itself we paid maybe $25NZD. You can always visit the WETA Cave, which is the gift shop, for free. They also have a few statues of characters from the movies in the Cave and some of the costumers and props framed.
The Tour is incredibly cool though! Even though it is a bit short it is packed full of information and really cool pieces! They take you deep inside of their world. Showing you exactly how they create movie magic! It’s also partly interactive as they let you touch and feel a few of the props used in some of their films! They don’t just work on Tolkien films either, they’ve worked on and work on everything from King Kong to District 9 to the World of Warcraft movie.
Due to their strict confidentiality and the nature of their work you can’t take any photos on the tour. It’s probably good though because any photos you took wouldn’t do the tour justice anyways.
If you find yourself in Wellington do the tour, get your nerd on at WETA!
At the end of the tour head to the cave where you can snap a few photos and maybe buy some memorabilia. Don’t hesitate to buy something if you are on the fence about it either. It’s one of the only places you can buy most of that stuff other than online. At first we hesitated a bit because we thought we might be able to pick some stuff at Hobbiton but we were wrong. Therefore buy it if you want it and don’t hesitate! We may have had to ship a box of goodies home afterwards…
Wellington is also known for being the home of New Zealand’s National Museum, Te Papa. Te Papa is one of the most inter-active, interesting, artistic Museum’s we have ever been to. It’s not one of those boring Museums where you can’t touch anything (much to Andy’s delight). They have everything from a rare giant squid to precious paintings to an earthquake simulator! WETA even partnered with the Museum to create a War exhibit, Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War. It is incredibly well done. The giant life like statues of real people are so life like it’s not even describable. It blew our minds!
The best part? It’s free!
Could Wellington get any better? Ya it can.
Just a short distance from the city center is Mount Victoria. Mount Victoria is full of beautiful walking paths and transports you right out of the city instantly. It’s also where the first day of filming for Lord of the Rings was! If you want to visit that location there are signs pointing you in the correct direction in the park! So if you ever find yourself in Wellington trust us you won’t be bored. It has the best of both worlds, a perfect little City mixed with ocean views and a spectacularly beautiful park.
Wellington stole our hearts and made us love being in an artistic, lively, cultural city again! It made us feel at home even as tourists.
There truly is something for everyone in this perfect little capital!
Have you ever been to Wellington and visited any of these places? How did you like it? Let us know in the comments below!
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