Hear about things to do in Wellington, New Zealand as the Amateur Traveler talks to Kate from KateAbroad.com about her former home.
Kate says of Wellington, “I moved there as a brand new university student and ended up living and working there for six years. Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand, but highly underrated. It’s got the nickname now of ‘Cooler Little Capital’. It really is because you’ve got so much outdoorsy things that you can do there. It’s based around the Wellington Harbour, but also the we’ve got mountains around with lots of hikes. It’s got a bit of a hipster reputation. There’s a strong foodie culture and is is based around the arts as well.”
“It’s the home of Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings. It’s lots of Lord of the Rings of scenes around Wellington that you can go and visit and you can also see the workshop where all their movie magic is made.”
Kate starts us in the Aro Valley. It’s the kind of hipster neighborhood where you will find a good vinyl store, coffeeshop or craft brewery. She recommends a hike from there up into the hills at the Waimapihi Polhill Reserve.
If you are looking for shopping, Kate would send you to the Old Bank Arcade. If you are looking for the best museum to the Te Papa Museum that explores New Zealand History. Te Papa has a new exhibit about New Zealand in WWI done by Peter Jackson’s team at the Weta Workshop.
Wellington is on a beautiful bay where Kate says whale watching can be a typical opportunity. If you visit when the weather is good, take a kayak out on the bay followed by a brunch at one of the restaurants along the water. Or rent a “Croc Bike” (bicycle surrey) to explore the waterfront.
There is live theatre in the capital but one of the draws is the movies. Lord of the Rings fans should consider both a Lord of the Rings tour of some of the locations used as well as a trip to the Weta Workshop.
For side trips Kate recommends a trip to the Pinnacles Track and the Cape Palliser Lighthouse at the southmost point of the North Island. The lighthouse has a seal colony and on a clear day you can see the South Island.
Wine lovers should make a side trip to Featherston and Martinborough where you can visit wineries and other food based tourism . This would be a lovely spot to stay in a hotel or B&B. The area also has its own version of Stonehenge at Aoteroa. This is a modern replica.
The other side trip Kate recommends is up the west coast to Kapiti Island and the spectacular Paekākāriki Escarpment Track with long suspension bridges on the rugged coast.
Along the way Kate, who is a foodie, recommends some of the restaurants, cafes and breweries that she misses from this city she called home.
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Kate Abroad | Adventures Down Under
Waimapihi Polhill Reserve
Wellington Hotel NZ – DoubleTree by Hilton Wellington
Old Bank Arcade
Coene’s Bar and Eatery
Hutt Valley (The “Hutt”)
Empire Cinema and Eatery
The Lord of the Rings Tours from Wellington
Cape Palliser Lighthouse
C’est Cheese Featherston
Palliser Estate Wines of Martinborough
Cambridge Road Vineyard
The White Swan Hotel, Greytown
Remutaka Cycle Trail
Paekākāriki Escarpment Track
Salt and Wood BBQ Restaurant
The Raumati Social Club
Black Dog Brewery
Wellington on a Plate Festival
Sweet Bakery and Cakery
CubaDupa – Wellington Street Festival
Maranui Cafe at Maranui Surf Life Saving Club
City Gallery Wellington | Te Whare Toi
The 7 best Wellington laneways for food, drink + art
about Travel to Guatemala – Episode 795 I heard :
Really enjoyed this podcast; we did nearly the exact same itinerary a couple years ago. By happenstance, we visited during Semana Santa (Easter Week), and it was an incredible experience. In both Antigua and Atitlan, there were incredible processions over “carpets” people constructed in the streets, many of them designed with brightly colored sawdust. There were more people around, and I’m guessing prices were higher, but in my opinion it was worth it.
I really enjoyed your recent episode on Guatemala, not least because it reminded me of my own trips there some 30 years ago.
Tikal really is one of the wonders of the world. My visit happened to coincide with a full moon, and our guide took a few of us through the jungle to visit the ruins at midnight – it was literally awe-inspiring, though climbing up the pyramids is no easy task, as the steps are not only steep but clearly meant for feet much smaller than mine.
I also managed to climb to the rim of the Pacaya volcano, which was also a mind-blowing experience staring into the bowels of the earth. It wasn’t so active when I visited, but a guide was essential to find a path up, and to make sure the wind was not blowing poisonous fumes over us.
Lastly, a big yes to your guest’s recommendation for Chichicastenango Market – the most magical market I have ever been to.
Hmmm, maybe time for me to go back there…
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