New Zealand: Relaxing in Wellington

After an emotional fairwell to my parents in Queenstown airport I made the short hop to Wellington, stopping off in Christchurch to change planes. The clear weather meant I could see some of the spectacular South Island volcanic coast from above before landing in the southern tip of the North Island. After the action packed few weeks I’d had with my parents I was ready to chill. So I booked a week in some student accommodation which was vacant for the summer holidays, where I had the luxury of my own room and some awesome facilities (cinema screen, Xbox, pool, table tennis, giant chess board(!)) in a city centre location to keep me occupied.

The first day in Wellington I met up with uni-mate Has who was taking a short trip to NZ from his temporary base in Singapore. We visited the Te Papa museum which is reputably the best museum in NZ.  We learnt about all the natural phenomena that had happened and was happening around NZ; including it’s seperation from Gondwanaland which was a land mass that used to incorporate Africa, Australia, NZ, South America and Asia!

Has had to meet his cousin that evening so I met up with some guys back and my acoommodation and Friday evening festivities followed in a karaoke bar.

The next day Has invited me to a dinner party at the home of one of his travelling buddies, Natalia, whose architect boyfriend owned a stunning property overlooking the Wellington bay. For dinner we were treated to a delicous lamb taggine and local NZ veggies. After some scrumptious NZ wine and a bit of after-dinner whisky Has and I hopped in a taxi back to Wellington to watch some awesome live band that were doing some of my favourite rock songs in an Irish bar.

The next few days I achieved what I set out to: chilling out. I did make it up Mount Victoria one day which offered some great views of Wellington and surrounding bay area. And another day I caught the bus down to the surfing beach at Lyall where I rented a westsuit and bodyboard but was faced by a tough onshore tug that wouldn’t allow me to get past the strong breaking waves, so gave up after an hour. The rest of the time I strolled around the harbour, looking out for huge stingrays that cruise near the surface; walked to the local beaches to watch the fishermen; and perused the local 2nd hand shops for a t-shirt after wearing the same threads for the last 6 months!

View of Welly from Mount Victoria:

Surf’s up:

The last night I saw another great cover band in a different Irish bar and managed to get them to play one of my favourites, ‘Dirty Old Town’ by the Pogues before they continued onto some Oasis, Dire Straits, Mumford & Sons etc…

I had really liked Wellington and felt like I’d absorbed more of the NZ culture than on the touristy South Island.

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