Wellington is not only New Zealand’s capital, it’s also its capital of quirkiness. It’s an awesome place to spend a couple of nights. You’ll find ample entertainment, it has a great nightlife and everything is within walking distance.
♦ Te Papa Museum. The first and foremost on our list of must do’s in Wellington would be a visit to Te Papa – The Museum of New Zealand. Firstly, its free and secondly, it’s the best museum we’ve ever visited.
You need to put aside half a day for Te Papa. The most recent addition is the Great War Exhibition which, will walk you through the prospective of 10 or so different people who were involved in the great war. Its realism and vast use of presentation methods transport you to trenches where you relive the life of a solider or nurse. It accurately explains how New Zealand was involved in the Great war and the effects in had on the country and people involved.
Words cannot describe how fantastic we think this exhibition is and the respect it gives you for people involved. In addition to this you must visit the earthquake exhibition, this sports the popular ‘Earthquake House’ where you’ll be able to experience what an earthquake would feel like. There are many other exhibits that we didn’t manage to get around to, including marine life, wildlife, art and sculptures. Based off the two we’ve seen we’d suggest making the time to see as many as you can.
♦ Mont Victoria. We walked up one of the many bush tracks starting at Oriental Bay. The track is steep and would require a moderate level of fitness. You’ll be walking for about 25 minutes and once you arrive at the summit you’ll be greeted with amazing views over wellington and its harbour. Make sure you bring your camera and a bottle of water for this excursion, you’ll be wanting them both at the top.
♦ Mt Vic Chippery. You will have built up a decent appetite going up and down Mt Vic and if you’d like some traditional kiwi food then there’s only one place to go, Mt Vic Chippery. These are the best fish and chips that we’ve had in New Zealand, and trust us, we’ve had a whole lot. Unfortunately, they don’t come cheap at $15 NZD per person, but they are great and in our opinion worth splashing out for.
♦ Cuba Street. Finally on our list of what to see and do in Wellington is entertainment central – Cuba Street. You’ll often find street performers trying to make some money here. We stopped to watch a magician who drew a large crowd and ended up giving him some change as his performance was awesome. In addition to this, if you want to go out clubbing or pubbing then Cuba Street is the place to go. All the bars, pubs and clubs are along one road and whatever you’re into you’ll find it along here.
♦Accomodation. It’ll cost you around $30 a night for a dorm room in Wellington. Be aware though that if you bring a vehicle parking will cost you an additional $10 a night. Although it’s more expensive than most places, your transport costs are almost non-existent, we walked everywhere when we visited.
♦ Cook Straight Ferry. The Ferry across the Cook Straight in its own right is one of the best tours you’ll do whilst in New Zealand. It’ll transport you and your vehicle cross the cook straight for around $55 per person and $120 for a vehicle.
TOP TIP – Google promotional codes before booking online as we saved $55!
The ferry takes about 3 hours to get to Picton and takes you through the Marlborough Sounds on its way. Regardless of the weather you’ll have amazing views. You’ll see waterfalls and huge great mountains that erupt out of the very sea you’re sailing on. Once on board move fast if you want a prime location. We would recommend heading to the main deck as quickly as you can in order to secure a seat at the bow of the ship.
The ferry has several viewing platforms outside and several inside. There’s an on board cinema and café to keep your tummies full and your brain entertained. The food however, does come at a premium so we’d suggest packing lunch. Once the ferry comes to a halt, you’ll be directed to the exits in order to move onto Picton.
Welcome to the South Island!