Wellington, New Zealand : Blow Me Away!

Wellington Travel Blog

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A colourful house
If you’re in Wellington and never complain about the wind, come and see me to receive your prezzie! Whether it’s a shiny or rainy day, the Wellingtonian’s lungs are always filled with the cold air without struggling for more.

I moved from Bangkok, Thailand 4 years ago. Wellington, my second home, seems to be a small ordinary place compared to other capital cities in the world but the longer I live here, the more interesting it becomes.

One thing that attracts me is the globe-like metal looking ball is known as "Fern Ball". It can be found at the Civic Centre where people go for a countdown during New Year celebrations. When you look at it from a distance, the fern ball seems to float like a moon.
Fern Ball, Civic Centre
It looks wonderful and leaves me wondering why it has to be “fern”.

According to the mobile encyclopedia of Wellington, known in low-tech terms as a “hubby”, New Zealanders use the fern as a symbol of their country in addition to the legendary Kiwi bird or kiwifruit. You will see the symbol of the curl of fern, also known as a Koru (Maori Language) throughout the country. The meaning of Koru is new beginning, growth and harmony.

Downtown Wellington is good for hanging out and shopping. It is comprised of 4 inter-connected precincts which are known as Courtney Place, Cuba Mall, Willis Street, and Lambton Quay. You will be surprised as it only takes you 30 minute on foot to get through these 4 areas without stopping by any shops, easier said than done!

Courtney Place tends to be the area for entertainment; restaurants, bars, and cinema while the rest are likely to be shopping area.
Courtney Place
One of the most famous cinemas is “The Embassy”. The premiere of the final installment in the “Lord of The Rings” trilogy was screened here. There were many Hollywood stars around, and many photos were taken.

Cuba street is comprised of 2 sections which are quite different from each others. At one end, the shops are “pop culture” style while the other end is more devoted to some “indie culture”. The shops from the indie side include multiple second hand clothing stores, rare records, and the famous “Fidel’s” café. Are you familiar with its name? The café was named after the leader of the Cuban revolution “Fidel Castro”, to match the name of the street. If you are a LOTR fan, you must come here as it was the LOTR’s actor’s favourite hangout place to have some good food and drink.
Cuba Mall


Wellingtonians love their coffee and cafes, and it is thought there are more cafes per head of population here than any city in the world. I will dedicate some future blogs to review the best cafés and restaurants here in the future.

Willis street and Lambton  Quay are also shopping areas, and located more down the business end of town. The other highlight of Wellington is the Cable Car which will take you to a great lookout of Wellington City. I had never visited there until lately, as in the past I was always busy with my restaurant business. I only had Monday as a day off, which was used to travel to other towns nearby, so I managed to overlook this great lookout for many a year.

Besides the Cable Car, you can get grand views over Wellington by going to the other famous lookouts; Mt.
Cable Car
Victoria lookout, and the Brooklyn Wind Turbine. Apart from beautiful scenery, you will also have a new hairdo as a result of the wind.

In fact, if you drive around the city and suburbs, you can get some amazing views from random spots on the road as Wellington is quite hilly. Houses are often built on the mountain, with many people being lucky enough to receive million dollar views from their windows.

Houses in Wellington are distinctful, with their stark colour and Victorian character. Almost without exception, they are built with timber as Wellington is located directly over a major fault-line. As a result, Wellington frequently experiences earthquakes. The strongest one occuring in the last 4 years was at 6.3 on the richter scale. On top of that, Wellington is likely to have Tsunami one day!

If you’re not afraid of a tsunami, the waterfront is recommended for strolling.
Waterfront
The city to sea bridge is stunning with those artist's poles. This bridge links the business area (CBD) to the beach in Oriental Bay where people like to eat ice-cream and look across the harbour and take in the view of the city.  The weather around here is nice if it’s not a windy day.                     

Last but not least, there is the Te Papa Museum, the museum of New Zealand. I found Te Papa is different from ordinary national museums. They have many sections regarding New Zealand history, science, culture, art, wildlife, and other compelling exhibitions. The exhibitions there are hip, not what you’d expect from your typical museum. They keep updating their project every 3 months or less.
Te Papa Musuem
Their most famous one was "The making of the Lord of The Rings"

Although Wellington isn't such a famous destination for tourists, there are so many things to see and do if you pop by for a night or two before catching the ferry to the beautiful South Island.

Wellington is a beautiful and vibrant city which is constantly undergoing change. The only thing which never seems to change too much is the Wellington Wind. So strong, so cold, so consistent!! I can complain about how windy Wellington is for ages. Maybe Wellington isn't too bad for living, is it? I had a chance to chat with an old customer who's originally from London. She said she likes to live here and the wind doesn't bother her. She said the wind isn't too bad compared with London's rain and smog.
Overseas Terminal
She presumes that it's the wind which blows the rain and smog away.

I always complain about the wind and overlook the other, good side of it. I have to admit that Wellington is a green city with clean air and we don't experience too much rain. Not sure if it's because of that wind which blows all the pollution away though. If so, I might have to change my point of view towards the wind, as I can't change the wind to blow in another direction. It depends on me to choose which side to look at or perceive from...

That's it for to-windy-day.

JonseJohnson says:
Great write-up. Helps give a great perspective on a beautiful city. Thanks
Posted on: Apr 03, 2008
BinLeenk says:
i was in Welly last september and i'm returning in a few days. this review brought back the memories. plus, it filled me with excitement! YES! Can't wait to get back!
Posted on: Dec 01, 2007
thelailama says:
wow!! I've just completely read it again. I've known more about yr place by second time reading hahaha. Good to get more info about Wellington where is a charming palce, friend :)
Posted on: May 24, 2007
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A colourful house
A colourful house
Fern Ball, Civic Centre
Fern Ball, Civic Centre
Courtney Place
Courtney Place
Cuba Mall
Cuba Mall
Cable Car
Cable Car
Waterfront
Waterfront
Te Papa Musuem
Te Papa Musuem
Overseas Terminal
Overseas Terminal
Mt. Victoria Lookout
Mt. Victoria Lookout
Fern Ball,Civic Centre
Fern Ball,Civic Centre
Downtown Wellington
Downtown Wellington
Courtney Place
Courtney Place
Downtown Wellington
Downtown Wellington
The Lookout
The Lookout
Mt. Victoria Lookout
Mt. Victoria Lookout
View of the streets
View of the streets
A colourful house
A colourful house
Waterfront
Waterfront
Waterfront
Waterfront
Pine Tree, Oriental Parade
Pine Tree, Oriental Parade
Oriental Parade
Oriental Parade
Waterfront
Waterfront
Playground, Waterfront
Playground, Waterfront
Waterfront
Waterfront
My Yachts...Yeah right!
My Yachts...Yeah right!
Cuba Street
Cuba Street
Civic Centre
Civic Centre
Fern Ball and Majestic Building
Fern Ball and Majestic Building
Fern Ball
Fern Ball
19,801 km (12,304 miles) traveled
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Wellington
photo by: Ils1976