Home for me is Wellington, New Zealand. I currently walk across the city daily from my work near Newtown, to where I live near the botanic gardens in Kelburn. Some days home is where I want to be, others I’d prefer to be anywhere else in the world.
So Wellington – what’s new, old, surprising, unexpected, good and bad?
For the past two years I have been living on a street described by Real Estate Agents as ‘Wellington’s Dress Circle’. In reality this means walking home up a steep hill which is not on the bus route whatever the weather, the plus of this has been watching the building which was my Dad’s office 20+ years ago evolve into a Sofitel.
It opened on July 1st, a couple of years late but it looks very swanky.
The Old Bank Arcade is a historic building on Lambton Quay which is now a shopping centre. It was built by the Bank of New Zealand as their head office on top of the remains of Plimmers Ark (left above water when the land was pushed up by a massive earthquake).
Whenever I’ve visited the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney it’s reminded me of the Old Bank Arcade and it makes sense now I know it was restored by the same people.
Believe it or not Wellington has more restaurants, bars and cafes per capita than New York.
I wrote about some of my favourite restaurants in this Food Porn post.
Hannah’s Laneway is a funky area encompassing Leeds Street and Eva Streets. What was not so long ago a couple of best avoided, dodgy alleyways is now a hive of boutique Wellington bars, eateries and factories.
There’s a Soda company, great pizza, a bar with bottles of spirits hanging from the ceiling, peanut butter sold from a window and the great craft beers and coffee Wellington is known for.
There are plenty of good things to do in Wellington! For inspiration you should check out this post on the best three things you should do , this one about Miramar, an area made trendy via the Lord of the Rings cast, and why I love Wellington in Spring.
A not so great part of New Zealand’s past is World World War I and there are currently two related exhibitions on in Wellington.
The Great War Exhibition (created by Sir Peter Jackson) at the Dominion Museum runs until November 2018 and costs $15 for an adult entry. It opens in tranches and takes visitors through the story of the war year by year.
The Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War exhibition at Te Papa is free and runs until April 2018. It tells the eight month Gallipoli campaign story through they eyes and stories of eight New Zealanders with models by Weta Workshops.
Both exhibitions are emotional and extremely well done.