Wellington is the first destination in the North Island. I must admit I was a bit shocked with the size and crowd and traffic. I’m so used to the small cities, the largest so far being Dunedin and Christchurch, and Wellington is just so much larger. It is the capital after all. Finding a parking spot is a pain in the ass!
I’m budgeting a day in Wellington and initially planned to do the hop-on hop-off bus but they charge NZD45, no deal! The first night was spent doing nothing, but a nice steak dinner at Boulcott St Bistro. It’s supposed to be one of the best steakhouse in town, and I went with the recommended eye fillet with bearnaise sauce. Unfortunately the photos are lost since I didn’t have a chance to transfer from my stolen phone. But I can say this is one of the best I had in NZ so far. I’m usually a rib-eye guy but I’m starting to like this eye fillet cut that I’ve never even heard about before! Pricing is also very good compared to Hong Kong steakhouse.
Mount Victoria lookout, about 20 mins drive from downtown, is the first destination in the morning. It gives 360 view of the city and from here you can really see the size of Wellington. It’s really quite pretty and I cursed myself for being to lazy to come the night before for night view of the city and probably the stars and milky way!
Then it was a frantic afternoon trying to see as much as I can before a long drive to River Valley. I went to the Weta Cave which is a workshop where some of the items in movies like the Lord of the Rings series are made. Pretty cool stuff to the point that I was seriously considering buying a bow and arrow from the Hobbit, but eventually sanity prevailed. Afterwards it was Wellington Zoo (what was I thinking!?!), walk around the waterfront with a steak lunch (duh!) at Charley Noble which was quite ordinary (go for Boulcott St) and then a visit to the famous Te Papa Museum which was quite cool. There’s a Gallipoli war exhibition there supposedly by Peter Jackson. That concludes Wellington, perhaps there’s scope to come back in the future, but for now, here’s some photos from the exhibition!