Lonely Planet has named Wellington 4th in the top ten cities of the world to visit in 2011. According to Lonely Planet :
With its quaint wooden houses tumbling down a ring of hills to the city centre, clustered on reclaimed land around the glittering harbour, in ‘100% Pure New Zealand’, the country’s most innovative and inspiring city might just be the ‘Best Little Capital in the World”
After spending the day getting up this morning and kayaking from Evans Bay round to Oriental Parade in the city centre I’d have to agree with the folks at Lonely Planet. Yesterday I was buying some groceries at the weekend markets then went to walk around the rocky coastline at Breaker Bay. Last week I cycled around the Miramar and airport peninsulas a couple of times, and this week I’m heading out for my last fishing class from an evening series….and all within minutes of my front door in a capital city.
Having recently moved here from Edinburgh in Scotland which also often gets rated well in these type of reports, I’m honoured to have the chance to live in an equally appealing city.
I hope this Lonely Planet accolade will make more visitors pay a little bit more attention to Wellington as they pass through, visit Te Papa and head to the South Island….. in fact, no, don’t bother the place is a nice little secret as it is
After arriving in New Zealand recently for my second long term visit (and hopefully this one will be a lot longer if Immigration allows!) I initially commented that Wellington was like a “mini Hong Kong”. It may seem a very bizarre comparison to make as there aren’t exactly a great deal of high rises around apart from in the CBD. The things I think Windy Welly has similar to HK is that it often appears like the buildings are perched on the side of an impossibly steep hill, and there are shopping arcades and bars tucked up little alleyways that you’d often miss if you are just passing through. The numbers of elevators used to access the hillside houses often make me smile as well. As well as this, just around the bays there are beaches to explore, rocky coastlines, seal colonies, mountain bike parks, city centre walks and a multitude of other outdoor activites.
I’ve only spent a few months in Wellington so far, but every day it grows on me more and more. As soon as the sun comes out, it makes you forget about the seemingly hurricane force winds and torrential rainstorms….and when it is a bit naff then you can pop into one of the lovely restaurants or cafes to hide away…yes, there are more cafes and restaurants here per head than New York!
As I used to say back home in Scotland….it’s just as well the weather’s not perfect, or every bugger would be here!