Wellington + Surrounds, New Zealand

A few weekends ago, my boyfriend and I, along with a couple of friends, met in Wellington to spend three days visiting the city and exploring the surrounding countryside.

Wellington is a relatively small city, and a day is enough to adequately experience the city (if you decide against visiting the Te Papa Museum). If you want to visit the museum, perhaps add another day, as I’ve been told that you need almost an entire day to get the most out of the complex. But a day is long enough to walk up to Mt Victoria to experience the incredible view over the city, take a walk along the harbour foreshore, enjoy a relaxing lunch in Cuba Street whilst listening to the street performers, visit Parliament House (known as The Beehive) and take a the cable car to Carter Observatory and wander through the Botanical Gardens. End the day with dinner at one of the many restaurants found in downtown Wellington, and don’t forget to stop for some gelato at Kaffee Eis.

We spent our second day further afield, visiting the wineries of Martinborough, including a delicious lunch amongst the vineyards. After lunch we headed to Cape Palliser (the southern most point of the north island). Here we stopped to take photographs of the seals (it was so incredible how close they allowed us to be) and climbed to the top of the lighthouse to witness the magnificent view.

After a comfortable night spent in Martinborough, day three was spent visiting the beach and lighthouse at Castlepoint. Again the east coast of the north island did not disappoint in its beauty. After a delicious and entertaining lunch in funky Greytown cafe, we headed back to Wellington and in a flash the weekend was over.

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Getting There:
There are regular flights with a number of airlines from Sydney and Auckland, as well as other centres. Signup for Air New Zealand or Jetstar newsletters, as they often advertise specials. Wellington Airport is close to the centre. From about 7am to 8pm there is a bus every 20 minutes to the centre. Alternatively, you can take a taxi or the Super Shuttle.

In Wellington we stayed at Trek Global Backpackers. The rooms were clean, although a little noisy, but that’s to be expected in backpacker accommodation. In Martinborough, we were very impressed with the Top 10 Caravan Park, staying in their double cabins. Although small, they were extremely cosy and had that at home feel about them

Food in and around Wellington is something to rave about. In Wellington, try Sweet Mothers Kitchen, located in Courtney Place for some home food with a Mexican twist. Don’t forget to stop by Kaffee Eis, located a few doors down, for dessert. In Martinborough we had a delicious lunch The Vineyard Cafe at Margrain Vineyard Cellar Door, and in Greytown we had the most amazing chicken, bacon and egg burgers at Cahoots Cafe.