Posts Tagged ‘Wellington’

December 9th – 11th: Island-hopping

December 16, 2008

We stayed in Nelson before and after the Abel Tasman, enjoying the fun arts scene and the fresh fish.

Our view of the Nelson harbor from an excellent seafood place.

Our view of the Nelson harbor from an excellent seafood place.

We visited our last couple of South Island wineries before taking the ferry back to Wellington. Even though we’d been gone less than a month, it was wonderful to see our recent home again, but bittersweet knowing that it was possibly the last time. We wandered the streets a bit, taking in some of the tourist sites we’d overlooked before, including a ride on the Wellington cable car and walk through the city gardens.

Our obligatory tourist shot of the Wellington cable car, which runs from downtown to the hillside botanical gardens.

Our obligatory tourist shot of the Wellington cable car, which runs from downtown to the hillside botanical gardens.

Jonathan = hardcore.

Jonathan = hardcore.

We headed on north, driving through the now-familiar areas of Tongariro, the Waikato, and Taupo.

The snow-capped ski destination Mount Ruapehu, the peak of which we'd missed on our previous trip this way due to cloud cover.

The snow-capped ski destination Mount Ruapehu, the peak of which we'd missed on our previous trip this way due to cloud cover.

Watch out, skiwis are everywhere.

Watch out, skiwis are everywhere.

We stayed a night in Rotorua, a geothermal tourist destination, but didn’t stay long due to the pervasive sulfurous smell and the hordes of picture-snapping travelers, opting instead to press on to beach relaxation further north.

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November 15th: Farewell, Wellington!

November 18, 2008

It seems incredible, but our ten weeks in Wellington are up. We’ve moved out of our lovely Mt. Victoria home, packed up our little car, and headed out of town for our last month in New Zealand. It’s hard to believe how fast it’s gone.

Downtown Wellington and Mt. Victoria from Queen's Wharf.

Downtown Wellington and Mt. Victoria from Queen's Wharf.

We’re now on the South Island, and we’ll update with pictures as soon as we can. Teaser: there will be penguins!

More Wellington color

November 9, 2008

New Zealand, like all good subjects of the Crown, still celebrates Guy Fawkes Day, complete with carnival booths along the waterfront and fireworks over the harbor. It was November 4th back in the States, election day, so for us the fireworks served double duty to celebrate the poll results that we’d watched all day on CNN.

Remember, remember, the Fifth of November.

Remember, remember, the Fifth of November.

Around the city, we tried to capture some of the great bits of character we see nearly every day.

Becky shows reverence for public art.

Becky shows reverence for public art.

Who'd have thought a club in Wellington would bear the name of our own eastern seaboard highway?

Who'd have thought a club in Wellington would bear the name of our own eastern seaboard highway?

Yesterday afternoon we hung out in the waterfront park for a while.

Curious Jonathan Climbs a Tree.

Curious Jonathan Climbs a Tree.

One morning a couple weeks ago, we made it out of bed several hours earlier than usual to catch the sunrise. We watched the sky change colors over the harbor and the moon slide closer to the horizon.

Early dawn over Wellington and the harbor.

Early dawn paints Wellington pink.

Wellington color

October 4, 2008

We’ve taken a bunch of random pictures in Wellington that don’t really fit into any narrative but that we wanted to share. Here’s a handful.

There's a quarter-mile-long sealife mural, with little educational labels and everything, painted on a wall along the Oriental Bay beachfront.

There's a quarter-mile-long sealife mural, with little educational labels and everything, painted on a wall along the Oriental Bay beachfront.

A calla lily growing wild along one of the many pedestrian-only streets in our neighborhood.

A calla lily growing wild along one of the many pedestrian-only streets in our neighborhood.

An example of the pedestrian only streets around here -- Becky climbs this one coming home from work. There are people with postal addresses on this street and zero car access to their houses.

An example of the pedestrian-only streets around here -- Becky climbs this one coming home from work. There are people with postal addresses on this street and others with zero car access to their houses.

Mmm, noodly goodness.

The London-based noodle restaurant Wagamama, which Becky was crazy about during her term studying abroad, has expanded to New Zealand. Mmm, noodly goodness.

An Argentine Royal Armada sailing ship is docked in Wellington this week and has been open for tours, so we checked it out. They're on a year-long tour of the world promoting international cooperation and have had guest crew from different countries' navies.

An Argentine Royal Armada sailing ship is docked in Wellington this week and has been open for tours, so we checked it out. They're on a year-long tour of the world promoting international cooperation and have had guest crew from different countries' navies.

 But little did they know that there was a clandestine pirate in their midst. (Turns out International Talk Like A Pirate Day really is celebrated throughout the world - our housemates threw a party.)

But little did those sailors know that there was a clandestine pirate in their midst. (Turns out International Talk Like A Pirate Day really is celebrated throughout the world - our housemates threw a party.)

September 23rd – 29th: About (and above) town

September 29, 2008

Another update! We haven’t left the city at all, but it’s still been pretty busy. Becky’s been working for about a week, waitressing and occasionally bartending at a swanky seafood restaurant on Queen’s Wharf. In her first week she’s already served a tableful of drinking, singing politicians whose names have recently made the papers for bribery and corruption scandals. (And we thought we’d gotten away from DC.)

Taken from near Becky's work, overlooking the Wellington harbor.

Taken from near Becky's work, overlooking the Wellington harbor.

Our house is circled in red, to the right of the church on the hill.

Seagull! (Our house is circled in red, just down the street from the brick church on the hill.)

A couple days ago we went to the top of the mountain on whose foothills we reside. It was hella steep — we were glad we weren’t the hacking, sweating fools we saw running up from sea level.

Wellington and the harbor from atop Mt. Victoria. The brick church, near the bottom of the picture, almost looks like it's at water's edge. Queen's Wharf is the innermost wharf in the bay.

Wellington and the harbor from atop Mt. Victoria. The brick church, near the bottom of the picture, almost looks like it's at water's edge. Queen's Wharf is the innermost wharf in the bay.

Over Becky's shoulder is a straight shot to Antarctica. Anybody care for a swim?

Over Becky's shoulder is a straight shot to Antarctica. Anybody care for a swim?

We’re heading back into the country this weekend, so expect more pictures then, if not earlier!

September 15th – 22nd: Home Sweet Wellington

September 22, 2008

For the last week, we’ve been getting settled in Wellington: learning our way around the neighborhood, stocking our kitchen shelves, buying lamps and hangers, the works. We’re beginning to really explore Wellington and already have favorite Thai and Indian restaurants; this town is charming.

Oriental Bay as seen from a bit further up our street

Oriental Bay as seen from a bit further up our street

Jonathan’s been working for a few weeks now, and Becky’s on the job hunt with a handful of good prospects. We’ve been getting to know our roommates too and have done a little barhopping. Unfortunately for everyone back home, we haven’t been bringing our camera with us much when we’ve been out, so the shots of downtown will have to wait, but we don’t have to go far from home to get a great view.

Wellington from our front porch

Downtown Wellington from our front porch

Becky poses on the front porch. Our bedroom window is left of where she stands. (Check out the stairs we have to climb just to get to our front door!)

Becky poses on the front porch. Our bedroom window is left of where she stands. (Check out the stairs we have to climb just to get to our front door!)

September 10th-14th: Wellington and Paekakariki

September 16, 2008

After a lot of house-hunting upon our arrival in Wellington, we found a great room in a big old house in Mt. Victoria, a neighborhood on the southeastern edge of the main commercial district. It is, as its name implies, on a bit of a incline, so we’re guaranteed good exercise every time we leave the house.

Since the room wasn’t going to be vacated until the following weekend, we went back into the country for the three days’ wait. We stayed in Paekakariki, less than an hour’s drive north of Wellington on the Kapiti Coast. It was an adorable little town, with a grand total of maybe seven shops and restaurants, and our hostel had an amazing view of the beach.

The sun setting over the South Island

The sun setting over the South Island

Then we moved into our home for the next couple months! Our room itself is stunning – high ceilings with gorgeously patterned crown molding and two stained glass windows, one of them the size of a door. The house is pretty big, with a half-dozen housemates, most of whom we’ve met by now. It’s a pretty transient group, with a lot of international travelers.

Move-in day!

Move-in day!

So this means a permanent address now, too! If anyone wants to send us presents, or even plain old letters, you can reach us here:

64 Hawker St.
Mt. Victoria, Wellington 6011
NEW ZEALAND

September 7th and 8th: More roadside attractions

September 9, 2008

Our tour of the Northland completed (at least for now), we were ready for more permanent surroundings, so we set out down State Highway 1 bound for Wellington. On the way, we came to the conclusion that New Zealand has way more awesome roadside kitsch than the US. Also, pigs.

Becky fell a little in love with this charming gentleman.

A lonely pig grazing amongst cows. Becky fell a little in love with this charming gentleman.

Inside this structure is a shop that sells - you guessed it - woolen goods from New Zealand's finest.

Inside this structure is a shop that sells - you guessed it - woolen goods from New Zealand's finest.

This WWII-era plane was converted into a (cookie-themed) cafe.

This WWII-era plane was converted into a (cookie-themed) cafe.

On any long drive you’ll have to stop for a bathroom break, but how often are the comfort facilities actually a tourist draw in their own right? In Kawakawa, the public toilets were desgned by the renowned Austrian artist and architect Frederick Hundertwasser, who had retired there. It was his last major work before his death.

The windows are made of wine and liquor bottles in cement.

The windows are made of wine and liquor bottles in cement.

We stopped at Whangarei (FANG-er-ay) Falls in Northland to stretch our legs and see a beautiful waterfall. It was a short, easy hike down to the foot of the falls, and we were even able to walk over the river right at the top of the waterfall (on a footbridge — don’t freak out, Mom).

hanging out at Whangarei Falls

hanging out at Whangarei Falls

We hit Wellington just before dusk on Monday and were able to see a little of the city before checking into our hostel and starting our housing hunt.

Home at last, once we find one!

Home at last, once we find one!