Before you all spaz out, no- it’s not with a local guy who will keep me here forever.
It’s with WELLINGTON! Obviously.
There are so many outdoor and indoor activities in Wellington, along with about 18 million coffee shops and restaurants so I wanted to share some of those things here to help explain why I am so in love with “The Coolest Little Capital.” This post would start to bore you if I wrote it all in one so I’ll break it up into a few posts. For now I’ll stick to nature related things!
1) Mount Victoria
Sunrise, daytime, sunset…it doesn’t matter, the view never disappoints. I really enjoy spending time here and love the view from the second viewpoint which doesn’t seem to be as popular to tourists. Just walk down the road from the main one and bam! You got a slightly different vantage point and less people! I don’t think there’s a better spot to sit and stare at this amazing little city. I like walking up the trail to the top, then walking down the road which takes longer but offers some more sweet as vantage points.
Makara is about a 25 minute drive from the city center, but only due to winding skinny roads. It feels like your so far out of the city so it’s a great day escape. You can spend the whole day out there hiking or mountain biking.
3) Mount KauKau
KauKau is the highest peak in Wellington and opposite of Mount Victoria. You have to drive the the suburb of Khandallah and it’s less that 40 minutes walk to the top. The Sound of Music 2 was filmed up here!
This is the view from the Brooklyn Wind Turbine. There is a solo turbine just hanging out right here and this is the view from the base of it. This is one of the first places I visited in Wellington when I studied abroad because Liam brought a group of us up there. I have ran up there a few times because Esteban showed me the mountain biking trails that start in Aro Valley and lead up to it. It’s about three miles/5k uphill on the trails, so quite challenging but worth the view every time.
You can walk from Queens Wharf and out past Oriental Bay, or I suppose you could just keep walking around the bays until you’ve walked yourself silly. This is my most frequented running spot because I love the giant trees decorated with lights that line Oriental Bay. They look fake, like those little plastic lego trees but on a giant scale. I still don’t know what they’re called.
Walking through the Botanic Gardens gives you some awesome views of the harbor and city. If you go at night you can even find glow worms! There are many pathways and stunning flowers to check out and it’s also where the iconic cable car finishes its’ journey. Lucky for me the gardens are right next to my office so I snapped this photo on my lunch break!
7) The Bays
There’s Lyall bay and there’s Island Bay, then there’s Evan’s Bay and Owhiro Bay. There’s also Oriental Bay and Shark Bay and Scorching Bay and a zillion other bays I have yet to venture out to. They’re pretty and make you feel like you’re really far out of the city. I’m excited to visit more of them.
8) Red Rocks Reserve
Red Rocks is a marine reserve and coastal walk in Wellington. Many fur seals hang out here and breed in certain times of the year. This is a nice half day walk not far from the inner city. And yes, some of the rocks are a vibrant red color which is neat. I won’t bother with a geology lesson today…
9) Day Walks & Mountain Biking
There are all sorts of day walks in the hills surrounding the city, including the Skyline Track, Southern Walkway, and City to Sea Walkway. You can also go out to Somes Island for a day trip which is beautiful, or go to Zealandia, a nature reserve. There are also heaps of mountain biking trails which would be really cool to try out if I had a a bike. It’s good to know the opportunity is there. Maybe the bikers won’t be mad at me if I run on them?
10) Close to Tararua Forest Park and Rimutuka Forest Park
Did someone say tramping?! Yep, there are some amazing hikes to do in these two forests. I haven’t done any tramping in the Rimutukas but Fran and I drove through them a few weeks ago. I’m stoked to get out there and camp. Just waiting on a nice weekend to pop up!
That’s the nature side of Wellington.