Day 1 – I like Wellington, I think it’s the waterfront that grabs me the most. Whenever I’m in there I always make a point of having at least one wander along and around the harbour area. You see, I always find myself feeling a little bit jealous that Dunedin hasn’t made the most of its own harbour area. They say you can’t beat Wellington on a good day, and this certainly is true. When the weather is fine, and the wind is calm it’s one of my favourite places to amble. There’s always a pop-up store or two to enjoy, various markets and a wide variety of funky art installations to capture the imagination. Of all the art installations, my personal favorite is Max Patte’s statute ‘Solace In The Wind’.
Only in Wellington could you get away with a sculpture of a naked man leaning over the water. A statue such as this would never work in Auckland for example because everyone would forget it was there, it wouldn’t get earthquake rebuilding approval in Christchurch, there aren’t enough people in Invercargill to see it and Dunedinites would either complain about it, blame it on Mayor Aaron Hawkins or constantly use it to hang orange road cones on. Yes, if there’s an ideal city in New Zealand to put a statute of a naked man leaning into the wind, it’s Wellington.
This sudden interest in Wellington had come about when I had found myself with a few days to spare and decided to fill the time by visiting my daughter who was now living with her boyfriend in the capital city. At the time of her move, I’d suggested that the Bay of Islands might be a nice location for her to settle down however she quickly pointed out to me that the purpose was to move closer to her boyfriend, and my personal preference for having a nice holiday destination wasn’t a deciding factor in her decision.
Once in Wellington, I was going to have a number of days to fill. Having been to the Capital before I was interested in what attractions and delights could be discovered that I wasn’t aware of. With this in mind, I decided to find out what the internet tells non-Wellingtonians like myself about the city. With a mind for adventure, I opened up Google, typed in the word Wellington and hit search. After several minutes I found my scrolling through endless Cable Car images and a number of lists stating top things to see and do. The first few sites gave me an extensive list of places to eat and drink, one site listed Lord Of The Rings attractions while a third told me to visit Picton.
Unless I’m wrong, it seemed like I was being told to watch Lord Of The Rings, get pissed and leave the city!
My journey to Wellington began in earnest at Dunedin Airport. As far as airports go, Dunedin’s is truly unique in that it must surely be one of the only airports in the world to own its own dairy farm. This means that visitors are greeted with the ever-intoxicating aroma of cow-dung while struggling with their luggage in the car park. It is truly an international airport with a beautiful mix of urban and rural life.
Upon arrival at the airport and after a surprisingly easy check-in, I explored the airport for a bit. I spent some time enjoying an exhibition by Dunedin Artist Sam Foley and a pop up Art Poster shop before wandering around the small book shop. After navigating my way through Airport it wasn’t long before I found myself sitting in seat 15A on Air New Zealand flight NZ682 to Wellington while sending a text that read “Wellington I come!”