Capital City – Wellington

Welly is New Zealand’s current capital. I say current because NZ apparently changes up their capitals and there has been discussion to move the capital once again due to Welly’s unpredictable weather and potential for natural disasters, like earthquakes. It is known to be the windiest city in the world. I have no idea how that would be measured, but that was what I was told and it was extremely windy while I was there.  The weather was probably the only negative I saw of the city, everything else was lovely. It was definitely more of a “hip” city reminding me of Melbourne or Williamsburg in New York. I spent 3 nights here, but I definitely could see myself coming back and that’s saying a lot with the less than ideal weather. 

Wellington has a massive museum, Te Papa, which has free admission with the exception of some special exhibits. One of the running exhibits was an Alice in Wonderland interactive hall. They did a really great job with it and I didn’t mind paying the $20 for entry. It’s only running through March 8th so if you are making your way to Welly check it out! Otherwise, you can spend a decent amount of time just walking around the free portions of the museum. 

The food scene was incredible. Similar to Melbourne I didn’t have a bad meal or coffee. There were so many other restaurants/food vendors (small shops without seating where you could order food, like waffles for example, these shops gave off permanent market stall vibes, but a street cart vendor) I would have loved to eaten at. 

Sweet Mother’s Kitchen

This place was recommend to me by the Stray driver and conveniently it was located just around the corner from the hostel I stayed at. It’s a New Orleans’ style restaurant and coffee shop. I made my way here for a breakfast/brunch my last full day in town. Wow it was consistently so busy here and it seemed like a lot of locals/regulars were dining here or grabbing coffee. I sat at the bar and it’s possible I was forgotten about because the service at first wasn’t great. I didn’t have anything else to do so I didn’t mind just people watching/waiting around for a bit. I waited over 20 minutes to order and then it was a total of 45 minutes before I got my coffee. My order was a little off and by the time it reached me it was cold. At that point I wasn’t very happy, but keeping my New Year’s goals in mind I decided how I wanted to react. The main server (possibly manager because she was fantastic) took control and offered me a new meal and for the coffee to be on the house. I really appreciated how she handled the situation and I would say it was an overall positive one. I hate to say it though, but my food wasn’t mouth watering or anything life changing. It was good, but not the best thing I’ve eaten so I wouldn’t come here just for that. It is more so the entire experience – being in a small space, surrounded by people, with funky décor, and nice staff. 

Flamingo Joe’s

This is a totally Instagram decorated spot. Located right on the water the location couldn’t be beat. They also have boozy brunches and craft cocktails. I think this would be a weekend favorite for my friends and me if it were in New York. I highly recommend coming here for a cocktail before a night out or late night bite. 

Aroy Thai

My last night in Welly I was really craving Thai food. When searching on yelp a “quick service” Thai place came up first on the list. I decided to check it out and was greeted with again an almost full restaurant – and I thought it must be good. I was feeling like I wanted to have meat one more time before diving into vegan so I had chicken pad thai and a side of roti. The roti was amazing, but the sauce was super sweet and they definitely did not give enough of it for the amount of roti. For more you had to pay an additional $1. The pad thai was less than amazing I’ve had a lot better, but I guess for the quick service-dining category it wasn’t horrible. Overall, I was satisfied with my meal.

I only went out my first night in Welly with the group we were traveling with. I had to be up at 6am so I didn’t stay out too late. We spent a good amount of time at Danger Danger. The music and drink specials were nice. I’m not sure how it would compare to other bars, but it was fun time!  

I was planning on maybe doing a hotel while here, but decided it against it and ended up staying in two different hostels. I’ve written a review for them, but there were so many accommodation options in Welly given that it is a major city.  

I really loved this city and if/when I come back to New Zealand this will be a sure stop. 

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