Yet another country whose biggest city is NOT the capital! Wellington is New Zealand’s seat of government, not Auckland. The city is very walkable, very compact and accessible. We stayed here for seven days since we had to reroute around Cyclone Gabrielle, which was two days more than we had planned. And five days would have been about right. But we were more than glad to be out of direct contact with the rains, wind, and flooding. We feel for people who lost everything and are now displaced. Having visited Wellington four other times, we didn’t necessarily have to go out every day, so we took time to do some planning AND work on our taxes, which we filed yesterday. So – time well spent!
The most dramatic feature here is the waterfront. Wellington sits on a bay just 14 miles from the South Island, separated by the Cook Strait. The city feels very youthful, as the university is here, as well as many bars and restaurants. We have visited its two biggest attractions, the Te Papa Museum and the Cable Car to the Botanic Gardens, several times, and wrote about them previously, so didn’t want to repeat those experiences. There were some churches we had not seen on previous trips, and we included a few photos below. We caught some whimsical signs around town, as well. There is a very delightful pedestrian mall called Cuba Street that has many restaurants and retail shops – it was jammed with people every time we were there. Tomorrow, we return to Sydney for a few days before catching a cruise to Tahiti.
We are happy to be on our way again (as we always are), but we do have to say that it is always a pleasure being in New Zealand. The folks are polite, friendly, and very civilized. They don’t cut in line and rarely even jaywalk. We have only driven, walked, and taken Ubers here, but we would be surprised if we we ever had to argue with a cabbie over a fare.
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