After we had a rather calm Christmas, we wanted to spend New Years Eve in a more vibrant surrounding. So we decided to go to Wellington–the windy city!
When we arrived it was sunny, warm and without any wind! We didn’t expect that–or anything at all and jumped right into city life.
The waterfront with bars, a food market and parks is the place to be on a sunny day. Relaxed and perfectly dressed people were sitting close to a water basin, drinking local craft beer or NZs famous wines and enjoying the sun. And so did we. Global city life after only a few hours in this city and we were happy and had already forgotten Auckland. Compared to NZs biggest city Wellington is much more of a global city with cultural life and city flair. Breweries, cafés, shops for all kinds of things, lots of students and other young people who seemed to just have started their own business. The whole city was pulsing and full of energy. A feeling we had missed in Auckland.
But compared to Auckland, the weather didn’t do perfect. The first night our van was shaken by the wind so heavy that I woke up several times, thinking we were rolling towards the water (We had found a free campsite at the Wellington Marina). The morning of the 31. was grey and windy. Later the day, the rain started and last until we left. But we didn’t care much and booked a table at Mac’s brewery for the night.
New Years Eve was the most sober one we’ve ever had. Though we had some wine and beer according to our dinner, it wasn’t allowed to drink outside at the waterfront, where a stage and live music were going on until midnight. The basin and waterfront were crowded. Everyone was waiting for the countdown to 2017 and the fireworks. 2016 had been such a strange year with so many turbulences and bad things that we couldn’t await 2017 and wanted to welcome it with a huge celebration. And finally we counted 10, 9, 8,… 0 and the firework started. That moment we didn’t care that we couldn’t toast with champagne on 2017 because of a great location and a … well, short and simple fireworks. After 5 minutes everything was over. The band didn’t play any more songs and the crowd vanished into the night. We couldn’t believe it. So we followed the people into Wellingtons streets just to find them crowded with drunk and partying people. We found ourselves a nice bar with really good drinks and watched the party people on the street as New Years Eve went on.
Things you can do in Wellington are sheer endless. We took a ride with the cable car, walked through the Botanical gardens, visited the „Te Papa“ Museum–which actually is for free, really amazing and teaches you everything about NZ. Unfortunately we couldn’t do a tour around Weta Caves–the famous studios who made the props and special effects for many movies, including The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Avatar, etc.
But despite that we had a great time in Wellington, with also lots of good coffee, craft beers, wines and tasty food.
Leaving Wellington after a few days was strange. We liked this windy city and would have loved to explore more of it. You could actually dive right into a global city life and also have the typical Kiwistyle outdoor living–if only it wasn’t so stormy 😉