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We’ve had a slow start to the day due to the fact it’s been raining in Wellington this morning, so we’ve used it as an excuse to catch up on some chores and take advantage of access to a washing machine, enabling us to get all our dirty washing done before hitting the South Island. A leisurely morning’s also allowed me to get some more New Zealand pictures onto my Zenfolio website. You can find them here.

Chores done, we’re about to walk into town and explore. I’ve not been here for 20 years, so I’m looking forward to rediscovering the place…


Well, we’ve kept up the slow theme to today! We’re staying in the Aro valley, a lovely little area that nestles in the hills to the South-East of the city. It’s one of the oldest settlements and possesses a quirky mix of wooden homes spread out across the narrow valley sides. There’s a small centre which has a mix of bohemian cafe’s and eccentric shops. The only downside is the cost of property here (a problem across much of New Zealand apparently). Here’s the view from our friend’s house, looking down the valley.

Here’s some typical properties from the area. Although, admittedly, not all are this well kept!


It took us the best part of half an hour to walk down to the harbour and CBD (Central Business District). We were full of good intentions for all the things we were going to do, but most of our time was spent watching the world go by. The weather remained overcast so we flagged getting the cable car up to the Botanic Gardens and relaxed instead. It was very much a ‘sitting on the dock of the bay’ afternoon.


Meanwhile, seen from the dock of the bay, an Interisland ferry pulls out of Wellington harbour…

Not that it’s all ships nowadays, the world’s moved on. Once upon a time this area would have been teeming with steamships, now part of it is a base for helicopter tours at $120 pp per pop.


Helen managed to get out of work early to meet us and acted as our guide through parts of the city we’d have otherwise missed, such as Cuba St, another laid-back area full of cafe’s and restaurants that we’ll be visiting again tomorrow. On our way back we called at this little gem in the Aro valley. It’s a former garage which is now a brewery (link).


Once upon a time this would have been full of cars up on jacks


Try before you buy – then purchase a takeaway or pop over to their bar across the road.