Wellington, New Zealand: readers’ tips, recommendations and travel advice

January 6, 2013 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips

More advice from readers

Superb views

Te Papa (tepapa.govt.nz),
on Cable Street, is one of the finest museums in the world. Take the cable
car from Cable Car Lane, off Lambton Quay, to enjoy the most superb views of
the bay and to see the Botanical Gardens. Take the downhill walk back to the
city to view the old wooden houses.

Visit the Parliament Buildings and the famous Beehive. If it is a fine day
take the ferry to Eastbourne from Queens Wharf at Customhouse Quay or take
the train out to Eastbourne and see the beautifully renovated old railway
workers’ cottages, or enjoy the beach and the numerous restaurants.

If you are taking the ferry to the South Island, try to travel in daylight to
appreciate the Queen Charlotte Sound as you come into Picton.
Denise Bennett, East Sussex

An arty stay

Windy Wellington has some lovely surprises. I recommend the Musem Art Museum
Hotel (0064 4 802 8900; museumhotel.co.nz).It’s
filled with original, award-winning art, sculptures, paintings and wearable
art, and the décor is avant garde – visit the loos and have a coffee in the
bar in the French restaurant upstairs, overlooking the harbour.

Accommodation ranges from luxurious rooms to small apartments with kitchen and
washing machine. And there is a well-appointed gym and swimming pool.

You can stretch your legs on a short walk to Oriental Parade along the
waterfront, with a lovely view of some of Wellington’s old houses perched on
the hills.

Even if you don’t stay at the hotel, do visit it.
Ainsley Dermody, East Sussex

Soak up the tranquillity

Take the cable car to the top of the Botanic Gardens, with views down to the
university cricket ground and distant Cook Strait. Stroll back down past a
human-aided sundial and through some wonderful varied gardens, then head
along Tinakori Road, a magnet for antique lovers.

Take in the Parliament Buildings or maybe the Catholic and Anglican
cathedrals. Be sure to soak up the tranquillity of nearby Old St Paul’s
church, after which you’ll be ready for lunch at Mac’s Brewbar Restaurant
(Shed 22, 4 Taranaki Street) on the renovated harbourside.

In the afternoon allow plenty of time to visit the excellent Te Papa museum.
It has fascinating exhibits on the formation of New Zealand, early
settlers/immigrants and of course the Maori. If you can tear yourself away
you might just return to Shed 22 and watch the sun go down while sipping one
of nearby Martinborough’s first-rate pinot noirs.
Mike Cox, Cheshire

Quality and reliability

I would like to recommend ACE Car rentals in Wellington (acerentalcars.co.nz)
which we have used three times now for long trips (more than five weeks each
time).

They do not have new cars, but they provided quality and reliable cars at very
good rates. They also provide a pickup and drop-off service from and to the
airport and you can pop into any ACE rental unit across New Zealand and they
will check the car’s oil, tyres, and so on.
David Parrott, address withheld

City sanctuary

Zealandia (visitzealandia.com)
is a must, less than 10 minutes from the city centre. A former reservoir
valley where all predators have been eliminated and then excluded behind a
high wire fence and native birds reintroduced, it is an imaginative piece of
conservation. The sheer number of predators they had to eliminate to give
the native wildlife a chance is instructional. Volunteer guides let you get
the best out of the park, and there are birds galore. It’s worth being there
at the feeding time when the wild birds are attracted out of the bush. The
whole place has a peaceful and other-worldly atmosphere.
David Bell, Yorkshire

Top three

I have visited Wellington three times, staying with friends in the suburb of
Island Bay, which is an easy bus ride from the city centre. My three “must
sees” would be Te Papa museum, beautifully sited at the harbour’s edge and
worth almost a day on its own; Old St Paul’s cathedral, in Mulgrave Street,
a wonderful wooden building; and the Botanic Gardens, reached by the cable
car from Lambton Quay, one of the main shopping streets.
A Pennell, Dorset

Arrive via sea

For a wonderful first glimpse of Wellington, travel from Christchurch on the
coastal rail line to Picton, then sail through the Marlborough Sounds and
Cook Strait to the city [read Cameron Wilson’s account of this trip on our
website at telegraph.co.uk/railworld]. A two-minute bus ride takes you to
the railway station, with easy access from there to the city’s amenities.

For accommodation try the Travelodge (travelodge.com.au),
tucked away up an alley among the shops and a 15-minute walk from the
station. The quality and service here was excellent.

Sightseeing must include the cable-car ride for a view of the city and then a
walk to the Beehive (parliament) via the Botanical Gardens. Stop en route at
the excellent garden restaurant. A walk along the waterfront to the museum
(Te Papa), with free entry, offers an inexpensive day out. Food can be
expensive but reasonably priced restaurants can be found in this friendly
city.
C M Orrell, Lancashire

Lively street life

I recommend the Wellesley Boutique Hotel (wellesleyboutiquehotel.co.nz)
on the corner of Maginnity Street, once home to the Wellesley Club, in the
middle of Wellington, within easy reach of parliament and the shopping
“golden mile”. The hotel is also a stone’s throw from Lambton Quay, which
has a lively street life and is not to be missed on a Sunday.

At the hotel is the excellent Maginnity’s Restaurant but the whole area along
the harbour has a great selection of different restaurants.

The cable car to the outstanding Botanic Gardens, with a great walk down
through the city, is a two-minute walk away.

Wellingtonnz.com is the most comprehensive website, covering every tour,
activity, sport and event going on in the city, from seals to hobbits.

If all else fails, head for the beach – it’s that close.
Susan Thompson, Suffolk

By the book

The Central Library located on the quayside has a delightful café upstairs. It
looks out over the sea and is a lovely place to meet.
Betty Goble, Hertfordshire

What to avoid

Wind up

The city is known as Windy Wellington for good reason: its position at the tip
of North Island means it is exposed to the winds that come howling through
the Cook Strait.

October is generally the windiest month and, of course, that is when we ended
up being there.However, we soon learned to wrap up and had a great time in
the city, hanging out in the harbourfront area and having a couple of
excellent meals at Logan Brown (192 Cuba Street; loganbrown.co.nz)
and the Ortega Fish Shack Bar (16 Majoribanks Street; ortega.co.nz).
Bill Davidson, Suffolk

Confusing

Self-drive in New Zealand is generally an excellent way of getting around but
if you drive in Wellington, I recommend you keep your wits about you. The
city is easy to negotiate on foot, but in a car one can get muddled up by
its one-way system and I got lost several times before getting my bearings.
Alison Blake, Surrey

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