As we had such an awesome time in New Zealand, I decided to compile a little travelogue of our trip and recommend some great spots to visit.
We spent a little over a week in Wellington, which is on the south coast of the North Island. We stayed in Brooklyn, which is a 15 minute drive from the city centre and to give us more flexibility we hired a car for the time we were there.
The Dowse is only a small museum but the focus on creativity for kids was really great. They have a dedicated zone where kids can create their own masterpiece which they can pin to a wall, which notes the Picasso quote ‘Every child is an artist’ (love this!). There is a small puppet show booth with lots of fun animal hand puppets. Ava’s favourite part was the imagination playground, which they set up in the outdoor courtyard. Alongside the giant chess set, you can build a cityscape with big blue blocks in various shapes and sizes – the only limit being your imagination. Ava loved this and we spent quite some time building a crazy city of our own with shapes that looked like pool noodles!
We took the Cable Car up to the Botanic Gardens and found a very cool playground in the middle of the gardens. With two giant slides, Ava was in heaven. The Carter Observatory is also located at the top of the Cable Car station so we decided to take in a show at the Planetarium. Their space exhibition, with a dedicated kids zone was really fun.
We did a lot of eating out which is not always that easy with a 4-year-old but it just worked in Wellington. We loved Plum Café on Cuba Street with good coffee and really nice share plates. Café L’Affare had the best coffee and smoothies in town. Maranui Café in Lyall Bay was brilliant! Something of an institution, this place did not disappoint. The food, drinks and service were all great and the view was spectacular. Ask for a table at the front window and you can just sit and stare at the view all day.
The Crab Shack on Queens Wharf was probably our favourite. Everything about it was brilliant. The setting (right on the wharf) was lovely, the décor was fun, the service was very good and the food – well it was REALLY good. Soft shell crab, mixed clams and seafood paella for us, and ‘fush n chups’ for Ava and it was seriously good stuff. It was our last night in Wellington and we chose well.
Out of town in Maupuia we went to Chocolate Fish, which was fun and we spent a day touring around Martinborough, one of NZ’s famous wine regions. We ate at The Gladstone Inn, which is nestled in the heart of the Wairarapa wine trail. It was such a beautiful setting overlooking a river and surrounded by mountains. We did quick little stops at Muirlea Rise, Palliser and Schubert wineries and all of the wine folk were really friendly.
We saw most of the southern coastline that surrounds Wellington, driving through Oriental Bay, Miramar, Maupuia, Scorching Bay, Karaka Bay passing through Seatoun to Breaker Bay. We also saw Lyall Bay, Houghton Bay, Island Bay and Owhiro Bay. Wellington seems to have a lot of bays and we must have seen nearly all of them, ha!
That pretty much covers it and I definitely recommend visiting Wellington, it’s a very pretty place with loads of stuff to do and see.
So stay tuned peeps, our recent adventures may lead to a new blog category called me&my.travels xx