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Thread: Two and a half days to get a feel for Wellington

  1. #31
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    Manks is offline Serial procrastinator and general busybody
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauralocks View Post
    When we were trying to get feel for whether we wanted to live in Wellington we explored a couple of the suburbs too - to see where/how people live. If you fancied this but with limited time I would suggest a trip on the bus to Island Bay. There's a nice beach there and good fish and chips - although this may not be the weather for fish and chips on the beach!
    We live in Island Bay and I would argue the best fish and chip shop is Seaview Takeaway at Lyall Bay. Bigger beach there and also THE best cafe in Wellington - Maranui. Tuesday is a good day to visit as they do a full breakfast and coffee for $16

    I would definitely explore some suburbs though to "see" Wellington as a place to live.

    Walk along the waterfront too. Great on a sunny day. A trip up Mount Vic is also worth it for the view of the city.

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    Glad you liked the restaurant and hope the interview went well for you.
    If you get offered the job, negotiate hard on the expenses.

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    Thumbs up My Wellington Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by JennyG View Post
    I'd be interested to hear how you get on. I'd being doing all my planning based on moving to Auckland but hubby keeps seeing jobs based in Wellington ( hes an IT network enginer/team lead).
    I promised to share my experience of Wellington, so here it is. (The heavily edited but still rather long and rambly version! There are a whole bunch of photos here if anyone is interested.)

    If I had to sum Wellington up in one word, it would probably be "Wow"! I think I was smitten before my plane had even landed - and that was just getting glimpses from my aisle seat. Its setting in the bay and the surrounding scenery is spectacular.

    I was picked up at the airport by someone from Victoria University and we took the scenic route to my hotel on The Terrace via Island Bay. The roads and cars seem quite similar to the UK/Ireland but the houses and scenery are very different! A lot of wooden bungalows and impressive multi-level houses built into the hillside. I was also excited by the way that the wild is right on the doorstep.

    Arriving at 9.30am, Monday was about staying up to resist jet-lag and have a bit of an explore. (I actually did not suffer from jet-lag much, in either direction.) Ana&Steve kindly met me and Ana gave me a tour of the Waterfront and Cuba Street - incorporating coffee in Fidel's, which was very nice. (I like the way that water is always available in cafes.) We found a nice yarn shop too, which made my wife happy. I also had my first taste of Te Papa, which was very cool - definitely a museum to visit multiple times (as indeed I did)! Once Steve was off work we visited a couple of bars for some microbrewery beers (Hashigo Zak and Mac's). The beer seemed quite expensive but was very nice and quality is more important than quantity!

    Tuesday was a gorgeous day. Not much wind and sunny. (The weather for the whole week seemed pretty good to me and the rain always blew over quite quickly.) I got the cable car up to the Botanic Gardens and had a quick recce of VUW. The view of the city and bay from up on the hill is lovely! I then took the downhill walk through the Botanic Gardens back into the city, taking in the Beehive and a few other sights on the way. I had a quick wander around the Wellington City and Sea Museum, which looks worthy of closer look on my next visit, before getting some lunch at Encore cafe next to Te Papa. (Very good.)

    With my wife at home, a fair amount of my time was spent hunting out good WiFi. (My hotel was rubbish in this respect.) There is free WiFi in the centre, which is good but I did not always find it that reliable. Te Papa had good free WiFi and a nice cafe, so I found myself gravitating to there a lot during my stay. (As well as the VUW campuses, which had good WiFi I could use with my Uni account.) Its location was another reason for frequent visits and, of course, its exhibits.

    After lunch (and Te Papa), I got the ferry over to Eastbourne via Seatoun. It was a lovely day for it and Wellington Bay is beautiful. It was good to see some of the neighbourhoods of Wellington too, although I found it very hard to judge how rich one had to be to live in a particular area or house. Many of the Eastbourne houses seemed rather fancy. Sadly, the ice cream shop by the ferry pier had sold out of Hokey Pokey so I had to make do with a more widely available flavour for my wander along to Eastbourne. At Eastbourne, I paid a visit to the library (free WiFi!), which looked pretty good and was obviously well used by the community before catching a bus round the bay to Petone.

    By this time, the sun was setting, so I had a little nose around Petone and visited the local PAKnSAVE supermarket (for some Pineapple Lumps, Hokey Pokey chocolate and local Dairy Milk to take home). I think food is a bit more pricey in NZ (but then I also think that UK supermarkets are particularly good). Then, to get the full public transport experience, I got the train back to Wellington. I was pretty impressed with all three public transport options. Compared to the UK, they seemed reasonably priced, efficient and uncrowded. It's nice to see that people hear thank the bus driver like at home, too.

    In the evening, I went to the Japanese restaurant recommended by girlwithanewf, Kazu on Tory Street. Really good food. Thoroughly recommended! Indeed, most of the food I had in Wellington was very tasty - definitely a city where the food lover can be happy! The wine is also (obviously) very good and I finished a very pleasant day with a great glass of Pinot Noir (and free WiFi!) at The Tasting Room on Courtenay Place.

    Wednesday was more of the same, although the weather was not as nice. For lunch, I had a nice burger (with a fried egg on it!) from the Parade Cafe, which is a converted boat, before taking a wander along Oriental Parade - I love the fact that you can take such a long uninterrupted stroll all along the waterfront and then on round the bay. I love just going for walks and Wellington seems to be the ideal city for this. Again, part of the charm was the fact that it never felt too busy or over-crowded; it was really easy to find a quiet, reflective spot and, with the impressive backdrop, really easy to find a good spot for reflection. I also had a bit of a wander around the hilly neighbourhood (Mount Victoria?), which reminded me a bit of San Francisco. In the evening there was a short fireworks display for Valerie Adams, which was cool. I managed to get a good spot next to Te Papa from which to watch it. The city made an impressive backdrop.

    Thursday and Friday were the interview itself. I'll save the details of that unless anyone is interested. (I think it went very well.) Things finished quite early on Friday, though, and the weather was nice so I wandered up to the Mount Victoria lookout to watch the sunset and see some planes come in to land at the airport. You get a really view from up there and again I was struck by how impressive the scenery around Wellington is. Do you ever get bored of it? I was also struck by how easy it would be to get stranded in Wellington if there was a tsunami - the airport would be gone! (I'm still a little worried by the earthquake/tsunami thing but I think the city is worth the risk!) Still, of all the places on Earth to get stuck, Wellington must surely be one of the best!

    Saturday was another lovely day and I had most of the day before my flight so I took the bus out to Island Bay for some fish 'n' chips! I was not so impressed with the chips (fries rather than proper chip shop chips) but the fish was really, really good and the price seemed very reasonable. I was also impressed with the playground down near the beach at Island Bay - really well equipped and clean and being well used too. After lunch, I had another pleasant stroll around the bays to the Te Kopahou Reserve. Again, I was impressed by how many lovely walks and great nature is right on your doorstep. After returning to town, I also managed to get my hokey pokey ice cream, which was really good too!

    Parting impressions were provided by Wellington airport and Air New Zealand - both high quality, I must say. (Nice to have free WiFi at the airport. Auckland airport, not so good.) Leaving, I carried with me much the same thought as when I arrived: wow! I can definitely see why so many people are in love with Wellington and will definitely be back, whether it be to move or on holiday.

    General overall impressions... a clean, friendly, laid back, safe and interesting city nestled in some spectacular scenery. I know there are some downsides in terms of distance and cost etc. but without those I don't think the city (or country) would have the same charms - if Wellington was in Europe, it would be over-crowded and have all the problems that would come with that. (Getting back to Southampton and seeing people chucking litter out of their car window just made me want to get back on a plane!)

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    Thanks - that's very interesting.

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    Thanks for the update! You really did a lot in just a few days Hope you get the job!

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    What a fantastic update! Soooo pleased you met Ana & Steve, they're some of our best friends. As they say (whoever "they" are), you can't beat Wellington on a good day. Fingers crossed you get the job! My hubby is a Masters student at Vic, and is really enjoying it.

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    Great update. Glad you enjoyed your time in Wellington. I used to work at Vic - it's a great place to work with very friendly staff. Good luck, I'm sure you will get the job.

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    really good update and fantastic photo's

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    You lot are all so nice!

    I was actually quite surprised by how much I managed to cram in to a few days but I suspect that there are not too many cities where that would be possible. Wellington is so compact and easy to get around, with everything on your doorstep, it makes it easy!

  10. #40
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    You have probably captured exactly why we love living here. Glad you had a good time. You should PM themilkybarkid - he's a lecturer at Victoria too and just bought his first house

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