Wellington - the city of Wind.
In my previous post I mentioned how undefined and unclear our plans were after leaving New Plymouth. We were happy to stop by Hastings and Napier, but unsuccessful to find a job there. Our savings came closer to zero, so we had to find something.
Weather really got worse and worse every day. Rain was pouring, everything was grey and gloomy. Our mood was as close to zero as our bank accounts, so we decided to go to Wellington and catch a ferry the next day, to finally go to South Island.
We really felt – Done with this Island! Don’t get me wrong here… we loved North Island, just we felt that we have seen most of the things we wanted, and now after 8 months, it was time to move on.
So we arrived in Wellington- the city of Wind. It is capital of New Zealand since 1865, taking the title from Auckland. Here lives approximately 418,500 residents and it is known for being the world's southernmost capital of a sovereign state.
For us the first impressions wasn’t good. And it wasn’t the city’s fault. The weather was still awful, cold and grey and of course windy as hell. The strongest wind registered here is 247km/h that was measured on Hawkins Hill in 1962. Wellington had the largest average annual highest maximum wind gusts averaging 142 km/hr from 1972 to 2016. So, yes, pretty windy! :D
We couldn’t find a place to stay, because there are only few campground around here and none of them free (at least for us as we don’t have a self contained car).
We decided to stay in Camp Wellington a little out of the city, located in Miramar Peninsula, Shelly Bay. It seemed a little pricey comparing to what we were used to (17 NZD pp), but we didn’t have much choice. And that’s were everything changed…
We arrived there planning to leave next thing tomorrow. The camp manager Si showed us around and we were super happy to be able to have a hot shower, fast wifi (the fastest we ever experienced here in NZ) and a nice kitchen and lounge where we spent our time till bed time (in a rainy day like this - perfection). So definitely worth the price.
We were sitting in the lounge when suddenly I had a thought (turned out Aldis was thinking the same thing) – maybe stay a bit longer instead of leaving the next morning.
We stayed in Auckland at least 2 months in total, it would be just wrong not to give Wellington a chance. The only thing was finances. We couldn’t stay too long if we wouldn’t have a job soon. And by soon I mean – in the next two days or so.
So we talked with Si and decided to try to find a job in the next days. We had enough money for a week’s rent and we moved in a little cozy room with a window that had a view to the city center. I can’t tell you how nice it felt to finally be able to sleep in a bed again. Our car is comfy for sleeping, but after a longer time you just want to be able to sit in your bed or to be able to stand in your room (our car is too small for that).
The only down side for the camp was location. There were no public transportation connected to the place we lived in and we had only one car. So either we had to work in the same place or, one of us had to work close enough, to be able to walk to the work place.
The second option worked out for us. I asked about possibility to work in only café there was. Practically next to our home (2 minute walk away) and the manager said Yes to me. The café is called Chocolate Fish and it is lovely place, with cute interior, delicious sandwiches and cakes. As it was quite busy on the weekends manager promised me part time job. But after my first day, she said she would give me more shifts (I guess they just wanted to see how fast I will pick up the job). Aldis got a job in construction. In the cities there are a lot of jobs like that available, Wellington wasn't exception.
Before we started to work, we had some days off to spend in the city. First thing we did was visiting Weta Cave shop, which is dedicated to Lord of the rings, Avatar, King Kong and other movies that has a lot of work put into the costumes, makeup and accessories. Also you can buy souvenirs and have a picture with life-size Orcs. You also can “meet” my favorite character – Golum/Smeagol.
For the real Lord of the Ring fans I suggest to book a Weta Cave workshop, where they show how the costumes are made and how they manage to get certain type of effects and vibes in the movies. Check out https://www.bookme.co.nz/ for a better deal.
The second thing we did was – visiting The Te Papa Museum. It is free of charge and offers loads of interesting information.
Starting from history of New Zealand, Maori people artifacts, art installations and really cool, ground-breaking exhibition that tells the story of the Gallipoli campaign in World War I through the eyes and words of eight ordinary New Zealanders.
Although I do not like war related things. The dolls made by awesome people from Weta Cave was super cool. They were at 2,4 times bigger than actual human and they looked sooooo real... In the pictures they just looks like regular people sitting and posing. They didn’t even skip a hair on a man’s legs.
After the Museum we got some churros, from the food truck just by the harbor.
After all that sweetness we had to walk it off…. Ha ha! And so Aldis dragged me all the way up to the top of the Mount Victoria. One of the city’s best viewpoints. It really was nice.
It was also interesting to see how people manage to live on steep surfaces. This hill was a good example.