Wellington is a wonderful place to visit again and again. No matter how many times you leave and come back, there is always something new to discover.

TEXT AND PHOTOS LUCY REVILL

Welling­ton is my home town. Like the Bay of Plen­ty, it is full of heart and cre­ativ­i­ty. I’ve spent the last 2 years inter­view­ing over 100 peo­ple for my blog ‘The Res­i­dents’. I realised Welling­ton is REALLY a spe­cial city. Peo­ple in Welly don’t look down on some trades or pro­fes­sions because it is seen as ‘less impor­tant’. We know that whether it is mak­ing ice cream, per­form­ing a facial, craft­ing peanut but­ter or mak­ing a burg­er, every lit­tle bit goes towards mak­ing the world more won­der­ful. Here are my Top 5 Must Do’s for Welling­ton — that per­fect­ly show­case peo­ple who are pas­sion­ate about what they do.

Caffinate At Customs

Cus­toms by Cof­fee Supre­me is many a Welling­to­ni­ans go-to estab­lish­ment. Not only does Cus­toms have a wide range of dif­fer­ent blends of cof­fee (from all over the world no less), but they have won­der­ful light snacks, such as the most lus­cious Avo­cado on Toast in the South­ern Hemi­sphere. This is Welling­tons ulti­mate casu­al cof­fee place to hide­away. Pre­pared with love, Cus­toms is a place to while away the hours, peo­ple watch­ing Ghuznee Street.

Walk around Red Rocks Reserve

One of my ear­li­est child­hood mem­o­ries of Welling­ton is the half day coastal walk around to the fur seal colony at Red Rocks. This amaz­ing rugged walk starts at Owhiro Bay and goes for about 40 min­utes around to ‘Pari-Whero’. Make sure you take a cam­era, prop­er walk­ing shoes (not sneak­ers) and a packed lunch (I rec­om­mend going too Moore Wilsons to buy some arti­san food to make it an extra spe­cial pic­nic). On a clear day you might even see snow across on the Tararu­as in the South Island.

Pay A Trip To Garage Project Brewery and Bar on Aro Street

Craft beer explod­ed in the Cap­i­tal at the turn of this decade — and Garage Project is both the Crown Prince, and Court Jester of all craft brew­eries in Welling­ton. Locat­ed in the for­mer­ly delict petrol sta­tion on Aro Street, Garage Project has the tasti­est beers in New Zealand , flavoured from mild (IPA’s) to wild (Hazel­nut Bru­in). Per­son­al­ly I am also a fan of the beau­ti­ful art work on their cans and bot­tles. Each one is unique and tells a sto­ry (except for the delight­ful­ly plain pack­aged ‘Beer’ beer). Pay a vis­it to their bar across the road and hear the whole sto­ry (and why not stop into World Famous Aro Street Video next door after­wards?). Make sure you don’t plan any­thing major the next day — some of those hops will hit you hard!

Catch the Royal New Zealand Ballet (Romeo & Juliet is on in Wellington until 24 September)

The Roy­al New Zealand Bal­let is housed in the St James The­atre, Welling­ton — and you’re just in time to catch the new sea­son being pre­sent­ed to the com­pa­ny. Filled with lav­ish cos­tumes, mind bog­gling sets and rav­ish­ing rapiers (that’s swords for us com­mon­ers), Romeo and Juli­et proves that some­times Shake­speare can be out done! This per­for­mance is worth every pen­ny, as you float away on a trag­ic sto­ry of love and two hous­es. Part­ing is such sweet sor­row!

Watch The Sunset From Mount Victoria

As the Beat­les say “The best things in life are free!” — and noth­ing quite beats Wellington’s nat­u­ral land­scape (on a good day, of course). Make sure that your vis­it to Welling­ton is filled with a lit­tle exer­tion by ascend­ing Mount Vic­to­ria at sun­set or sun­rise (or, if you are a bit on the lazy side like me, you can always dri­ve). Noth­ing quite rivals watch­ing the lit­tle hous­es dot­ted along the hills of Welling­ton fade into dark­ness under a pur­ple sky, or be lit up by a ris­ing sun. Across one way, you’ll see planes tak­ing off at the air­port, and to the oth­er, the Brook­lyn Wind Tur­bine, pro­pelling our city. Welling­to­ni­ans and tourists alike gath­er at this point reg­u­lar­ly, just to mar­vel in how lucky we are to live here. In fact, why not take that saved up Garage Project beer up for a qui­et one, while you reflect on your per­fect time in Welling­ton. See you soon!

Lucy Revill

As a quote-unquote “grown up” Lucy redis­cov­ered her home town by start­ing a blog about the urban secrets of Poneke. ‘The Res­i­dents’ makes it eas­ier to find out about, and con­nect with the peo­ple and places that make up Welling­ton.

THERESIDENTS.CO.NZ

@THERESIDENTS.NZ