Wellington Walks: City to Sea Walkway

With a week off work, I decided to do a few walks by myself. So on a hot, calm day I headed out to walk Wellington’s City to Sea Walkway.

The walk is appropriately named starting off near Wellington’s downtown area and twisting through various city parks, then over hills for 12km to the sea.

Despite traveling through plenty of them, this trail was no walk in the park. Constantly climbing up and down Wellington’s many hills for its duration – leaving me sweaty and dehydrated.

The first climb went through the Botanical Gardens ending at this typical view from Wellington’s cable car.

The Wellington, New Zealand cable car.
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Wellington Walks: Kapiti Island

Kapiti Island seen from the mainland of New Zealand.

Since it was Jamie’s birthday and the weather was starting to get a little nicer, we got up early one Sunday for a trip to Kapiti Island.

The island is around an hour north of Wellington by car and only accessible by boat.  Thankfully it’s only about 5km from the shore, so the boat crossing takes just 10 minutes. Consequently it’s so close that it’s hard to take a good photo of. I imagine the island is most well known in New Zealand for the ice cream bearing its name and its very distinctive outline!

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Wellington Walks: Red Rocks Walkway

“There will be seals,” Daniel said.

If he can’t bribe me with food to come along on the walks, animals in the wild are the next best thing. (Except if it’s a gang of cows, of course.) The Red Rocks Reserve is a walk that goes along the rugged Wellington coast from Owhiro Bay, which is located in the southern part of Wellington.
Rugged coastline at the Red Rocks Reserve walkway.

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An American Trying to Blend in (in New Zealand)

Walking the Makara Walkway track outside Wellington, New Zealand.

Though I am back in a country where I speak the same language as everyone else, there are still some things that just aren’t quite the same as back home. There are the obvious, such as the plastic and colorful currency, the use of Celsius over Fahrenheit, and the whole driving on the opposite side of the road thing.

Since New Zealand is a commonwealth country, I think for Daniel, transitioning back to an English-speaking country hasn’t been such a difficult adjustment. It’s probably part of the reason why he loves New Zealand so much: it reminds him of England. For me, however, I’ve needed to adjust a bit more than him.

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Wellington Walks: Skyline Track to Mount Kaukau

I’m not going to lie: I’m out of shape. The twenty-six set of stairs it takes to get from the car parked onto the street to our flat, and I’m out of breath. Needless to say, this walk didn’t start out too well for me. The first 15 minutes of it, and I was instantly reminded to how I felt climbing : I was ready to quit. Though it wasn’t as grueling as that hike in British Columbia, the initial climb started out with stairs.

And plenty of them.

Hiking to the radio tower on Mount Kaukau.

I’m bringing back the tie-your-sweatshirt-around-your-waist-look.

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Wellington Walks: Makara Walkway

Something we really love about Wellington is that within a 10 minute drive of the city, you can be in the countryside. This was a walk we did at Makara Beach. Around a 25 minute drive from the city hidden over the hills.

The coast along the Makara Walkway.

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Wellington Walks: Queen Elizabeth Park

When Jamie and I started this blog, one of our goals was to create a document of our travels, so we have a reminder of the best and worst moments.

Recently I feel like we’ve been failing at this goal. We’re guilty of writing lots of serious, long posts about travel and anxiety and we’ve kind of forgotten to document the fun we’ve been having. To try and counteract that we’ve decided to start a series of posts called Wellington Walks.

When it’s a nice weekend here in Wellington, we find the best thing to do is to go for a walk! One of the things I love about the city is that it’s so close to the country. Within 10 minutes you can feel like you’re really out there in nature. Jamie – admittedly – isn’t the biggest fan of walking, but I manage to drag her along and force her to enjoy it, usually by packing a picnic.

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Driving an Old Car in New Zealand=Anxiety

Mazda Familia at a campsite in New Zealand.

I’ve been fortunate enough to live in a wonderful country. At the same time, however, I’ve been cursed with an old car to tour the said wonderful country. Okay, I shouldn’t say cursed. I chose this car (as did Daniel). But when you’re on a bit of a budget while traveling, you try and choose the cheapest options. Whether it’s accommodation, food, or attractions, you obviously want to keep the price as low as possible.

Although it’s not always the case, sometimes you really get what you pay for.

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Watching a Newcastle Football Match in Wellington, New Zealand

Newcastle fans at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand.

Life is full of coincidences. Just a few days after we arrived in New Zealand, my hometown football (soccer, blah!) team revealed that they would be visiting for a short summer (albeit winter here) tour. Almost exactly a month after we moved to Wellington, Newcastle United arrived to play a game against Wellington’s own team, the Phoenix.

Jamie and I were both excited, for different reasons. Me because it was the first opportunity I’d had in years to see Newcastle play a game of football. Jamie because she’d never been to a football game before.

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What it’s Like for an American to Drive in New Zealand

American driving in New Zealand graphic.Imagine that you have flown over 13 hours to the other side of the world and are in this new, foreign land. You’re ready to explore and see everything New Zealand has to offer. You want to discover the geysers in the north and the fiords in the south.

But however will you get around?

On a tight schedule with an unlimited budget? Plane. Want to see the country in a unique setting? Train. Can sit for hours upon hours without needing a toilet nearby? Bus. Found yourself on a one-year visa with the freedom to go wherever and whenever you please? Car.

But there is one problem–they drive on the left in New Zealand.

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