Places to avoid in Wellington.
Exercise extreme caution when travelling to Porirua. It is a very dangerous place, don't be fooled by the pictures, it is where all the criminal gangs are located. You must never travel to Cannon's Creek though, it is filled with unsavory people that would be willing to injure you for your money.
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Be generous with public Toilet Paper
I do not know if you know that I am a big fan of New Zealand’s public toilet system, providing toilets even in the middle of nowhere, and in most cases stocking them with enough toilet paper, so you do not have to desperately search your handbag and/or pockets for tissues. You surely know what I mean.
However… I must really warn you about the public toilets in Wellington. I tested the paper at many places, from the top of the Cable Car to the town centre of Karori. With some very few exceptions, they provided paper so thin, you could read the newspaper through it and needed at least fifteen sheets to… spare me the details… Just take care and be aware of the dangers of using a public toilet in Wellington LOL
Another good tip:
Pile paper before you start your business, or you could end up standing several minutes with your pants down LOL
Liquor Ban in the City Centre
Thanks to misbehaved, fighting and worse individuals, hanging around in the city centre, the City Council has just (March 2008) passed a bylaw that prohibits drinking alcohol in public places.
Police reports clearly show – not only in Wellington – that aggression and violence rise with the consumption of alcohol, and the more restricted the drinking becomes the better the atmosphere, as bar patrons are not allowed to sell alcohol to intoxicated people.
So those who want to get drunken as cheaply as possible can still buy their alcohol in the supermarket, but have to go home to drink it – or leave the city centre if they want to consume it in public places.
- Beer Tasting
Noise Nuisance by AV8 Helicopters
What a nuisance! They are located off Queen’s Wharf and spread their noise along the whole waterfront, absolutely annoying. Of course, they write in their ads that they are “brilliantly close to some of the very best of New Zealand”. I would alter this into “impertinently close”. Boycott them for the sake of a cup of coffee in peace!
If you want to join the noisy adventures search the website yourself LOL
- Adventure Travel
Earthquakes - the daily Shake
When in Wellington take it as Wellingtonians would do ;-) In the case an earthquake occurs only talk about it when the magnitude is higher than 4.8 on the Richter scale LOL
Wellingtonians are really so used to light earthquakes that they only start to worry when glasses fall from the shelves.
When writing a story about the fear factor in New Zealand last year, I did some research on how people react when an earthquake shakes their region, by the number of calls and online contact with the national centre GNS (Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences) that does research on such phenonemons.
So… in February 2007 there was a 4.4 magnitude earthquake in Wellington in the morning. Nearly nobody could be bothered to inform GNS about the tremor. When some hours later Auckland experienced three quakes – the strongest one was 4.5 - within three hours 1500 people notified GNS online. Not to mention the phone calls to GNS, emergency services, and police. They thought the end of the world had come, or a terror attack, an airplane crash, or a volcanic eruption, although only lamps started swinging, and cutlery rattled.
It all is a matter of perception, if you are used to a natural phenonemon or not, and Aucklanders definitely are not. Wellingtonians definitely are. Here in Christchurch we have to be prepared for a big bang – but we talk about light earthquakes. I have encountered several light ones. The thing that gives me the most uncomfortable feeling is when you are sitting on the couch and you think you are on an ocean liner…
If a light earthquake occurs be happy that it is only a light one ;-) In case of a strong earthquake the most important thing is to protect yourself from falling items and, probably, debris. The silliest thing you could do is searching shelter under things like a table – because, if a ceiling or wall collapses it will crush the table or you will get squashed under it. Best is to sit or kneel close against sturdy vertical items like the backrest of a sofa. If a ceiling or wall falls against it the sofa will break it into pieces. A member of the American Rescue Team International (ARTI) calls such things the Triangle of Life. Read more about it on my NZ Warning and Danger page.
The Wellington Wind
Wellington has a very nasty wind that can get up to gale force very quickly. That the city is known in NZ as windy Wellington is no coincedence as the city can get blown around from its main Southerly and Northerly areas. This can make getting around the city very difficult and, if it's raining at the same time, your umbrella can get destroyed rather quickly.
Housing in Wellington has the unique addition of wind rating so when you are buying a house here one of the key items to keep an eye on is how strong the wind is in your part of town.
Flying into and out of Wellington can be a bit tricky when it gets windy with the routes served by smaller planes the first to get cancelled. It's not often the the airport gets closed due to high winds but it does happen more frequently than you'd think. Flights on 767's and 737's are normally okay.
- Road Trip
New Zealand is a generally a very safe place but... dont make the mistake assuming that is always the case. There have been enough cases of tourist being befriended and then mugged, beating and left in the gutter to their fate. One should always use comon sense, even in " clean green New Zeaalnd"
Did you know there are NO poisenous animals in New zealand, they tell you!!! Well, geuss again, just two though and they're both spiders. related to the black widow (so spindly legs and fat abdomen). they're called katipos, and one has a white chevron marking, and the other a red stripe. pretty obvious! Often the massive hairy ones aren't that dangerous, jus give you a nasty bight!
One Way Streets
One of the things I found most difficult when I was in Wellington was trying to figure out how to get across the city with all the one way streets! Make sure you get a good map of the city if you are planning to drive through it. If you are heading straight to the ferry in your car you shouldn't have too much trouble as everything is signposted.
- Road Trip
Though travel is something all Kiwi's adore (well most) the art of travel on all facets hasn't been mastered. To drive from any of the major cities to the next requires a bit of a hike, and though the country isn't all the large, the distance between bathroom breaks is.
Fair warning, whether traveling by car or bus, be sure to visit the WC, the restroom, the bathroom, the toilet, or whatever you may call it, in advance of departure. On our drive from Taupo to Wellington we searched for a while for one of the above, but no avail. Instead we stopped at a pull-off lookout and relieved all of the "pressures" of driving.
As I am sure you can get away with this with no problem, it still would be a lot more comfortable, not to mention sanitary, if you let it out before you got in the auto.
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
Lousy tap water
Compared to my home in Norway, where tap water very seldom is chlorinated, and if, than so slightly that you don't notice it...Wellington's water sucks. Well, I've experienced worse in the US, and there, they usually put some lemon slices in your glass in the restaurants, to hide the chlorine taste: not here, so you better stick with bottled water here.
I was told that Wellington can be rather windy and so when I arrived, it sure was windy. So, you decide to wear a hat, make sure you hold on to it !
Why is this city so windy ? It's actually because of the location of the city...if you see the map of NZ, you can probably guess why.
The saying that circulates about this city is 'Wellington gives you Wind'. Wellington's famous southerly wind comes directly from Antarctica. Certain streets in the central business district are notorious as man-made wind tunnels. Umbrella manufacturers are in heaven and are grateful to the city planners.
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