Old St Paul's Church
Designed by Frederick Thatcher, this is one of New Zealand's finest churches. Completed in 1866, it was constructed from the highest quality timber, including kauri, rimu, totara, and matai.
In 1964, the main functions of the old church were transferred to the new St Paul's Cathedral nearby. After a vociferous public protest against its demolition, the government purchased it in 1967. Today, it is still used for special ceremonies--weddings, christenings, funerals, and concerts. It is a beautiful piece of work, well worth a visit.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
This is Wellington's Haight-Ashbury. Named for the Cuba, a passenger ship used to bring immigrants, it was among the first Wellington streets to have a real steam-driven tram in 1878. It's packed full with quaint little shops, cafes, pubs, and assorted restaurants. If you're looking for something different, then this is the place to go.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Food and Dining
Kaitoke Regional Park
Kaitoke is a beautiful Forest park, with a mighty river.
Home to the Lord of Rings site 'Rivendell'.
There is a suspension bridge which gives a magnificent view of the river. There are a range of walks/hikes (30mins - 6 hrs), picnic areas, bbq, camping sites. The river is great for swimming in summer, and also white water rafting (contact ranger for details: Steve.Edwards@wrc.govt.nz). A great place to visit at any time of the year.Related to:
- National/State Park
- Hiking and Walking
La colmena / The Beehive
El edificio que alberga las oficinas ministeriales del parlamento de Nueva Zelanda le llaman la Colmena. La razón del nombre es bastante obvio, aunque muchos de los habitantes de Wellington piensan que el edificio tiene un aspecto lo más parecido a una nave extraterrestre
Hicimos una visita guiada al Parlamento y nos sorprendimos con la Sala de Asuntos Maoris, la biblioteca, el Gran Salón ...
The building housing the ministerial offices of the New Zealand Parliament is called the Beehive. The reason for the name is pretty obvious, although many Wellingtonians think that the building looks as much like an alien spaceship as it does a beehive
We did a guided visit to the parliament and we were surprised with the Maori Affairs Room , the library , the Grand Hall...Add to your Trip Planner
Centro Cívico / Civic square
El Centro Cívico está formado por una serie de edificios con un diseño arquitectónico muy interesante , que rodean un gran espacio abierto y un puente que lo une con la línea de costa
Entre los edificios están Centro Michael Fowler , donde se dan recitales y cociertos , la Biblioteca Central , la Galería de la Ciudad , un museo de tecnología y el ayuntamiento
En la plaza central están las palmeras metálicas y siempre hay animación , teatro , música...
es muy bonito el puente que está tallado con estilo Maori
The Civic Centre is comprised of a series of buildings with interesting architectural design, surrounding a large open space and a bridge linking the waterfront
Among the buildings are Michael Fowler Centre, where there are concerts and exhibits, the Central Library, the City Gallery, a museum of technology and the Council building
In the central square there are metal palm trees and there is always entertainment, street theatre , music ...
The bridge is very nice which is crafted with Maori carving and artworkAdd to your Trip Planner
Steps up to The Terrace
At the first corner of Boulcott St when coming off Manners St there are steps you can take to get up to The Terrace. There are 100 or so steps to get up so it's a nice bit of stress on your thighs at the end of a long day sitting in the office.
I actually use the steps as part of my running circuit around Boulcott St and The Terrace as a short sharp bit of exercise before popping into the GP for a post work drink.Related to:
- Religious Travel
- Adventure Travel
- Business Travel
More than just a movie theatre
I love this place! Not only do they have an interesting line up of new movies but they also host film festivals. The Human Rights Festival is on at the moment but I went to see I'm Not There. (Great performance by Cate Blanchett but frankly I thought the movie was a narrative mess. Or maybe I am too old.)
Anyway - they also have a great licensed cafe - so you can be civilised and your group can have a snifter of something or a coffee, just as they prefer.
The balcony looking out onto the mayhem of the Courteney Place is the place to be in the more salubrious months.
And then once the movies are finished they kick off a dance party with a dj (maybe just on Friday and Saturday.)
The movie house is old and venerable and devil may care. Just a little worn around the edges, reeking with presence and mana.
As I say - I just love it. SUPPORT IT.
Three cinemas. To get to the Bergman and the Brooks you wander a maze - quite fun.
NB They sell Kapiti ice cream! Wonderful stuff. I had a lemongrass and ginger flavour last time I was there that nearly knocked my socks off!Add to your Trip Planner
Railway Station - more than a Place of Transport
This is much more than a place where trains depart and arrive. It is a majestic building in late Classical style, designed by the architectural firm Gray Young, Morton and Young, and opened in 1937. Until then there were two terminals (Lambton and Thorndon) for the different lines. At the time it was the country’s largest building.
The U-shaped building, located beside the Old Government Building, encloses the platforms on three sides. It is 27.5 metres high and 105.5 metres long, and has six storeys. As it sits on reclaimed land, it was constructed on reinforced concrete piles grounded on the original harbour bed.
The front entrance of the Railway Station building is dominated by a colonnade of eight 13 metre high Doric columns. 1.75 million bricks were used for the exterior.
The booking hall is light and bright, decorated with mottled dados that extend to the high vaulted ceiling. A compass design decorates the marble terrazzo floor. The hall opens to the roofed platforms.
You can walk from the platforms straight to the Westpac Stadium further west.
The monumental scale of the building reflects the importance of railways in New Zealand during the first half of the 20th century – unfortunately it has become insignificant in the meantime. The ground floor was redeveloped in 1989, and extensive renovations took place in 1999/2000. So now you see the building in its full beauty, as an architectural masterpiece of national significance.
The station is New Zealand’s busiest station, with lots of commuter trains servicing the Manawatu, the Hutt Valley and the Wairarapa.
The Government acquired the station from Tranz Rail in 2003, and it is currently managed by the New Zealand Railways Corporation ONTRACK on their behalf. The east wing houses the head office of ONTRACK. Train control for the whole country, Toll NZ's Tranz Metro and Tranz Scenic passenger services and Interislander ferry service are managed from there. The Overlander service from Wellington to Auckland was close to be scrapped some years ago, but after public protest it was kept on running.
In the basement you find a New World supermarket, and west of the the station is the bus terminal which services most bus routes, including the Airport Flyer – but NOT Karori.
Update 1 July 2008
In May 2008 the Government bought back Railways NZ from from Toll Holdings. On 1 July 2008 the company got a new name and a new logo. It is now KiwiRail. First main target is to upgrade the rails over the next five years and get freight back from the roads to the rails. The total spending will exceed more than one billion NZ dollar.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Chews Lane is the newest of all streets in Wellington city and runs between Willis and Victoria Streets.
The lane has a coffee shop, food place and bar (3C) if you'd care to stop for a while on your holiday to refresh.
Just around the corner on Willis St are several brand new clothing shops so once you have shopped you can drop for either a coffee or beer.Related to:
- Business Travel
- Food and Dining
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
It is so strange coming back to my home town and finding so many of the buildings have changed their use. Those that are still there of course.
One of my most important sanctuaries was the Wellington Central Library so I really wanted to recapture the magic. The hours I spent in here trying to make sense of really difficult things - like the poems in the New Yorker.
Well, now it is an art gallery (contemporary) but it was free so although I wasn't in the mood for contemporary art I popped in and golly - no memories of library left - (well, just one, going up the stairs) but I was enraptured and refreshed by the Russian film on 3 screens - now what was it called? I'll check the brochure.
Ah yes. Last Riot by a collective called AES & F.
And Reboot - The Jim Barr & Mary Barr Collection.
Both showing temporarily.
Now, this is what a gallery should do. No solemnity or heavy prices. Pop in for ten minutes and get refreshed and inspired.
Had an interesting discussion with a security guard about Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party - and a piece of DVD art that was showing of a young person playing a violent video game. One of the most confronting and intimate pieces I have seen in a long time.
I was sure it was a boy aged between 14 -16 - when they are a little androgynous (but beautiful).
She was adamant it was a girl.
I shall be taking many friends and relations in to view the piece and then pop the question.
Boy or girl?
UPDATE I did the guided tour and it is a 14 year old boy. I thought as much. Though several people on the tour were surprised by that info. They had thought the subject was a girl.Add to your Trip Planner
Museum of Wellington City & Sea
This fabulous small museum is located in an historic building at Queen’s Wharf. It displays Wellington’s social history and maritime past, with videos, holographs, models and relics. It has the best information and displays about the Wahine disaster, New Zealand’s best known maritime tragedy. 53 people lost their lives on 10 April 1968 when the Wahine ferry sank in Wellington Harbour in a horrible storm.
More info about this disaster in my tip about Frank Kitts Park.
Open daily 10am – 5pm
Other interesting museums:
New Zealand Police Museum (Papakowhai Road, Porirua)
Petone Settlers Museum (on the Petone foreshore)
Colonial Cottage Museum (68 Nairn Street), in central Wellington’s oldest remaining buildingRelated to:
- Museum Visits
Oriental Bay: Play in Sand from the South Island
As nice as the white sandy beach is at Oriental Bay – it is a kind of fake beach. All the sand was shifted here from the other side of Cook Strait – from Golden Bay - in 2003, 17,500 cubic metres in total.
A nice feature of the bay is a fountain in the sea, not too far away from the beach. The Carter Fountain was built in the 1970s – and was not on when we walked along the beach during the day but spat water when we were there in the evening. It is close to the Fisherman’s Table restaurant was once was a Band rotunda, and built in 1936 as changing sheds.
The big make-over of Oriental Bay took place in 2003. This included the fountain, the rotunda which was transformed into a restaurant, bringing in the sand from the South Island, and the promenade got a new pavement. Now it really looks brilliant – and as my first real visit was so long ago I do not remember how it looked then LOL So I cannot really compare it. But I think the only thing that matters is that it is a great place now.
Other good beaches are:
Lyall Bay (near the airport), Scorching Bay (well-known for the famous Chocolate Fish Café), Days Bay (in Eastbourne, you reach it by ferry from Queen’s Wharf; kayaks, bikes etc. for hire; cafés and bushwalks)
On photo 2 you see Oriental Bay from further along the road to the east, with St. Gerard's sitting on top of the hill, on Mt. Victoria. At the bottom left you can recognise the round building which once was a band rotunda and now is a restaurant named Fisherman's Table.
On photo 3 the Carter Fountain, next to Fisherman's Table, is spraying water into the evening sky.Related to:
A Surprise in front of the Railway Station
Spacious lawns and paths of brick arranged in a herringbone pattern create a park-like atmosphere in front of the station. But that is not all. First, there is one of those fabulous art signs that are dotted all over the city, of course, depicting the Railway Station. And second, there is a statue of Mahatma Gandhi. I think it is a good place, at a spot where many stressed people pass, and so close to Parliament House, reminding politicians as well that they could treat each other and others in a more respectful way.
The statue was unveiled on 2 October 2007. It was given to Wellington by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, on behalf of the Indian people. And the Railway Station was chosen as the location because Gandhi was a man of the people and loved commuting by train and other public transport.
India’s High Commissioner said it acknowledged "the commitment of the people of New Zealand for setting an example to the world of a tolerant, open and inclusive society".
Some locals did not see any sense of erecting the statue of an Indian in front of an important NZ building, others brandished Gandhi as a horrible family man, and said the statue should be melted down. I cannot judge this. But even if it is true... In this case Gandhi would not have treated his family well – but he has inspired the world.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
Turnbull House - a fine Heritage Building
Although it has a very attractive red brick exterior, this is not a real tourist spot. The Turnbull House has become an establishment for conferences, functions and exhibitions which you can hire. You can also hold your wedding reception there. Five rooms of different sizes are available, as is catering by the in-house caterer Le Monde Catering.
More information about this venue on:
Turnbull House itself is one of Wellington’s finest heritage buildings. It is located on Bowen Street, opposite the Beehive. It was built in 1918 in mixed Scottish baronial style as the private residence of Alexander Turnbull and a place to house his extensive collection of maps, pictures, documents and more than 55,000 books. Sadly Turnbull died in the same year and left the whole collection to the state. The Alexander Turnbull Library was officially opened in 1920 and remained there until 1973 when it was moved to its current location in the National Library of New Zealand building located on Molesworth Street, just around the corner (or two…). This collection is regarded as New Zealand's largest collection of early printed books and fine printing. Information about this on http://www.natlib.govt.nzRelated to:
- Historical Travel
Wellington has several theatres with performances running most of the time. Have a look in the paper or on these websites to see what's on.
http://www.bats.co.nz/Add to your Trip Planner
Novotel is conveniently located downtown with direct lift access to Lambton Quay, a shopping area....more
First Class hotel with great service, good location and very nice rooms. If you are willing to pay a...more
The name in the VT database and therefore in the title is wrong, it is the Grand Chancellor and not...more
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