We set off from Auckland to the airport to catch our flight to the capital city of New Zealand--Wellington. Our friend Penny had told us that we only needed to be at the airport 30 min. prior to our departure. But since we are used to the god-awful lines of security and TSA in America, we decided that an hour would be good. Turns out, she was right and we whisked through the check-in process and short, short, short security lines and spent 45 min. doing crossword in the gate area waiting on our plane.
We arrived in Wellington, the windy city and checked into our Airbnb, got a recommendation for lunch from our host and off we went. We needed to be speedy with lunch in order to catch the Cricket game that was happening! If anyone knows anything about Ara, it's that sports are one of his favorite things, not to mention live sporting events! When he discovered there would be a game of cricket that we could catch, might I add that it was free admission for this test match--he was beyond excited. And if you know anything about me, sports don't interest me in the slightest, but I'm always up for an adventure and checking out the culture. We watched the New Zealand's National team play Bangladesh for a couple hours while Ara tried to figure out the game of cricket, all with a giddy smile on his face!
That evening we walked from our Airbnb to Mount Victoria Lookout, just about a 20 min. walk from where we were staying. We love the chance to get out and take in the best views of a city and this hike did not disappoint. The view at the top was amazing and we happened to catch it just as the sun was hitting the magic hour.
The next day we were ready to set out on a tour of coffee around the city. Wellington is known for being an artsy, coffee town and we were happy to set our sights on some sipping. We had breakfast at Flight Coffee Hangar where we also enjoyed a flight of flat whites. Say that fast five times! We ventured to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and took in some New Zealand history. Our second coffee stop was at Midnight Espresso on Cuba Street. We had heard about the Capitol building, the Beehive and decided that needed to be on our must-see list. It was pretty late in the afternoon but we happened to luck out and snagged the last tour of the day. Our tour was extremely informative and interesting to check out how New Zealand's country is governed.
We ended our day with dinner at Logan Brown. When I was researching things to do in New Zealand I had googled, "Michelin star restaurants in New Zealand" and thought it would be ideal to dine at one while we were traveling. Turns out Michelin stars aren't awarded at New Zealand or Australia restaurants--but an article was written about Logan Brown saying that if stars were given out, they would receive one. This was one of the only reservations that we had made ahead of time and I couldn't wait to check it out. We had the five-course tasting menu that included highlights of paua ravioli and a lamb dish. The meal was finished off with dessert that I still dream about today. I've told Ara it's in my top two desserts ever. I can't recall what all was in the dessert but I do remember the words "fluffy puff" being described from the server.
Before flying out the next day we made our requisite travel stop: the local chocolate factory. We love checking out the craft-chocolate makers wherever we travel and this included Wellington Chocolate Factory.
Wellington - windy, artsy, coffee, culture