Insider's guide to... Wellington


What's the weather like?

What's the weather like?

At the moment, spring is here so it's breezy but warm ­ until you get the BBQ out. At that point it always turns a lot cooler. We're expecting a repeat of last year's wonderful summer ­ lots of blue sky and sun but with enough of a breeze to keep things from hotting up too much.

What are locals complaining about?

Lack of a good (enough) rugby, cricket, Rugby League, netball or soccer team. The lack of any real vision or new ideas from the politicians, and the fact that there are still three weeks to go in the interminable run-up to the election.

Who's the talk of the town?

The All Blacks team and its failure to capture the Rugby World Cup. And, this being the capital city, the minor matter of an impending election. Will the National (Tory) Government hang in there after nine years in power or will Labour pip them at the post? And which of the many minority parties will they need to work with to form a majority government?

But in the main, rugby is still taking priority over any minor political matters.

What's the cool drink to order?

Wellington is trying to hold on to its reputation as the Latte capital of New Zealand, if not the world, so coffee is still the main one. Juice bars and champagne bars are also springing up.

Otherwise, there are so many great New Zealand wines to choose from and nowhere better to drink them in than a Wellington café or restaurant overlooking the harbour. Boutique organic beer is predicted to be the next Big Thing.

What are people eating?

"Pacific Rim" is still big, particularly any recipe devised by Peter Gordon, the Kiwi owner of the Sugar Club in London. At the moment it is asparagus season, so we are guzzling while it lasts. The lucky few also get to sample whitebait, a minuscule fish, much smaller than its British equivalent, and incredibly expensive.

What's the latest outrageous stuff on TV?

New Zealand was never best known for a dynamic media. Like the UK and Australia, we have tried not to be shocked by Sex in the City. The most outrageous thing is that the few watchable programmes are either all on at the same time or are given an 11pm time-slot.

Where won't the locals dream of going?

At the moment, probably Australia. New Zealanders have difficulty dealing with the fact that Australia is now world champion not only in rugby but also cricket, Rugby League and netball. Not that people here feel that sport has any real importance of course (hah).

Where are locals going that tourists don't know about?

Makara Beach on Wellington's wild west coast, with its great views to the South Island and sheltered, if stony, beach when a southerly wind is blowing. The Chocolate Fish café at Scorching Bay for a coffee after a swim. Tinakori Road, Cuba Street or up-and-coming Newtown for shopping and cafés.

Where are the chic doing their shopping?

Auckland, Sydney or Melbourne would be the usual answer, although Wellington recently hosted a fashion show which focused on some of its excellent (honest!) local designers. Willis Street and Customhouse Quay are the places to look for interesting, wearable and reasonably priced designer clothes. For a more alternative shopping experience, locals head for Cuba Street just round the corner.

What's the trendy place to escape for the weekend?

The Wairarapa, an hour's drive from Wellington, is the place to escape the city grind and sample wine, local crafts, scenery and a sense of being away from it all. Alternatively, a trip on the fast ferry to the Marlborough Sounds for water sports, amazing scenery and more wine.

Emma Doherty lives and works in Wellington.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Life and Style
fashionThe supermodel on her career, motherhood and Cara Delevingne
News
i100
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments