Wellington, the capital of New Zealand is known for its creativity, culture and its inclement weather. Wind, rain, storms, it can all change within minutes in the capital. Locals have a saying that goes, “you can’t beat a sunny day in Wellington”. On the few days when it’s sunny, the places to be are the adjoining suburbs of Mt Victoria and Oriental Bay. Here is a list of things to do in this beautiful part of Wellington.
Oriental Bay Beach is a small but beautiful sandy spot with safe swimming and spectacular views across the bay. It is Wellington’s most popular beach with locals staying out until after 8pm on sunny days. It’s also a favourite spot to exercise outdoors, learn to sail, practise open-water swimming or just pound the pavement on an ordinary jog along the parade.
After all that exercise, head to Lola Stays, a fashionable brunch spot along Oriental Bay Parade. This is the perfect place for those who want to have cake for breakfast. A slice of lemon Madeira cake is a good choice as it’s not too sweet or heavy. For those who want a traditional breakfast, try the breakfast bruschetta, poached eggs on toasted bread with halloumi cheese, rocket pesto and crispy bacon.
Join the locals looking for more efficient ways to get around and ride along the Oriental Bay parade on an electric scooter. The Wellington City Council is currently testing a new electric scooter scheme that allows people to hire a scooter through an app, ride along the parade and drop them off anywhere. The scooters can be found from Oriental Bay Parade all the way through Te Aro to Lambton Quay. This trial is an effort to give visitors and residents more public transport options. The trial is expected to run until the end of 2020, and then a permanent decision will be made regarding the implementation of electric scooters.
Fish and chips are a New Zealand summer mealtime tradition and in Mount Victoria, the fish and chips establishment is no ordinary corner shop. The Chippery, Mt Vic, describes itself as selling “the best fish and chips there ever was”. Choose from at least four different kinds of fish, with an option of panko crumbed, beer or tempura-battered, or just simply plain grilled or seared. Not to be outdone by the options for fish, visitors can also choose from a variety of chip options including hand-cut, crinkle cut, curly fries, beer-battered chips, or sweet potato (referred to locally as kumara).
If there is only time to do one thing in Wellington on a sunny day with no wind, watching the sunset would be it. Mount Victoria’s lookout point can be reached on foot or by car and offers 360-degree views of New Zealand’s capital. It can be busy with tourists and locals heading up the hill so expect to eavesdrop on a lot of conversations in different languages. Watch the sun go down and look out over the harbour as ships and sailboats come in. Blocks of white buildings pop up in an unorganised manner, dotting the concrete landscape of the city. Flax plants with long green leaves surround the lookout point, a reminder of the country’s rich Māori history, as this plant provided food, medicine and material for woven mats and bags. Stay until the sun goes down when the night-time lights create a neon glow around the city.