Wellington cityscape, showing towering new blocks
We flew into the picturesque capital of Wellington,New Zealand, to meet up with our nephew, Brian, who had arranged tickets for the cricket test match between Australia and New Zealand. Known as the 'coolest little capital', Wellington is a fascinating mixture of the old and the new. Sparkling high rises soar above the city, towering over the rustic houses of yore.
Older houses in Wellington
Original buildings, like the old Wharf Offices of the Harbour Board,
have been lovingly restored
Although small in size, Wellington is a vibrant city with world class cafés, museums and art galleries, as well as sporting an active outdoor lifestyle. On our first evening, we decided to try a recommended restaurant near to our hotel. We were more than delighted with our choice! Il Piccolo (http://www.ilpiccolo.nz) is directly opposite the Papua New Guinea High Commission on Willis Street. It is a tiny restaurant, with great cuisine, and very affordable.
Il Piccolo from the inside
Our view, the Papua New Guinea High Commission
Our dinner was excellent, and we were able to bag the table in the window. Our enjoyment was enhanced by the music from the 60s and 70s, playing softly in the background. It was a memorable evening.
The next day we wandered around Wellington. This was easy, as it is a small city, geared for pedestrians. We headed for the water front...
...crossed the city square
...and stopped to admire the City to Sea Bridge
…before walking across to the water front
This bridge was designed by Maori artist Paratene Matchitt, and symbolises the origin of Wellington Harbour. The Maori people believe it was created by two taniwha (sea monsters) who lived in a lake near the ocean. When they decided to reach the open sea, they forced their way through the land and made the opening that formed habour as we see it today.
Wellington is famous for its art installations, and many examples can be seen throughout the city. One of the more curious is the award-winning Kumutoto public toilets, in Jervois Quay (below).
I had to walk around to the back before I relalised just what this was!
That evening, we were delighted to catch up with our nephew, Brian
Stone carving overlooking the habour
I leave you with this testament to the city of Wellington