Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Kelburn (A Local's Guide to Wellington)

Now that I've finished posting about my trip to Europe, I thought I would post about my home: Wellington. Hopefully next year I'll be travelling again and will be able to have more interesting posts, but for now enjoy some insights into the windy capital. Think of this as a local's favourite places to visit.
Cable car in Kelburn, Wellington, New Zealand

Catching the cable car up to the top of the Botanic Gardens (or as we call them, the Botans) provides one of the best views of Wellington. Throughout 2012 I caught the cable car up to work every morning. This mode of transport is popular among those who work in Kelburn, as well as students based at the main Victoria University campus. Yet because of the view, tourists flock to the iconic red cable car. 



When a cruise ship docks, the line extends well down Cable Car lane and out into Lambton Quay. I have seen an assortment, but my favourite are the fanny-pack-wearing, reading-signs-aloud tourists, who without fail exclaim how windy it is and even though they had heard it was windy, they didn't think it would be this windy. It's a strange feeling when you get accustomed to the stunning view and instead turn to observe those who are observing the view. 

At the top, there's a big round tree that is such fun to climb, because there are so many branches and you can sit at the top. You could even have a little picnic up there, if you could avoid the drug addicts that I've been told frequent its ladderlike limbs. 


Kelburn, Wellington, New Zealand
The walk from the cable car to Kelburn shops is quaint to say the least. There are little paths leading off the street to hidden homes.

Graffiti in Kelburn, Wellington, New Zealand
And dense foliage. An unsightly building has been decoratively graffitied. 

Kelburn, Wellington, New Zealand
Kelburn calls itself a 'village' and has the quaint speed limit of 30 kilometers per hour. 

Caffe Mode in Kelburn, Wellington, New Zealand
Located in the heart of the village is a Mediterranean Food Warehouse and a German Bakery (Brezelmania). These are chains, but they are well tested and proven to be good chains (see the upcoming Newtown and Kilbirnie posts for more detailed reviews). Setting these aside, the Kelburn cafes are nothing to write home about. Caffe Mode, pictured above, provided coffee which didn't have enough actual coffee in it, but the setting was nice and I sat next to a window which luckily had sun streaming through it enough to make my stay a thoroughly pleasant one.

Being atop a decent sized hill, Kelburn can be a nice place to walk if you're feeling energetic and the wind isn't so strong as to blow you right off.