Why Wellington? Wellington, the irritable bowel of New Zealand. Renowned for its windy weather and nicknames that wind up the rest of the country, from "Wellywood" to "The Best Little Capital City in the World", to "Peter Jackson's Film Marāe".
Kiwis from outside the 04 will sometimes talk about Wellington being a "woke" city without factoring in that it's hard not to be woke in a city of storms, quakes, and more cafes per capita than anywhere else - not that we ever go on about it. Wellington is constantly accused of living in its own bubble, which Wellingtonians will tell you is actually just a warped cousin of Auckland's housing bubble.
Being a city that's a heady mix of both film and government, there's plenty of chance for celebrity sightings. That guy in Slow Boat Records who looks like Spotify spokesperson Clarke Gayford is probably the famous spear-fisherman himself. You may find yourself waiting in line at Old George Coffee behind Dancing with the Stars alumni, David Seymour.
Because half of Wellington CBD is dedicated to the public sector, the fun part has had to be condensed into just a couple of main streets and the wind-sheltering alleyways in between. There's also the wharf, which can be either stunning or exhausting depending on how the city blows.
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Sure, The Beehive is an iconic building, Te Papa is an iconic building, and the Michael Fowler Centre is an iconic building; but if giant concrete-based architecture isn't your thing, what other sites are there to see?
How about catching a cable car right to the top, enjoying the amazing view from above Victoria University, then catching a bus through the hills to Zealandia wildlife sanctuary? If you've got kids, it's a great place to have them running around and learning about nature. If you voted a certain way in the referendum, it's a great place to walk slowly around enjoying all the nature. Incidentally they also have a cafe that serves large slices of cake.
What about catching a ferry across the harbour to the village of Eastbourne? Technically you're going to Days Bay first for an ice cream before a 10-min walk round to the village centre. Once you arrive, you can explore the boutique shops, before grabbing some fish 'n' chips to enjoy on the beach, at the local park, or on the walk back to Days Bay. On a clear day the sunsets are spectacular. Pro tip: don't drink a soft drink before you get the ferry.
Finally, try planting yourself at the bottom of Courtney Place, and get the full Wellington experience in just a couple of blocks. Have a pint in the Welsh bar that used to be a public toilet, enjoy some vegetarian pizza at Deluxe Cafe, go see a film at the Embassy cinema because it really is the best large cinema in New Zealand. If you're more of a live action person, try BATS theatre, followed by coffee and cake at Sweet Mama's, another cheeky pint at the Welsh Dragon, and finally some karaoke at the Fringe Bar.
Reigning Fred Award winner James Nokise is performing his solo show the NZ International Comedy Festival in Wellington and Auckland. See comedyfestival.co.nz for more information.