During the “Cigna rounds the bay” half marathon, I went to spend a weekend in the capital of this wonderful country, Wellington. I will take you to discover this wonderful city!
Arrival in Wellington
In order to save some time I took an internal flight Auckland-Wellington. First surprise, no boarding pass needed to pass the baggage scanner. And second very big surprise, the identity of the passengers is not verified !! Yes here we trust everyone. I hope they will never have bad surprises but when we are used to strict controls it surprises a lot!
Arrival in Wellington we are welcomed in the middle earth !
A bus line connects the airport directly to the center of Welli (CBD). The trip costs $ 9 and takes around twenty minutes. To find the bus you have to go to the first basement (where you collect your luggage). Once out of the airport, the bus stop is on the right. We pay directly to the driver in cash.
Walks in Wellington
I had booked at the Laneway hostel which I do not recommend in passing (impersonal factory, room without window in oven mode …). Having arrived early in the morning I had a few hours to spare before check-in. Once my semi-t-shirt was collected at the Les Mills store, I walked the nice streets of Wellington.
Although being a recent city I find that it has a soul! It’s clearly much nicer to walk there than in Auckland (even if I prefer the port of the latter). On the main Chinese New Year, food trucks were installed in the main pedestrian street, Cuba street. It’s really a pleasure to sit on a bench and enjoy the sun here. Wellington is known for being a very windy city, I confirm! There are especially big brief but intense gusts of wind! It is the first time that I have to hold my glass on a restaurant terrace so that it does not spill. I’m talking about a full glass and not plastic 😉
On Sunday morning, after a not very restful night, I went to the start of my first official New Zealand race! In the past 4 months I have run very little (and the maximum was 6km, ridiculous haha). So I went quietly at the endurance pace. The course runs along the bay which is a real pleasure for the eyes! Refueling stations are more frequent than in Europe (every 3-4km) but surprise, there is nothing to eat! Only water and isotonic drink, I find it a bit light for such a distance…
I finally finished in 2h40’33” so pretty close to my first half-marathon at Porto-Vecchio. Certainly the terrain was much easier (but still a lot of false flat) but the training was too bad! I still realized it without walking which is rather very positive for me! Ok, I still stopped to take some photos.
And the photo of finisher with the medal 🙂
Buses were chartered to bring the runners back to the CBD which was very welcome!
Te Papa museum
After a few hours of rest (and a big meal) well deserved I went to visit the Te Papa museum. It’s the largest museum in New Zealand (to be linked to the size of the country, it’s still smaller than Parisian museums!). Its entry is free, good surprise! Several different exhibition halls are to be visited. There are some on the war, in fact the New Zealanders and the Australians were sent to the front during the First World War. Soldiers larger than human size are present and it’s really impressive!
Another room presents for example the change of the country over time and the impact of the arrival of humans and Europeans.
Another room presents Maori art but for a question of conviction they are not allowed to take photos.
For my last day in Wellington I went to take the Cable car. It is a small wooden train towed by cables which connects the center of Wellington and the district of Kelburn. Round trip costs $ 7.50 for just a few minutes! Once at the top, the view is magnificent and you can easily take a very nice photo!
Being a lover of nature and animals, going to Zealandia was a must for me! It is a natural park where New Zealand biodiversity is conserved. A free shuttle will take you there from the top of the cable car. Entrance costs $ 19.50 but the ticket is valid for two days in a row.
In Zealandia you can of course see beautiful birds but not only! Geckos are also part of this park! Some beautiful landscapes of nature will also charm you.
At the end of the ride is this magnificent suspension bridge, a boon for me in order to take pretty photos 🙂
I then went back down to the CBD for lunch and enjoy the last moments in Wellington!