Top 5 Places to Visit in Wellington, NZ with Anne Barwell

Thursday November 09, 2017

With summer having hit last week here in Wellington with what feels like the flick of a switch, I’m sharing with you my Top 5 places I like to visit in the area.  The list isn’t in any particular order. 


1. The beach at the end of the Coast Road in Wainuiomata.  It’s a wild place, more or less untouched by humans, and always very windy and chilly, even in summer. That wildness is what appeals to me.  Occasionally when I’ve been there, I’ve seen seals sunbathing on the rocks. 

2. Enroute to that beach is the Rimataka Forest Park.  It showcases New Zealand’s fauna, and there’s a river running through it which is good for swimming. There are coin driven gas barbeques in large picnic areas which is popular with families. Camping areas are also well used, and at the far end of the road is a parking area and paths off to the many forest walks into the Orongorongo Ranges. 

3. In the other direction in Wellington city is a more touristy type beach on Oriental Parade.  Large pohutukawa trees line the side of the road which are lit up with lights as Christmas approaches.  There are several restaurants in the area, one of which is a floating ship.  And of course there is also Kaffee Eis which has yummy gelatos. 

4. Eastbourne is on the other side of the harbour, and is part of Lower Hutt City.   It’s a lovely drive around there with hills on one side, and the ocean on the other.   A real treat is to have lunch out at one of the restaurants in Days Bay while watching the beach. There are plenty of walks around the area, some along the beach, and others uphill into the bush, as well as one around to Pencarrow lighthouse. 

5. For my fifth choice, I debated over the Rimatakas into the Wairarapa region, up the Kapiti coast, or Kaitoke Regional Park—which doubled as Rivendell for Lord of the Rings—before settling on taking the cable car to the top of Kelburn, and the botanical gardens. The view of Wellington from there is fabulous. 


What spots would you recommend around the region you live?