March 6, 2015 | talktraveltome | Leave a comment To finish up our last leg on the North Island we spent 48 hours in the windy city of Wellington. Originally, we thought two days was plenty of time to explore the capital of New Zealand, however in hindsight we could have used a little extra time. Luckily for us, we were staying with a friend of Nick’s Mom who was able to help us make the most of our short time in Wellington. Thank you Vida, Graham, Zoe and Phoebe! They have a guest room available if anyone’s looking for a great place to stay ;-)! Before we got to Wellington we did a little research (with the limited wifi we have) and came across two things you must do while in Wellington… drink a ton of coffee and craft beer. Okay internet… challenge accepted! While jumping from coffee shop to pub we also sprinkled in a few other well-known Wellington attractions. Craft Beer Tour As we mentioned, sampling the local craft beers was an absolute must for us. Most of the pubs in Wellington have a large section of locally brewed beers on tap, some of which are even brewed in the garages of local Wellington residents. Over the 48-hours, we took full advantage and hit-up 5 pubs creating our own Beer Tour. 1. Rogue and Vagabond — A great spot for a sunny day. We grabbed a couple of bean-bag chairs and knocked back a few brews on the designated drinking lawn. 2. The Hop Garden — A little outside the CBD, we enjoyed some local ginger beers underneath the skylit ceilings with ivy growing all around us, hence The Hop Garden. By the way, if you haven’t tasted a ginger beer order it the next time you see it on a menu or tap… It’s delicious! 3. LBQ — This place was packed for a post work drink but well worth rubbing elbows with some local Kiwis. Also, finding the place is a little adventure on it’s own as it’s located down a small side street. 4. Goldings Free Dive Bar — For those of you that like pizza and beer (who doesn’t?!) this place has both. Although they don’t make the pizza on site, they partner with a local pizzeria right around the corner that will deliver right to your table. Also, when you’re ordering a drink make sure to look up. The ceiling is decorated with old ski’s and bucket lamps. 5. Hashigo Zake — It might be a little hard to pronounce but it’s easy to find a beer you’ll love. They have a TV screen showing all of the current beers on tap and what’s going to be coming up next. Gotta love technology combined with drinking! Price: About $10 per beer at every bar Coffee Break To sober up from all the beer we drank we definitely needed a little bit of a pick-me-up. From just walking through Wellington you’ll notice there is an endless selection of coffee shops. Our personal favorite was Havana Coffee. It has a unique vintage feel to it and they hot-air roast their coffee right next door. The only bummer is they don’t have WiFi so you’ll just have to remember the coffee instead of Insta-jamming it. Price: Depends on what you order, but about $5 for a cappuccino. Weta Workshop While in Wellington we felt like we had to checkout the Weta Workshop to see how the Lord of the Rings magic happened. However, to be honest the experience wasn’t all that magical. It was interesting to see how some of the props were made, but if you’re going to get an in-depth look at how the LOtRs movies were created you will probably be disappointed. The tour itself takes place in an oversized garage filled with old movie and TV show props, some were pretty cool and others not so much. One of the things that shocked us most was how little it actually pertained to the LOtR movies. Most of the props were from other Weta movies like District 9 and Narnia. Also, you can’t take photos and it’s a little costly for a 45 minute walkthrough. The good news, if you’re getting a little sleepy from the tour there’s another great coffee shop around the corner (surprise, surprise!). The best thing about our visit to Weta was the cappuccino we drank at The Larder right up the street. Price: $24 per adult Belmont Regional Park You probably won’t hear about this on most Wellington blogs or websites, but we go above and beyond for our readers! … or we just so happened to be staying with a family that lives a stones throw away from the Belmont Regional Park. Typically most people go to Victoria’s Lookout to get a great view of Wellington but in our opinion the best views are from the top of Belmont. The park is located in the Lower Hutt region about a twenty minute drive outside of Wellington, so a car is definitely needed. It’s also a 90 minute return walk up a fairly steep hill, but if you’re lucky you’ll get to meet some of the friendliest sheep in all of New Zealand! Price: Free! Price: Free! Drive around the bay While we’re talking about things you need a car to do, driving around the bay is a great way to get a unique look at the city and surrounding areas. It’s only a twenty to thirty minute drive around the bay and there’s tons of great places to stop for a dip or drink. We didn’t have time, but we’ve heard that the Chocolate Fish Cafe is a great and historic cafe to stop on your drive. Leed’s Street Bakery This one’s quick, go to Leeds Street Bakery on Leeds St. (makes sense) and order the salted caramel cookie. You won’t regret it! Cuba Street One of the more well known tourist attractions, Cuba Street is filled with tons of shops and cafes. If you’re walking through Wellington it’s worth a stop but not necessarily a must do. Te Papa Museum One thing we were really surprised about was how great the Te Papa Museum was. They have the only Colossal Squid on display in the entire world! Do we need to go on? Probably not, but we will anyway. It’s a 6 floor museum with enough history to keep you there for days but a few hours would be enough. Also, free WiFi! Price: Free! Getting a feel for any city in 48 hours is a tough task, but as you can see we crammed a lot into our short time in Wellington. We think we got a good look (and taste!) at what the capital of New Zealand has to offer, but would have loved to have spent a couple extra days enjoying the city… we will be back!