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Topic # 189102 17-Dec-2015 00:05
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So we're planning to drive down to Wellington from Auckland around the 24,25,26 day/s of this month, with the Mazda 6 while we have it for the time being. According to Google Maps, it will take us 8 hours and 20 minutes non-stop, with a distance of 662KM. With the Mazda 6, that should be around 1 tank of fuel (62 litres) with some to spare (not including the return trip)!

Where is one of the better, but reasonably priced hotels we could stay at? And since it's 25th of December, I don't think many shops will be open, so Wellington peeps, what are the must-see places for a first time visitor to Wellington?

Thanks in advance!




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  Reply # 1451986 17-Dec-2015 05:46
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Every time I'm in Wellington, I always make sure I have time to dine at -> http://www.marrakechcafe.co.nz (love the foods!).

Te Papa
Mt Victoria

Wind farm (Palmerston North)







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  Reply # 1451988 17-Dec-2015 06:13
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Q: what are the must-see places for a first time visitor, outside of Auckland?

A: New Zealand


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1451990 17-Dec-2015 06:34
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Weta Cave
Zealandia
Cable Car
Day trip to the Wairarapa.




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  Reply # 1451992 17-Dec-2015 06:56
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You can find hotels using trip advisor ratings, check out prices with them, expedia, and direct with the hotel.




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  Reply # 1452011 17-Dec-2015 07:46
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Amora is very good and is central to all the Cafes, etc in the city




Mike
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  Reply # 1452058 17-Dec-2015 08:35
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It's hard to make recommendations without knowing what your interests are. For the last few years we have taken in foreign students who are attending my daughter's high school, and some of the things we do with them are:

 

  • the view from the top of Mount Victoria
  • the Carter Observatory
  • a visit to Te Papa and/or the Wellington Museum
  • a gallery tour (City Gallery, Kura Gallery, Paige Blackie Gallery, New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts)
  • the Weta Cave
  • Zealandia
  • the zoo (but you already have one of those in Auckland)
  • a walk along Oriental Parade or eclectic upper Cuba Street (the Wellington one, not the Petone one)
  • a tour of Parliament (closed on 25 and 26 December though)
  • hire a kayak and paddle around the harbour
  • lunch in Days Bay or Eastbourne (take the ferry from town)
Tourists seem to love the Cable Car - when the cruise ships are in there are huge queues for it - and it is pretty cool, especially with the lights in the tunnels now - but as I use it most days for regular transport it feels like getting on a bus for me.

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  Reply # 1452072 17-Dec-2015 08:52
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Without knowing vhat you're interested in, it's hard to advise.

Google Maps tends to be generous with travel time... 8 hours total is probably about right for Auck-Wgtn.

Aim to get petrol at Tokoroa BP... cheapest on SH1, I believe. 

Butter Factory cafe at Waharoa on SH27 is nice.

Stop at Huka Falls for a short walk to the falls, or a jet boat ride. Picnic lunch at one of the rest areas along Lake Taupo if the weather is sunny. Taihape has a couple of decent cafes.

In Wellington, drive round the coast Island Bay to Evans Bay, stopping at Moa Point for some aircraft to land. Te Papa. Dowse Art Gallery in Lower Hutt. Paekakariki Hill lookout. Eastbourne is a nice outing on the ferry. Paekakariki Hill lookout. Southwards Car Museum at Paraparaumu.  I'm told that the Roxy cinema in Miramar is a must-see. Parliament Buildings. A movie at the Embassy Cinema.


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  Reply # 1452088 17-Dec-2015 09:05
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IF A NICE DAY! ... a walk around the Wellington waterfront is a great way to spend some time. As it's on the waterfront, you can throw in a visit to Te Papa - and the Weta Gallipoli exhibition. Karaka cafe is a good spot for an afternoon drink as gets last of the sun.

And, yes, the obligatory drive to the top of Mount Vic gives a great view over the city. 

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  Reply # 1452101 17-Dec-2015 09:31
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nakedmolerat: Every time I'm in Wellington, I always make sure I have time to dine at -> http://www.marrakechcafe.co.nz (love the foods!).

Te Papa
Mt Victoria

Wind farm (Palmerston North)




If you want to avoid PN (and as a local I would encourage this - in all seriousness, the wind farm is one of the few interesting places in the area!), you can still check one in Wellington - Makara is worth visiting anyway, but now has a significant wind farm there as well - https://www.meridianenergy.co.nz/about-us/our-power-stations/wind/west-wind.



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  Reply # 1452121 17-Dec-2015 09:46
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jonathan18:
nakedmolerat: Every time I'm in Wellington, I always make sure I have time to dine at -> http://www.marrakechcafe.co.nz (love the foods!).

Te Papa
Mt Victoria

Wind farm (Palmerston North)




If you want to avoid PN (and as a local I would encourage this - in all seriousness, the wind farm is one of the few interesting places in the area!), you can still check one in Wellington - Makara is worth visiting anyway, but now has a significant wind farm there as well - https://www.meridianenergy.co.nz/about-us/our-power-stations/wind/west-wind.




+1 for Makara. Going to PN is a bit of a diversion from SH1.

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  Reply # 1452135 17-Dec-2015 10:12
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tchart:
jonathan18:
nakedmolerat: Every time I'm in Wellington, I always make sure I have time to dine at -> http://www.marrakechcafe.co.nz (love the foods!).

Te Papa
Mt Victoria

Wind farm (Palmerston North)




If you want to avoid PN (and as a local I would encourage this - in all seriousness, the wind farm is one of the few interesting places in the area!), you can still check one in Wellington - Makara is worth visiting anyway, but now has a significant wind farm there as well - https://www.meridianenergy.co.nz/about-us/our-power-stations/wind/west-wind.




+1 for Makara. Going to PN is a bit of a diversion from SH1.


And the windfarm - as good as it is - is quite a diversion from Palmerston North too boot as it's at the back of Ashhurst. 



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  Reply # 1452136 17-Dec-2015 10:17
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Thanks guys, will do some extra research on the places you mentioned.

roobarb: Q: what are the must-see places for a first time visitor, outside of Auckland?

A: New Zealand



Sorry, should've rephrased it: What are the must-see places for a first time visitor to Wellington? tongue-out

I've been to places outside of Auckland, just not to Wellington yet. cool






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  Reply # 1452137 17-Dec-2015 10:20
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frankv: Without knowing vhat you're interested in, it's hard to advise.

Google Maps tends to be generous with travel time... 8 hours total is probably about right for Auck-Wgtn.

Aim to get petrol at Tokoroa BP... cheapest on SH1, I believe. 

Butter Factory cafe at Waharoa on SH27 is nice.

Stop at Huka Falls for a short walk to the falls, or a jet boat ride. Picnic lunch at one of the rest areas along Lake Taupo if the weather is sunny. Taihape has a couple of decent cafes.

In Wellington, drive round the coast Island Bay to Evans Bay, stopping at Moa Point for some aircraft to land. Te Papa. Dowse Art Gallery in Lower Hutt. Paekakariki Hill lookout. Eastbourne is a nice outing on the ferry. Paekakariki Hill lookout. Southwards Car Museum at Paraparaumu.  I'm told that the Roxy cinema in Miramar is a must-see. Parliament Buildings. A movie at the Embassy Cinema.



I think that's a bit early in the trip to get petrol. The car should be able to last one way there on a tank of fuel, but will keep your suggestion in mind. smile




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  Reply # 1452139 17-Dec-2015 10:21
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MikeB4: Weta Cave
Zealandia
Cable Car
Day trip to the Wairarapa.


+1 for Weta Cave. Just as a side note, they've just opened the Thunderbirds tour, so potentially could be quite busy.

Also, Te Papa has:
- DreamWorks exhibition
- Gallipoli: Scale of Our War. That has the figures that are 2x human sized, done by Weta workshops

Then the National war museum has a very good Gallipoli exhibition there as well, including a huge Gallipoli diorama done by Peter Jackson.

Also +1 for Mt Victoria lookout. The view from Brooklyn hill is also very good, and higher than Mt Vic. The only thing is I'm not sure if the lookout is open while they take down the old wind turbine from there.

If you have rugrats\kids, If you can get any accommodation at the Novotel on the terrace Kids under 6 (I think) eat and stay free.

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  Reply # 1452141 17-Dec-2015 10:26
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I will be interested to hear how long the drive out of Auckland on the 24th takes. Depending on time of day, expect tailbacks at the Bombays, Ohinewai and Huntly to say the least. I actually think, due to the traffic, the Google estimate may be light. Get away early enough though and you may get ahead of the worst of it.
In Wellington itself, having been in the central city on Christmas Day a couple of times, you may struggle to find somewhere casual to eat, and most things are closed. Personally I would plan to do things that involve seeing public sights that day.
I guess it's also important to enjoy the journey as well since it is so long, at least you have a decent car.




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