It’s been nine months since we arrived in Wellington. My favourite Wellington fact? It is the first capital city in the world to see the sunrise each day. Pretty cool.
We have been doing our very best to be resourceful, having sat for two more cats. One of these in a different city in the Wellington region. The Wellington region made up of Wellington city, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Porirua, 496,000 people live across these cities. Very similar to the population of Edinburgh which is 495,360. Four separate city councils and a regional council governing their operations, it surprised me to learn there were four separate cities over an area that is only 30km squared bigger than the size of Edinburgh. It seems much quicker to drive across than Edinburgh though.
Enjoying Porirua’s bounds for the last three months, we have been living in one of its suburbs called Paremata. Many of these suburbs surround Porirua Harbour, the main feature of the city. Pauatahanui Inlet extending east towards Paremata and further, I have been enjoying many lovely walks to and from the train station in the sunshine around it. Jumping on the bus when the weather has been awful, or if I am just not quite ready to leave in enough time to walk to the station! I think it has been good for my soul to be beside water and I’ve enjoyed when the tide has been out and I have been able to walk round the edge of the shore to reach the house.
Enjoying some lovely walks nearby we walked the Onepoto loop, Whitireia Park, Pauatahanui Wildlife Reserve and four hours of pebble scrabbling along the coast from Pukerua Bay to Plimmerton. We’re saving a walk to Paekakariki for a slightly less windy day! Paremata a lovely spot, I have also managed to get a monthly pass on the train, which generally saves you a week’s fares, though it is the most expensive pass so far at $180 a month. The familiarity of the same faces on my morning commute has also helped to feel more settled here. I’m going to miss not seeing these people in the morning and doing my usual people watching :-).
Trying a cherimoya, a new fruit we hadn’t seen before, we’re finding that Supermarket prices don’t shock us so much anymore. To the extent that we left one day thinking $60 for what we bought wasn’t bad. We do, however, very much miss Lidl and filling an entire trolley for £40. There really isn’t a budget option here. And it is definitely more expensive to eat healthily. I’ve now also got used to the salmon being a different colour :-). (They add colouring to it in Scotland to make it look more appealing) and the mussels in the supermarket are truly huge in comparison to what you would get in Scotland or Belgium.
Some useful things we would recommend from our endeavours over the last few months:
- Download the Entertainment Book for Wellington – lots of good offers and discounts for loads of things and some of the money goes towards a charity in New Zealand
- First Table has some quite good discounts for a few places around Wellington
- Checking the Daily dining and drinks deals options on Wellington.nz.com
- Monthly travel passes run by calendar months not monthly from any date during the month. You can also get 10 journey passes.
- If you’re looking for stuff that is happening check out Eventfinda
- Looking to save money and wanting to look after animals? Try kiwihousesitters.co.nz, TrustedHousesitters.com or Housesitters. co.nz
- Wellington Newcomers Network and Forum for info and meeting up opportunities
As we move to a new suburb, I think my post script just wants to remind of the unwritten things that people don’t share when they have moved to a new country. The pictures of places we have explored and the fun things we do is a perk for sure of being in a new country with a whole country to explore. But the tourist bubble of Facebook doesn’t share the stresses or the strains, and it is not my style to blog or share on Facebook any of the more challenging days in New Zealand. But it is the little things like this that make you smile, and connect with those left back home 🙂