Some of you might well have seen the recent Quality of Life survey as published in the Financial Times (the survey was conducted by the Deutsche Bank) that ranked Wellington as the best place to live. Those of us who live here, know that anyway, but it was great to see not only where I live now as number one, but my home town of Edinburgh as number 2. Both cities have hills surrounding them, are beside the water and are green and open – are these factors? Anyway, it’s great to see the coolest little capital up there at the top of the list.
Wellington is not just about the waterfront, Te Papa and the cable car, which is often just what the cruise ship visitors see. It’s also about vegetable markets, artisan food producers, dance, music, street festivals. It’s home to Zealandia wildlife reserve, and why we have kaka, a native parrot, flying over where we live every day. There is Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton’s Bush Reserve, the only public botanic garden in New Zealand dedicated solely to New Zealand native plants. In just over an hour you can be in the wine growing region of Martinborough or be on the beach in Paraparaumu.
It’s full of cafes and restaurants (I think there are more here per head of population than in New York), interesting shops and craft beer. Each winter we have the Wellington on a Plate food festival and Beervana, the beer festival. The World of Wearable Art is here every year too, and The New Zealand Festival every two years.. It is home to Weta Workshop and Weta Digital, The Royal New Zealand Ballet and The New Zealand School of Dance, a zoo and botanic gardens. We do have lovely sunny days, but the city is known for its wind, and certainly one does experience Windy Welly from time to time. Still, nothing beats Wellington on a good day as those of who live here know.
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