These are my first impressions on Wellington.

I took the 9:30 Qantas flight QF47 to Wellington on 24 November.  It was lucky to me to be allocated an aisle seat 14D near the emergency exit.

This was a Qantas flight, not Jetstar.  I have had an impression that Qantas is an overrated airline.  But this flight gave me a new experience totally. There was a 7 inch screen at the rear of the seat providing entertainments such as movies, news, games, flight information etc.  The two movies I watched displayed English subtitles. Leg room was also spacious.

It took 3 hours flying from Sydney to Wellington.

I took a taxi from airport to Travelodge, the fare is $35.  Not cheap for a 15 minute ride. You can check the food price from McDonald’s here: a bit higher than Sydney. The exchange rate is that for AU$100 you can get NZ$124.

Travelodge is located in the city centre.  When I settled down and walked to the main streets, I was surprised to see nearly all shops were closed.  This is bad news to the tourists, but to some extent, you should appreciate a city which takes a break at the weekends.

I bought a cable car return ticket (NZ$6, single trip $3.5) to go up to Mt. Victoria.  It was a hill to be precise.  The Botanical Garden is located at the peak next to the cable car terminal.  But I did not intend to walk down through it to the city because I wished to walk to the seaside earlier. There are also some platforms on which you can get a good view of the entire city.

The city was not crowded, if you compared it with Sydney. I walked on the seaside path to the Te Papa. Te Papa was the location for the conference starting on Monday and the workshop on Sunday.  It was just fine for me to know where it is but I have not entered.  Instead I toured the Hobbit artesian market and the New World supermarket next to it.

The Hobbit world premiere is coming to Wellington on 29 November.  On Sky NEWS, I saw a Air NewZealand plane was decorated with the characters of the movie and called The airline of Middle Earth. Wellington is now called herself Middle of the Middle Earth.

In fact there is another NW supermarket nearby to my hotel.  Later in the evening I went there to buy some daily necessities.

I took some photos around the city.  I felt safe working around in the late evening.

Wi-Fi is probably very costly, even the hotel receptionist told me not to get Internet connection in the room.  I was later able to check my email from McDonald’s.  From the city map, I know I can get free Wi-Fi in the CBD, along the waterfront, on Lambton Quay, bottom of Willis Street, Manners Street, Cuba Street and Courtenay Place.

I wrote this post on 25 November sitting outside a bookstore called Unity Books using the public cbd WiFi which allows 30 minutes each access.

Featured image: On the waterfront. Summicron-M 50 mm, ISO160, f4.8, 1/2000 sec

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