From New Plymouth my journey led to the southern point of the North Island: Wellington.
Of course, I didn’t make it straight, had three quick stops on the way. The first one was in WHANGANUI – not because I planned it, but because I run into the Vintage Weekend festival with huge steam traction engines and steampunk costumes on the streets, and this was something strange I had to check. Then I had a short coffee break in BULLS – because people said this is a fun place, everything is about bulls. Well.. no. At least I learned (still) not to have high hopes in New Zealand. The last stop was PALMERSTON NORTH, intentionally, I came here because of this:
Yeah I know, driving a 70 km detour just to check some street art, what can I say: this is me. The town smelled actually amazing from the rose beds and the walls looked good (exactly the Berrymans Ln), so no regret this time.
Before arriving I already knew that this will be my city in New Zealand. The only reason why I didn’t start my travel here was the weather; Windy Wellington would be amazing.. without this kind of wind.
The city is pretty much a hill-town, but still walkable that is a good point, especially as this was the first time I had to experience the struggle to find free parking zones. Welly has plenty of beaches, and despite that some of them look good for the first sight (e.g. Oriental Bay), the wind blows away the excitement. However I accidentally drove through my fav spot – the Greta Point in Evans Bay – that was windless, sunny, perfect.
The CBD with Te Aro and the Cuba Street are definitely the main attractions and actually after the all the countryside lifestyle I enjoyed some real downtown vibe. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to eat at the Capital Market, but it looks interesting, pretty sure some delish food is waiting there to explore.
My personal interest in the capital was definitely the street art. I was already starving for some culture and these open air paintings are for me much better than any museum. During my trip I have seen lots of urban walls and have to say, New Zealand is not bad in this topic. Talented local artists and many international guests make this green land more colorful and impressive.
The visual expression of subjective perspectives is part of the human nature, I also love to admire the small hidden details and techniques that make these street artists remarkable. On the North Island Wellington, Palmerston North, New Plymouth, Tauranga and Whangarei are lit on the street art map. Here are my favorites that gave meaning to my wandering and fed my eyes and filled my heart with the joy of discovery:
Erin Forsyth @ Auckland
Rodrigo Rozas @ Kawakawa
Charles & Janine Williams @ New Plymouth
E Bone & Gwil @ New Plymouth
Aro St, Wellington
Te Aro, Wellington
Yoii @ Wellington
Te Aro, Wellington
Martin Square, Wellington
West Quay, Napier
Ahuriri @ Napier
Askew One @ Tauranga
And if you’re still reading let me share the real essence of my Wellington visit. It’s not the streets and places and attractions: it’s the people. Authentic, pure loving human beings who are deeply connected to Papatūānuku (mother earth) and share their home, values and knowledge with others. Honestly, I was not expecting this warm welcome and environment, and despite we didn’t and still barely know each other, it felt like visiting good old friends, and after the third day saying goodbye was somehow touching too.
I admire the wonder of contrasts in life; society vs. community, ego vs. heart, small talks vs. open and fearless honesty. And the most amazing is to cross paths with deeply familiar individuals who – just like me – try to find their own beauty in this existing. For me this way of living is a vulnerable balance; to match the sometimes direct opposite fractals, to be alone among people, to listen to others when I am a scattered mess inside. Sometimes it’s heavy, sometimes I don’t even understand what’s happening, but it always brings me to the right places.
I had the luck to spend my Wellington days in an amazing house, enjoying the hospitality of a beautiful couple. It’s very rare to meet people who are this generous, open and have that kind of calming positive energy that feels like a warm hug. Their endeavor for self-sustaining life is very inspiring, our few meaningful conversations gave me a confirmation but also some push forward on my own path – exactly what I needed and was searching for in New Zealand.
I’m indescribably grateful for this meeting – also these are the moments when I feel the full support of the Universe -, I loved every minute I could spend in their little green jewelry box, and this cup of coffee.. believe me, this is something!