new zealand

Wellington Cable Car, NZ

The Wellington Cable Car is such fun. It’s only a short ride to the top of the hill, but the view is well worth it. The tunnels on the way up has rainbow lights and all the kids go wild. I Loved seeing the houses on the hill, the whole neighbourhood seems so relaxed and calm. 
The view from  the top is sublime. Clear blue harbour, majestic mountain range, perfect little houses in the distance. 

We Took the train up and walked through the botanic gardens back down to the city  which was a really pleasant stroll. A must do in Wellington.

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Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

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Cardboard Cathedral, Christchurch NZ

This Cathedral is a must see in Christchurch. Regardless of your faith, this cathedral is an important symbol of Christchurch’s resilience and ingenuity after the earthquakes. Just a short walk from the CBD, the cathedral is open for tourists to visit and the parishioners are proud to talk about their church. 

It was designed by a Japanese architect and is actually made from cardboard to be earthquake resistant.  It has character,  it shows strength,  it is a testament to a community’s faith and it seems to be only held up by the people who congregate there.  Although a major tourist attraction, it also hosts religious ceremonies and activities, so be mindful of this place as an active place of worship. 

Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Ibis Wellington, NZ

The Ibis in Wellington is right in the heart of the city. It’s in a great location, it’s close to everything, and it’s reasonably priced. 

There was a hiccup when we arrived late- the hotel didn’t have the beds split like we had asked. However, they were very accommodating, handled the situation with ease and offered us drink vouchers and free wifi. They were also very helpful when we asked about the city, the concierge seemed to have good local knowledge. 
The hotel is what you’ve expect from a standard Ibis, however we were quite happy with the location and customer service. 

Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

ReSTART, Christchurch NZ

I loved the ReSTART  mall in Christchurch. A collection of local designers, neat homewares,  cafes and clothing shops- all housed in shipping containers. In an effort to rebuild after the Christchurch earthquakes, it seems this temporary solution has been a massive success in revitalizing the local community and boosting morale. It’s a physical testament to Christchurch’s resilience and ingenuity. 

It was a shame to learn that the mall may be pulled down soon to make way for a “trendy shopping center”. 
Bah, humbug. This mall has character and quirk and you should go see it while it still stands. 

Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Fisherman’s Plate, Wellington NZ

Fisherman’s Plate looks like your regular run-of-the-mill takeaway. They have a long standing tradition of serving fish and chips, and they have an extensive Vietnamese menu. I was going to just go with my usual pho,  but decided to take the path less trodden.
We had salt and pepper squid with green tea soba noodles and Vietnamese salad. It was to die for, absolutely stunning. The soba salad was warm, plum sauce sweet, tender, lightly seasoned squid, fish sauce salty, had a peanut nuttiness, had some red cabbage colour, and fresh herbs for punch. This dish is a true revelation. We ordered two and I would be happy to eat it all day. This restaurant is a hidden gem. It may seem tame from the outside, but do yourself a favour and jump right in. It will be the best Vietnamese you’ll have in Wellington.

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Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Ibis Christchurch, NZ

The Ibis is a hotel chain where you can pretty much expect what the facilities are like as well as the standard of accommodation.
 What makes Ibis Christchurch really special is the warmth of service from the staff. Their attentive hospitality was very much appreciated when we had a late night check-in, and we had various transfers and activities to confirm. They chose to go above the call of duty to help us. 
The hotel is right at the heart of Christchurch CBD which makes is a central location to anything you’d need- it’s all within walking distance.

 The buffet breakfast at this hotel is great value (considering the lack of reasonably priced brunch spots in the immediate area).
On a side note, The local community has shown such great resilience and strength of spirit to continue on after tragic natural disasters. It was humbling to see the rebuild effort. I recommend going to Christchurch to see and support the city, even though a lot of it is still under construction. 
We had a relaxing time and we were satisfied with the facilities.

Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Hanmer Springs Bakery Cafe, NZ

Hanmer Springs is a quaint little boutique town. This bakery fits right in to the image; snow capped mountain, family fun activities and hot chocolate with tendrils of steam curling skyward. Honestly, this café  isn’t the most esthetic on the block but food really is to die for.

Their croissants are just right, and their pre-made sandwiches are delish (just the way my grandma made them!). We tried a few desserts too, they were perfect and hit the spot after a day of exploring.

 

It’s underrated and overlooked, but I guarantee you’ll find something you like, and it’s a local hotspot  too!

Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.