Wellington is the political and cultural center of New Zealand. This funky little capital city has the size, quirkiness, and craft beer scene of Portland and the hills, architecture, and bayside location of San Francisco. And also, I firmly believe there are more cafes here per capita than anywhere else in the world. So what is there not to like?
Aside from a below average hostel experience, we really did luck out during our stay in Wellington. Seeing as we arrived in the middle of winter and Wellington is one of the windiest cities in the world, we were surprised to find that our stay was spent in sunshine and with nothing more than a calm breeze. I also happened upon an ad in our hostel for an au pair/dog walker that would fulfill both challenges of finding a job and a place to live. I emailed the family introducing myself and got an immediate response asking for an interview later that week. It really did seem like things were going our way.
We took the rest of the time to stroll the water front, visit the national museum of Te Papa, window shop down Lambton Quay, and get some killer coffee/food and cheap CDs for our road trip on Cuba Street. We rounded out our day in Wellington with walking up the hill to the botanical gardens to watch the sun set and savor the last of our days on the North Island. The following day we were heading to the South Island and, despite our best efforts, expectations were high.