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How to fall in love with Wellington (even if you're a serious Aucklander.)

currently: listening to 'Lay It All On Me' by Rudimental feat Ed Sheeran.

I think I could totally be a Wellingtonian.

I mean my hair would be a constant mess, my skin would always be too dry, and I'll never be able to wear a lot of hats - but I reckon I could happily live there.

I travelled to the Windy City with my best friend for an amazing four-day weekend away. We arrived 7am Friday, left 8pm Monday, and did everything we could in between. But it only took less than half a day to realise how much there is to love about Wellington, and how many parts of Wellington were just better than Auckland. And as someone who's a dead-set Aucklander at heart - those are big words to admit.

The constant smell of coffee.
Auckland's CBD has a certain smell. And it's not a good smell. Call it a combination of car exhaust , stale milk and unfinished overnight McDonald's - it's not pleasant on the senses. But Wellington CBD has a real buzz - thanks to the numerous coffee stalls on basically every corner. Coffee stops could be the size of a bus stop, or have enough for one seat inside a makeshift shipping container, but at 8am there will still be queues of people waiting for their coffee fix, and constant caffeinated aromas to wake Wellington up.

The food.
On par with the many coffee stops are the many cafes and eateries covering the Wellington CBD. And they're not just your Hollywood Bakeries either. I'll have to have another post specially dedicated to all that I ate in Wellington.

A photo posted by Melissa Low (@mellownz) on

The ability to walk the entire city in half a day.
Wellington CBD isn't that big. And, to be fair, neither is Auckland compared to the bigger cities. But my friend and I basically managed to walk the CBD of Wellington (from Thorndon down to the bottom of Te Aro) twice that day in the space of a few hours. And this is because the CBD of Wellington is relatively flat - something Auckland's isn't.

The art.
I've never been to Melbourne but I feel Wellington is almost the little Melbourne of NZ. Unlike the graffiti I pass by on Auckland that say "John is a pig", Wellington has creative and artful graffiti canvassing the city's biggest and tallest walls. And no one is all rude to paint over it again. Plus every sculpture you see isn't wearing a road cone like Auckland's.

The city markets.
Night markets, craft markets, markets inside of markets... Wellington is both the capital of New Zealand and the capital of markets. The markets may not be big in size, but they're intense with activity and packed with people. Forget the typical Wiener food truck - Wellington has all sorts of fun and different fusion foods and strange ethnic crafts. If you're looking for dinner and a show, Wellington's Night Markets for example are the place to go.

The view.
Wellington doesn't really have beaches but when you venture out of the city, whether it's by cable car or a car from a friend, its coastal views are breathtaking. My friend and local Wellingtonian Ashleigh took us on a special tour around Wellington's coastline - and as we travelled this windy winding road, the completely hustle and bustle of city life was completely replaced by a carefree beach town vibe that you don't often feel in such suburban areas. Also, it's not often you can get the chance to see the South Island, while standing on the North Island. Mind you, I didn't get to see it either - but it doesn't change the wonder and beauty of it all.

Oh Wellington, you quickly swept my heart away in your blustry southernly winds, and took it on a happy, spring seasoned journey through a capital that has more edge, more charm, and hipster coolness (without the try-hard hipsters like Auckland has.)

Check out Part Two: Wellington Food Tour Party Awards

A video posted by Melissa Low (@mellownz) on

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