The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

What Summer?

by Tom on January 16, 2017 in Visualisation, Weather

You’ve heard the complaints. You may even have uttered them yourself. “What happened to summer?” “Call this a summer!?” “Bloody Wellington summer.” And the half of official summer that Wellington’s had so far is definitely significantly less warm than usual. But is it really that unusual, and are we perhaps expecting too much from a Wellington summer?

I decided to visually compare the temperatures for the 2016/17 summer so far against the previous 5 years of data. The chart below shows the temperature every hour at Wellington airport between August 2011 and the end of November 2016 as grey dots (they’re transparent, so they build up over the years to show the most common temperatures as darker regions). The orange curve shows smoothed average temperatures for 2011-2016, and the red dots show every hour of this summer so far, animated by day [technical notes are at the end of the post]. Click the animation for a larger version.


What does this show? It’s just possible to see that this summer is on average a bit cooler than the last 5 summers, particularly in early January, but the difference isn’t striking. We had a few days when temperatures plunged into single digits, which is uncommon for this time of year, but not unheard of. We’ve only had a couple of days that reached the mid 20s, and we had nothing like that scorching Christmas Day in 2012 when it nearly reached 30°C.

But I think what’s most noticeable is that the weather has been changeable…just as it is every summer, and pretty much all of the time in Wellington. We have a mid-latitude maritime climate, not a subtropical or a continental one, so we don’t get extreme differences between seasons, or long, reliable stretches of hot fine weather. The chart shows that the difference between one day and the next is often more than the difference between seasons. Temperature isn’t the only thing that indicates a fine day, and I’ll get around to looking at other aspects, but for now here are some detailed charts of Wellington climate that show that the seasonal difference in windiness, cloudiness and precipitation aren’t that massive either. Keep reading →

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by Dan on December 30, 2016 in Accomodation, Transport


Evidently, spending fourteen nights on board a luxurious floating hotel can be a little disorientating so every night at midnight a crew member goes around all the elevators on the ship and swaps out a little plaque on the floor with the correct day of the week. This is one of several fairly astounding facts this correspondent learned on a tour aboard the Ovation of the Seas on its first ever port of call in New Zealand, just before Christmas.


Keep reading →



At the Wellingtonista, we mostly like to try the experiences we talk about before we talk about them. However, it’s that time of year when every timeline compresses in on itself, and maybe all you really want to do is curl up in a ball and wait until 2016 ends. So we didn’t quite get around to personally trying one of the activities in Everyone’s Adventure, but we’re gonna talk about it anyway because the concept is pretty cool.

Everyone’s Adventure is a campaign to bring do-able outdoor adventure for free to as many Wellingtonians as possible. To quote them:

The three participating businesses are The Boatshed Days Bay, The Bike Shed Pencarrow, and Cycle Rimutaka. They hire out kayaks, standup paddleboards and bikes, and sell drinks and snacks. 

We’ve calculated how much it’ll cost to operate those businesses safely and pay staff this summer based on last year’s usage: it’s $300k. Every dollar spent on gear hire, or snacks and drinks at the businesses goes towards that $300k total. Vouchers purchased as gifts are included in the tally. 

Once $300k is reached, gear hire at all three businesses is free, for anyone to use, for the rest of summer, until Easter 2017. 

There’s more on their blog about why they’re doing this and how it works.

The payoff here is that free is a lot more affordable for people who might not otherwise get a chance to try these experiences. And having done a few bike trips on the rail trail or out to the lighthouse with my family, I can attest to them being relatively easy and lots of fun.

So maybe you’ve thought about cycling the Rimutaka Rail Trail, riding out to Pencarrow from Eastbourne, or trying a spot of kayaking on the harbour… or maybe you know someone who would like to try it with you. At the Everyone’s Adventure website you can buy vouchers for these businesses which will go towards the $300k target:

Buying a voucher entitles you to make a booking for that particular product. If we’ve hit our goals and that product becomes free, you can still book and reserve your spot (everyone else will be on a first come first served basis).

Once you’ve bought your voucher, and booked, all you have to do it get there. If you wanted to just try some kayaking then the East By West ferry is your best bet, dropping you right at Day’s Bay by The Boatshed; while The Bike Shed is on the south side of Eastbourne, so not quite walkable unless you’re keen (4.3km from the ferry). They’ve got all the gear, including helmets (for the bikes) and lifejackets (for the kayaks).

So, there you go: some vouchers from Everyone’s Adventure might just save you one or two agonising Christmas present difficulties while at the same time helping others experience something new. Get to it!



It’s all singing and dancing this week at Circa and BATS. (Just what I need to get me through my second to last week at work before the holidays tbh.) Scarlet and Gold continues at Circa Theatre as does Roger Hall’s “Jack and The Beanstalk”. (My review of Scarlet and Gold here. I haven’t seen the panto but my friend gave it an informal two thumbs up.)

At BATS Theatre tonight Binge Culture presents Smells like Xmas and Alacrity Productions opens The Better Best Possible Album Party That Anybody Has Ever Been Two. Smells like Xmas promises todiscover the true meaning of what the bloody hell Christmas bloody well even means anyway’. I’ve previewed Album Party and it looks like lots of fun. Tomorrow night Wanderlust Productions’ “unashamedly populist, uplifting and joyous celebration of song” These are a few of my favourite sings opens. A production that’s part biography, part self-help seminar but mostly Julie Andrews’s greatest hits, written by Francesca Emms and performed by her sister Georgia Jamieson Emms, the show draws on the sisters’ childhood experiences growing up in a musical family and their deep love for Julie Andrews and the characters she portrayed.


So if the office party is not as fun as it could be you know where to go. Enjoy!


More posts…

Wellington Theatre Awards 2016

by librarykris December 12, 2016

The Wellington Theatre Awards were held at Te Whaea on Sunday night. Hosted by James Nokise with support from Allan Henry and music provided by Hayley Sproull it was an evening celebrating the last year of professional theatre in Wellington. Linda Wilson from Circa Theatre was recognised for her contribution to Wellington theatre with the […]

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Preview: The Better Best Possible Album Party That Anybody Has Ever Been Two

by librarykris December 8, 2016

I’m pretty excited that Album Party is the first show to benefit from BATS Theatre and The Basement Theatre (Auckland) working together to support the best new emerging shows to tour to both cities. A concert, a comedy gig and a play all rolled into one, The Better Best Possible Album Party That Anybody Has […]

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Review: Scarlet and gold

by librarykris December 7, 2016

This play dramatises the real events of the 1912 Waihi goldminers’ strike which started in March and went through to November.  It follows the fortunes of the strikers’ families and parallels the struggle with the Suffragette movement in England. Playwright Lorae Parry focuses much of the script on the women in the strikers’ families. (There […]

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Review: Making Friends Collective double bill

by librarykris December 2, 2016

Stand up love  Freddy is a comedian and has a drinking problem. Ana wants him to stop. Their relationship has problems but they love each other. Isn’t that enough? I find the messy set – a bed with a couch backed on to the bedhead plus living items strewn around – appealing, reflecting as it does the […]

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Parking ourselves at the Park Hotel (and a giveaway)

by Joanna November 30, 2016

About a month ago, we attended the opening of the Park Hotel where we ate amazing canapes from Sterling (which we have raved about before), and heard newly crowned mayor Justin Lester say that Wellington needs 1000 new hotel rooms to sustain growth (the Park Hotel has 137, fyi). We had a thoroughly excellent time, […]

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Preview: Some shows and a party

by librarykris November 29, 2016

Wow this week is FULL of shows and there’s a party at the end of it. Let’s go! Hudson & Halls is still going strong at the Hannah Playhouse. I loved it, Mr Goulter loved it, the Wellington Theatre Awards judges loved it. Don’t miss it. Across the road at BATS Theatre Musique Romantique, Stand […]

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