The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

Where would you take an odd tourist?

by Joanna on July 23, 2011 in Miscellaneous, Outdoors, Sights

We occasionally get requests from people who see us as being experts on Wellington, and it’s true, we are. But so are you. So help us answer this guy’s question!

“I am looking for places/locations in the Wellington area to take a group of overseas visitors too. I am not wanting to go to the normal tourist locations but looking for places which are more weird, wacky, odd, unusual, eclectic etc……and thought you and your group members may have some suggestions/ideas. Perhaps you know someone with a house full of Barry Manilow memorabilia or an Aladdin’s cave of junk collected over the last century, a haunted house on top of a hill, hidden tunnels from WWII…………?? Basically any place of interest that you wouldn’t find in the Lonely Planet guide!”

We put our thinking caps on and came up with the following list.

  • Time Cinema
  • Wrights Hill.. Fort Dorset.. thingie point (up behind the thingie monument on Mirimar Peninsula) (not exactly hidden though). Not exactly “hidden” though…
  • Somes Island Quarantine station
  • Fever Hospital
  • Fort Ballance
  • the view from the Newlands dump
  • Carlucci Land
  • taking people to have a pie from a warmer at a dairy (that serves milkshakes)
  • the walk from Bolton Street cemetery to the gardens
  • glowworms down Curtis Street
  • Sunday on Lyall Bay beach (the dogs take over and none of them fight)
  • standing underneath a plane as it comes into land at the airport

Please add your suggestions in the comments!

Joanna McLeod

Joanna McLeod has started calling herself the Empress of the Internet because she can. As well as wrangling the other site contributors and Getting Shit Done, she likes to eat, drink and write in equal amounts. Yes, she would love to be invited along to your event in order to do those things. Joanna's also the best person to talk to if you're interested in advertising on the site.

  • That’s the view from the _old_ Newlands dump, thank you. Though I’d definitely recommend the scramble up to the Newlands trig point if they’re in good fettle; incredible views which help you put together the geography of the city in your mind. Then down across to the Ohariu valley, for a coffee at the Saddleback cafe, and to feed their tame eels (eel food available at the cafe counter).

  • Devon Street. It straight blows the minds of visitors from flat places.

    Weird little decorated grotto in that park at the end of Holloway Road. If that is even still there?

    • The little grotto was still there in Feb of this year, at least. Holloway Road in general is probably a good destination anyway.

      We always take visitors for the Happy Valley/South Coast/Miramar/Oriental Bay drive, but there’s a chance that’s in the LP 🙂

  • I would take them to the Willis St Lunch Cafe on a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday at exactly 11am for a cheese puff. Draw their attention to the laminated notice on the side of the drinks fridge.

    http://vital.org.nz/entry/title/cheese_puffs

    • sue

      best not scone, scone EVER!!!!!!

  • Also: Island Bay Marine Aquarium on a Sunday morning, for the touch-tank and the tanks full of native marine life.

    Is the tattoo museum still going? I know it had to move. If it’s not extant, then maybe Rogers Tatooart [sic] for the old school Maori flash.

    Bugger it, something else had occurred to me but it’s gone now. I’ll post it if it pops back into my forebrain.

  • Regs

    The playground in Khandallah (Onslow road?) that looks like it drops off the edge of the cliff… I love taking visitors there.

  • Heather

    The photos of Time Cinema remind me of the weird little exhibit tucked away in a corner of Porirua’s Pataka museum – crammed full of gramophones, wax cylinders, player pianos, accordions, those old wooden radios the size of a small wardrobe, and a bunch of other antiques and curios along those lines (some of them still functional and intractable). Worth a look if you’re up that way.

    Regarding the tattoo museum: It looks like they’ve moved to a building way up Victoria St. (cross is Vivian or thereabouts?) hard to miss now that they’ve painted dragons and whatnot all over the outside. I haven’t been in it though.

  • Caroline

    Karori Cemetery. All of human life is there and the setting is incredible

  • Pete

    I haven’t tried glow worm spotting down Curtis St but Glen Rd in Kelburn gives onto the Botanic Garden walk that goes down to the Duckpond – there’s a lot of them to see there.

  • GirlGeorge
  • thomas

    1. Take them to the botanic gardens, by the rose garden & walk up to Andrew Drummonds sculpture: Listening & Viewing Device…..
    & make them put their head inside it!
    http://www.sculpture.org.nz/engine/SID/10007/AID/1042.htm

    2. Go to Massey Memorial in Miramar Peninsula, and stand on the centre of the round marble plinth & make a sound – the circular surround reflects sound very oddly… then go walk up to the gun emplacements – EXCELLENT on a sunny day!

    3. Either walk or find someone with a 4WD and drive round the South Coast to Sinclair Head & see the seals

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