As it got closer to Christmas, we had been discussing picking a place to spend a bit more time instead of constantly being on the move. Wellington seemed like a good contender, as it has beach, surf, citylife, and both indoor and outdoor climbing. We parked up at Owhiro Bay, one of the free camping spots in town, and started exploring the city on our bikes.

On our third day in the city, our friends in Wellington had to pay an unsuspected visit to the Netherlands, and asked us whether we were interested in housesitting for three weeks. So that’s how we ended up in an apartment within walking distance of Wellington CBD with triple the space we have in the van, as well as unlimited WiFi, laundry and shower facilities and an oven!

So what did we do in our three weeks in Welly?

  • We dragged a shitload of stuff from our van to our new home, wondering why A) we had so much stuff in the van and B) why we thought we would need all of it in the next three weeks
  • Thomas thought about getting a job
  • We made oliebollen for New Year’s eve
  • We celebrated New Year’s with an outdoor movie in town, followed by some dancing and watching fireworks from the top of one of many hills in Wellington
A classic New Year’s Eve
  • We got a temporary membership at the climbing gym
  • Thomas picked up his sourdough baking and made his own natural starter
  • We went to see the Reelrock climbing film festival, which Thomas followed up by watching Free Solo
  • Thomas got stuck into some new sewing projects, including making a cover for our bikes, a ground sheet for our tent, as well as reusable bags to do grocery shopping at bulk bin stores
  • I went for a run that nearly killed me as Wellington is a ridiculous steep city
Result of a productive sewing session and volunteering in Zealandia among the kakas
  • Thomas enquired about a job at one of the climbing gyms
  • We had cheese fondue for New Year’s, which is slightly odd when it’s 26 degrees Celsius and you’re having dinner outside in the sun
  • I learned my lesson and only ran along the waterfront which is nice and flat
  • We spent a day volunteering at Zealandia
  • Thomas went for a bike ride along the bays, found out to his surprise there was surf in Lyall Bay, so he raced back to swap bike for board and hit the waves
  • Myrthe went on a 3-day hike in the Tararuas and nearly got blown off the tops with tent and all
Beautiful camping and hiking in the Tararuas
  • Apart from oliebollen and sourdough bread, we made at least four batches of biscuits, just because we could since we had an oven
  • We took the van out to Baring Head to go bouldering on the beach
  • We watched a lot of Bouldering World Cups, Family Guy and Zondag met Lubach episodes
  • We walked into town for a night out, but after a beer and a bit of live jazz, at around 11pm, we felt ready to go home and hit the sack
  • We fed the fish as part of our house sitting duties
  • We rode our bikes all over town and loved it, Wellington is such a good cycling city!
Views over Wellington after a big hill climb on the bike

And so, before we knew it, three weeks had been and gone and it was time to pack up ALL of our crap again and chuck it back into the van. Wellington citylife had been a nice break from vanlife and a good place to spend the holidays, but now we were ready to be back on the road!

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