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Moving To Wellington: How ‘Bout Those Burbs?

February 15th, 2012 by admin

So, you want to move to Wellington, New Zealand? Your best first move is taking a look at Wellington’s many suburbs, even the nearby “towns” of Porirua and the Hutt Valley.

MSN News said it…

Apparently Wellington is now, according to some metrics, as expensive to live in as London.

The guy from Berlin I met last night said it…

He also said, “When I moved here, I thought, an apartment downtown, for that is how I always lived. Then I moved…near to a bay…the views….the space…yes, 20 minutes. But I can never go back to an apartment now.”

My friends who live in the Hutt all say it…

Startling amounts of Weta employees live in the Hutt – Cafe Reka at the Dowse is almost as good for talent-spotting as Floridita’s downtown. Possibly the best quote is from the gay guy I know who lives in Wainuiomata, pointing out that, living there, he can afford to travel to every queer Antipodean event that pleases him.

James Cameron…

Admittedly, while he hasn’t said it to me personally, has certainly shown it with his actions – taking his $20 million to the Wairarapa, an hour away. His $20 million bought a small fiefdom there, instead of the top floor of an apartment building.

Sexier Non-Central-Wellington Residential Options for your consideration.

Wellington City Itself: Newtown, Island Bay (both hip enough to have own t-shirts), Northland, Ngaio, Johnsonville (if you’re stodgier), anywhere directly on or with views of water. Except Maupuia, which has inexplicably limited bus service.

Anywhere In The Wairarapa. Works best for couples where one person gets on the Wellington train at dark o’ clock while the other homesteads/parents. People will visit on weekends and admire. And it’s so lovely that the children have room to play, and even space to have rabbits and three alpacas. Oddly, sexier than most of the more-accessible Kapiti Coast; the train service to Wellington is the least irregular, and the vibe is more “lifestyle rural” than suburban.

Porirua – Titahi Bay. Yes, you’ll drive to work, or at least to the train, and winter will lash you, but on the weekends you’ll walk to one of the most accessible beaches in the region. Plus, you can afford to tag along when your gay friends from Wainuiomata want to go shopping in Sydney.

Kapiti Coast – Paekakariki, Raumati South. Other Kapiti Coast towns are mocked as “God’s waiting rooms” but these two come pretty close to bourgeois bohemian heaven. See previous post. 

Lower Hutt – “Hillside” hoods of Korokoro, Harborview, Belmont. If the houses, mostly built in the 70s, aren’t already ravishing, they’re large and renovatable; the hills are geologically stable; and nothing is going to take away the incredible views. Direct highway access makes slipping to Wellington  for coffee a 10-to-15 minute snip.

If you are pouting and hyperventilating at the idea – if you absolutely must have the downtown experience – wait for the next post.


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  • Minneapolis has beaches too. Just, not ocean ones, with poisonous fish. Also we have snow. Not that anyone who hasn’t lived here cares.