Best place to live in NZ: Capital of cool
The best place to live in NZ is...
I lived in Christchurch for 17 years until 2011 when I, like many people sick and tired of being constantly in fear of nature, chose to leave the place that had always been my home. Although Christchurch is dear to my heart for many reasons, it is Wellington in which I have found my niche.
Having lived in only two cities, I'm not in the best position to make such a bold statement as 'my city is better than yours, and here's why', but I am able to explain to those not fortunate enough to experience Wellington, just why it is so goddamn cool.
It's a beautiful city for many reasons, but it's not its aesthetic appeal that sets it apart. Let's be realistic and appreciate our country for a moment. New Zealand is a serenely beautiful country in many parts. Whether it be the Canterbury plains, broken up only by braided rivers doting the landscape, the primal appeal of Punakaiki with its tumultuous beaches and rocky landscape, or the Milford Track, on which around every bend is another scene to marvel at, we really do live in a scene from a postcard.
But to me, it is Wellington's feel, it's atmosphere, it's passion for being different that sets it apart from all the cities and towns I have visited. Nowhere else can you walk down Cuba Mall and run into Flight of the Conchords, an array of very talented buskers, some of the most fashionable men and woman you will ever see, hipsters with jeans so tight they make your eyes water, John Key, political protesters, travellers selling treasures and a hobbit or two - and that's just on a regular day.
Wellington is filled with such an eclectic mix of somehow like-minded souls, it is hardly surprising that it has become one of the biggest tourist destinations in New Zealand. People come here now because they know it has something to offer everybody, whether that be a fantastic show which leaves you pondering the message for days, or some of our country's top cuisine. And boy, does it know how to have a good time.
Wellington is the sort of city where it's okay to be different. In fact, the people who stick out in Wellington aren't the ones covered in tattoos or holding political banners, but the ones who try to blend in. It's the sort of city that teaches young people that it's okay to follow your dreams and take risks, but it's not overrun by debauchery or teenage rebellions. And how? That is something that you cannot explain, but that you have to experience to understand.
Somehow, the city just has a certain glow to it, a certain feel that makes you feel special to be a part of such a unique and exciting environment. And that is why, at least for me, Wellington is the best city in New Zealand.
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