I found accommodation after looking at four different places, in various locations around Wellington. I must admit that because of the house-hunting, I’ve seen a lot more areas of the city that I wouldn’t have have seen otherwise. So it was a good thing. I went to look at a place in Upper Hutt, near Waterloo Station. The room, house and people there were lovely but it was too far out of the city and too expensive to pay the train fares: 220 NZD for a monthly train pass. I also went to see a house in Kingston.That’s also a beautiful area but the buses were too infrequent.The guy who was renting it though was very cute, with a good heart, but I I need to be able to get in and out of town easily.The room that I found is in a split level house out near Island Bay/Southgate. Island Bay is a quiet little village with a small beach in the south of the city. I really like the area and being within thirty minutes walk from the beach is great, even though it’s an uphill climb all the way back. Once you get outside the city of Wellington itself, the suburbs are littered with little villages and LOTS of hills.
I’m paying about 150 NZD rent per week, bills included. That’s about average for Wellington. Some areas are more expensive than others, like Roseneath and Thorndon but 150 NZD seems to be a good rate for flatting, as they call it here. I needed a short-term flatshare, for a month to two months and that was difficult enough to find, as most people/students wanted to rent their rooms for the whole summer. I found mine through Easyroommate.co.nz.
My heart and legs get a regular work out every day because the only access to the front door is up about ninety steep, meandering steps. By the time I get to the top, especially with bags of food shopping, I’m nearly always out of breath. It’s good exercise for me though and the view through the treetops from the deck of the house, is of green hills in the distance and mist rolling in with the Southerly winds.
When I first arrived I was staying with a friend and her family in Karori, to the west of the city, which is very green also but more residential. From my bedroom window, I had a great view of the hill opposite and at night when I went into my room, I would look out and see myriads of lights on the hill in the distance. There is always something comforting about seeing lights on a hill at night. Why, I’m not exactly sure, but it sort of feels a bit like I’m coming home. The orange street lamps zig-zag up the hill and in between are various white house lights scattered here and there, petering out near the top. I’d spot flashes of headlamps now and again and would follow the car’s slow journey down the hill. I miss that view but the one I have now in the daytime is a good second best.
I was walking back to the house yesterday near Houghton Bay Road and with the heat of the warm sun, there was a very pungent smell of lilies in the air and freshly cut grass from Sinclair Park. A cacophony of birdsong came from all directions, like surround sound in the cinema, with some birds warbling at a very high pitch and others, like the tui, singing short but varied melodic bursts of music. The scenery and wildlife in this area is soul enriching and I’ll miss it if I have to move from here.