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Before we start telling you about @highlightcarnival, taking place this Labour Weekend (19-22 Oct) in Lower Hutt’s Riddiford Park, please know that these photos will never do this amazing light festival justice! 🌟🌟🌟 Last year, organisers of the first ever HighLight expected 30,000–50,000 people to attend. They got 120,000.
2018 promises to bigger, better and brighter with five zones of light installations: Land & Sky, Below the Waves, Bugtopia, Elements and Fairytale Land.
What’s more, entry is free, but is also a fundraiser opportunity for the Hutt Valley’s Te Omanga Hospice.
Which in itself is a worthy reason to go, however, we were sold at "a T-Rex called Colin". Flick through the pictures and you’ll see what we mean... at Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Lyall Bay on Wellington's South Coast has a reputation for being the capital's biggest and surfiest beach. Just a 10-minute drive out of the city, it's not often you'll cast an eye out over this sweeping crescent-shaped bay and not see it dotted with dozens of bobbing heads in the waves or surfers of all varieties riding the crest of jagged waves - no matter what the weather is doing! 🌊🏄🌊🏄♀️🌊 But if you don't feel like going for a dip, Lyall Bay is also a very popular spot for walkers of both the human and canine persuasion - or grab a bite at the popular @maranui_cafe above one of Lyall Bay's two surf clubs. 🚶♀️🐩🚶♂️🐾 📷: Cheers to @markgeenz for sharing this pic of the dawn raid of surfers at Lyall Bay via #ShareMeWLG! at Lyall Bay
The #WellyRainbow crossing in Cuba Mall was officially unveiled yesterday to massive fanfare, and coincided with the birthday of famed Wellington transgender activist, Carmen Rupe! 🌈🌈🌈😍 The rainbow pedestrian crossing is a celebration of our diverse, inclusive city, where one and all are welcome - and was unveiled alongside the announcement that the capital will be the first city in Australasia to host the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association conference next March. Absolutely fabulously Wellington, anyone?👬👯♀️👭👯♂️
@maranui_cafe at Lyall Bay is famous for a lot of reasons. Located inside the century-old Maranui Surf Life Saving Club right on the beach, Maranui is famous for the stunning views of the waves and surfers at Lyall Bay, their oaty slice and orange & date scones. Maranui is famous for the long queues winding down the stairs of locals, visitors, families, surfers and dogs, all cheerfully waiting for their turn for brunch and a punchy, locally-roasted @havanacoffeeworks coffee. And soon, Maranui will be famous for another reason: Harry and Meghan are popping by for a royal visit as part of their tour of Wellington later this month. Let’s hope they remember to sign the Maranui Surf Club member's book and do a royal 'wave' (geddit?!) 👑🏄🌊👋 at Maranui Cafe
Wellington’s got a pretty fine pedigree when it comes to cocktails. From the golden days of Matterhorn (RIP), to hidden gem @hawthornlounge (spoiler: it’s on Tory St) – a 1920s gentlemen’s club and lounge bar (open to everyone). There’s @cgrmerchantco on Courtenay Pl, famous for their salted caramel rum and crowned champions of @wellyonaplate's best cocktail. Or if you prefer a Cuban vibe, go sip on mojitos at @havanabarwellington and groove along to some live music and DJs. Freshly opened on Cuba St, @nightflowerbar, serves old-fashioned cocktails in a speak-easy above @1154pastaria. Or head to @crumpetbar (pictured) on Manners St with the gang for a cracking G&T, some warmed olives or a crumpet, if you’re feeling peckish.
Take a wander to Aro Valley, it's just a 10 minute walk from the top of Cuba Street and a bohemian microcosm of Wellington. Home to Wellington’s craft beer rock stars, @garageproject, and the lovely Rita (@89aro), a restaurant whose menu changes daily and sometimes with the weather. Take a browse around @arovideo, where @flightoftheconchords famously performed a free and impromptu gig (Brett and Jermaine met while studying at @vicuniwgtn), or check out some of the city’s best mountain biking at Polhill Reserve. Order a scoop at the legendary fish and chip shop, and while you wait, watch Aro Valley's resident population of students, artists and bohemian chic-types wander on by.
Sunset silhouettes on the South Coast. 🌅 📷: Cheers to @markgeenz for sharing this pic via #ShareMeWLG!
St. Gerard's Church and Monastery, has kept a watchful eye over Wellington harbour as a Catholic church since 1908 and as a monastery since 1932. It is classed as a Category 1 historic building; a place of 'special or outstanding historical or cultural heritage significance or value' by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. And whilst the church's public worship role continues with Mass celebrated by priests every Sunday, this beautiful Gothic structure, perched on a precipice of Mt. Victoria, is enjoyed by all people of all creeds and walks of life. 📷: Thanks to @kyla_hamilton for capturing St. Gerard's against this spectacular blue Wellington sky and sharing via #ShareMeWLG. at St Gerard's Church and Monastery
@te_papa has been named by @tripadvisor as one of the top 25 museums in the world! Known to Kiwis as ‘our place’, the national museum in Wellington is known for its cutting-edge, interactive exhibitions. Bush City is a living, growing exhibition at Te Papa which features over 1,400 native plants and some of the oldest rocks in Aotearoa New Zealand. Dig for fossils, be brave and cross a swing bridge or enter a cave to meet some glow worms. Or simply take in the sights and smells of the forest and soak up the stunning views of Wellington harbour. 🌳 🌳 at Te Papa
Not only is Wellington's South Coast a great vantage point for spotting seals, planes taking off and the South Island, from time to time it's also been known as a great spot to view the elusive Southern Lights, Aurora Australis. Night photographers, such as @jinz10, often head out on the chase to capture this gorgeous natural phenomenon along our southern coastline. In @jinz10’s case, Australis remained, once again, elusive. But he did not go home empty-handed - beautiful night skies such as this make up for the lack of Southern Lights. Let us know if you’ve ever seen Australis in Wellington in the comments! 💫✨🌟✨💫 📷: Thanks to @jinz10 for sharing this gorgeous pic via #ShareMeWLG - we hope you one day capture Australis in Wellington! at Wellington, New Zealand
It's NZ Conservation Week, so it's a wonderful time of the year to think about popping into Wellington's nature hubs such as @visit_zealandia and @wellington.zoo to learn more about what you can do to support local, national & international conservation projects. Or simply take a walk in Wellington Botanic Garden or one of the many trails dotted about the region. You're sure to see plenty of these fellas - the iridescent tui. Going back 15 years or so, they were a rarity around the region, but have returned in droves, thanks to the likes of predator-free ecosanctuary, Zealandia (just a five-minute drive from Wellington's CBD!). 🐦🐦🐦 📷: Cheers to @hollyneill for sharing her pic of this wonderfully fat, feathery fella via #ShareMeWLG! at Zealandia Ecosanctuary
In case this massive sign on the waterfront wasn’t a big enough hint - the World of WearableArt Awards Show is just around the corner (27 Sep – 14 Oct)! Wellington is sharing the love for WOW with loads of inner city activity to get you in the mood for New Zealand’s single largest theatrical production. Keep an eye out for historic garments in the WOW Wander, edible art in the form of cocktails and dishes in Welly’s bars and restaurants, and your favourite window dressing as shops let their creativity shine, and... well, wow you! 💃🕴️🕺 at Waterfront Walkaway
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