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  #1  
Old July 7th, 2014, 07:32 PM
swirlidz swirlidz is offline
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Default Getting Around Wellington

Hi everyone,

My parents will be in Wellington in November & I will be there in January & I'm looking at options for getting around.

Been looking at the Wellington Hop on/Hop off bus to suggest to my parents as Dad had a knee reconstruction a few years ago.

Looking for opinions & experiences about hopping on the bus as opposed to just walking around the town.

Is there any other similar things in Wellington besides this one? The reviews on Trip Advisor are very mixed ... saying it is just a man in a minivan.
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Old July 8th, 2014, 12:28 AM
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Flipper133 Flipper133 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swirlidz View Post
Hi everyone,

My parents will be in Wellington in November & I will be there in January & I'm looking at options for getting around.

Been looking at the Wellington Hop on/Hop off bus to suggest to my parents as Dad had a knee reconstruction a few years ago.

Looking for opinions & experiences about hopping on the bus as opposed to just walking around the town.

Is there any other similar things in Wellington besides this one? The reviews on Trip Advisor are very mixed ... saying it is just a man in a minivan.
I haven't done the hop on hop off tour (but I have done others) and for our visit to Wellington in December I have done a fair bit of research.

The HOHO service used to be called John's Hopon Hopoff City Tour, but I understand the business was recently sold, and I now note that the web site refers to themselves simply as Wellington HOHO City tour.

http://www.hoponhopoff.co.nz/wellington/


They do use smaller people mover type vans, because these are better for some of the streets they go through and in all they make 18 stops.

The option I have been looking at however is their Cruise Ship special. Its not all that obvious on the web site (at least not now) but if you go to the booking page it shows up there. This option does not provide the HoHo facility but does provides a pick up from the ship, is cheaper, and does pretty much the same itinerary as the HoHo but you have to stay on board. I understand that it is also in a larger bus.

This could be ideal for someone with a mobility problem.

cheers
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  #3  
Old July 8th, 2014, 05:03 PM
kiwijo kiwijo is offline
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Your parents may find something like the HoHo service a good way of getting around all the main highlights. When you get here, you'll see that operating a double decker bus service would be particularly challenging in Wellington's tight downtown area! As it's a popular option on cruise days, booking in advance is a good idea. 17& 18 Nov are double dcruise ship days in Wellington so pre-booking is a very good idea for any particular tour.

If you have full mobility, the easiest thing to do is walk. From the Embassy Theatre in Courtenay Place at the south end of the downtown to the Parliament Buildings at the other end through the downtown shopping and business district will take less than 30 minutes if you're of average fitness - and don't stop! Take a shuttle to downtown Lambton Quay or the i-SITE, about 20 minutes walk from the cruise terminal, and then Te Papa, the Cable Car, the Botanic Gardens, Carter Observatory and then the Parliament precinct and Old St Paul's all lie north in the direction back to the cruise terminal.

Things to do will depend on your interests, but film tours, food tours, Te Papa, and Zealandia nature area are all popular excursions. You can get a lot more ideas at WellingtonNZ.com.
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Old July 8th, 2014, 06:25 PM
swirlidz swirlidz is offline
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Thanks Flipper, I hadn't even noticed the cruise special! I will show it to my parents as another option for them.
The one thing I did like is that it went to WETA which is not obviously in walking distance (WETA is for me, not for my parents).

Thanks for your expertise too KiwiJo, sounds like the distance between the main sites will be fine for Dad!

Someone who had been there a few years back said the public buses could be another good option. Any insight there?
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Old July 9th, 2014, 02:08 PM
rayho94066 rayho94066 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwijo View Post
Your parents may find something like the HoHo service a good way of getting around all the main highlights. When you get here, you'll see that operating a double decker bus service would be particularly challenging in Wellington's tight downtown area! As it's a popular option on cruise days, booking in advance is a good idea. 17& 18 Nov are double dcruise ship days in Wellington so pre-booking is a very good idea for any particular tour.

If you have full mobility, the easiest thing to do is walk. From the Embassy Theatre in Courtenay Place at the south end of the downtown to the Parliament Buildings at the other end through the downtown shopping and business district will take less than 30 minutes if you're of average fitness - and don't stop! Take a shuttle to downtown Lambton Quay or the i-SITE, about 20 minutes walk from the cruise terminal, and then Te Papa, the Cable Car, the Botanic Gardens, Carter Observatory and then the Parliament precinct and Old St Paul's all lie north in the direction back to the cruise terminal.

Things to do will depend on your interests, but film tours, food tours, Te Papa, and Zealandia nature area are all popular excursions. You can get a lot more ideas at WellingtonNZ.com.
We are thinking of walking to the Cable car from the port, then on top of the Cable car museum, take a shuttle to Zealandia. Then back the same way, is it doable time wise? We can walk, we hiked the 7 miles from Fira to Oia without much problem.
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  #6  
Old July 9th, 2014, 05:01 PM
kiwijo kiwijo is offline
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It's a good plan and absolutely do-able. From port to Cable Car would take an average walker around 20-25 minutes. Cable Car is $4.50 one way, or $7 return. The shuttle to Zealandia leaves at 10 to and 10 past the hour (i.e. 1050, 1110) and I think you're better to take the shuttle and expend your legs walking within Zealandia.

If the weather isn't so great, leap on a shuttle and head up to the information centre. The Zealandia shuttle leaves from there also and the exhibition area does a great job of explaining why NZ's environment is so unique and there's a café with lovely lake views. It's usually quite sheltered in the valley, so you should be able to enjoy walking in there in most conditions. Then you could get the shuttle back to the Cable Car top terminus, and just take a one way trip down. It only takes 5 minutes to get back down to Lambton Quay, the main shopping street.

Tip for those taking the Cable Car - it's always busier in the morning. The later you can leave it, the better!
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Old July 9th, 2014, 05:12 PM
rayho94066 rayho94066 is offline
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Originally Posted by kiwijo View Post
It's a good plan and absolutely do-able. From port to Cable Car would take an average walker around 20-25 minutes. Cable Car is $4.50 one way, or $7 return. The shuttle to Zealandia leaves at 10 to and 10 past the hour (i.e. 1050, 1110) and I think you're better to take the shuttle and expend your legs walking within Zealandia.

If the weather isn't so great, leap on a shuttle and head up to the information centre. The Zealandia shuttle leaves from there also and the exhibition area does a great job of explaining why NZ's environment is so unique and there's a café with lovely lake views. It's usually quite sheltered in the valley, so you should be able to enjoy walking in there in most conditions. Then you could get the shuttle back to the Cable Car top terminus, and just take a one way trip down. It only takes 5 minutes to get back down to Lambton Quay, the main shopping street.

Tip for those taking the Cable Car - it's always busier in the morning. The later you can leave it, the better!
Thanks so much for the confirmation, we so look forward to it. We are bird lovers and wonder should we take the guided tour or just go off on our own in Zealandia?
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Old July 9th, 2014, 09:08 PM
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Thanks so much for the confirmation, we so look forward to it. We are bird lovers and wonder should we take the guided tour or just go off on our own in Zealandia?
Are you going to be spending any time in Auckland on your trip to NZ? If so, I highly recommend a day trip to TiriTiri Matangi island, which is an open bird sanctuary. You'll see some very rare NZ birds there.
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Last edited by OzKiwiJJ; July 9th, 2014 at 09:08 PM.
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Old July 9th, 2014, 10:09 PM
rayho94066 rayho94066 is offline
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Are you going to be spending any time in Auckland on your trip to NZ? If so, I highly recommend a day trip to TiriTiri Matangi island, which is an open bird sanctuary. You'll see some very rare NZ birds there.
Tiri is number one on my list, but we will be arriving Auckland on a Sunday morning and the ferry leaves at 9:00am, I've had some email exchanges with 360 and they confirmed that their ferry does not operate on Monday, also Sunday in December would be pretty much booked in advance so a last minute attempt to get on is out of the question. So I am thinking of getting to Auckland on Saturday and book Sunday to Tiri in advance, but now I am trying to find out what is there to do in Auckland all day Saturday and Monday.
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Old July 10th, 2014, 09:04 AM
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- Day trip to Waikeke Island - great beaches, wineries.
- Auckland has a very good Art Gallery.
- The area around the waterfront (Viaduct Basin) is great to walk around and has excellent restaurants and cafes.
- You could do a day trip to Hobbiton.
- Rent a car and go for a drive through the Waitakeres, even out to one of the West Coast beaches - Pihi or Bethells Beach.
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  #11  
Old July 10th, 2014, 04:57 PM
kiwijo kiwijo is offline
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Originally Posted by rayho94066 View Post
Thanks so much for the confirmation, we so look forward to it. We are bird lovers and wonder should we take the guided tour or just go off on our own in Zealandia?
Well, I always take the tour! I think having a guide offers so much more to just ambling around on my own. The guides at Zealandia are usually volunteers and share the 500-year vision for the restoration of the valley; plus New Zealand's wildlife evolved (or not) in splendid isolation to the rest of the world. Having someone explain how different our environment and animals are to the rest of the world adds real value, I think. If you want to linger after the tour, there's plenty of Valley to explore on your own afterwards. This amazing place is less than a 15 minute cab ride from the cruise terminal, so it's not hard to stay and play.

As a footnote, I live very near Zealandia, and every morning get the benefit of their conservation work in my garden as well. The kaka parrots are noisy tree-shredding ratbags while the tuis are one of the NZ songbirds and great mimics - there's one that sounds like someone's cellphone and that's always an entertaining start to the day!
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  #12  
Old July 10th, 2014, 06:51 PM
rayho94066 rayho94066 is offline
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Originally Posted by kiwijo View Post
Well, I always take the tour! I think having a guide offers so much more to just ambling around on my own. The guides at Zealandia are usually volunteers and share the 500-year vision for the restoration of the valley; plus New Zealand's wildlife evolved (or not) in splendid isolation to the rest of the world. Having someone explain how different our environment and animals are to the rest of the world adds real value, I think. If you want to linger after the tour, there's plenty of Valley to explore on your own afterwards. This amazing place is less than a 15 minute cab ride from the cruise terminal, so it's not hard to stay and play.

As a footnote, I live very near Zealandia, and every morning get the benefit of their conservation work in my garden as well. The kaka parrots are noisy tree-shredding ratbags while the tuis are one of the NZ songbirds and great mimics - there's one that sounds like someone's cellphone and that's always an entertaining start to the day!
Thanks for the tip, we will take the guided tour, it's free anyway. Do they always have cabs outside Zealandia? I guess we can always take the cab back to the cruise terminal if we are running late.
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  #13  
Old July 10th, 2014, 06:56 PM
rayho94066 rayho94066 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OzKiwiJJ View Post
- Day trip to Waikeke Island - great beaches, wineries.
- Auckland has a very good Art Gallery.
- The area around the waterfront (Viaduct Basin) is great to walk around and has excellent restaurants and cafes.
- You could do a day trip to Hobbiton.
- Rent a car and go for a drive through the Waitakeres, even out to one of the West Coast beaches - Pihi or Bethells Beach.
Beaches and wineries are nice, we are from California so we are kind of used to them, though our beaches are not as nice, but besides Tira, we are thinking of driving to Waitomo for the glow worm caves, Naked bus is cheap and nice too but seems like they take twice as long as driving ourselves.
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