Journey Through English with ILTI: Wellington – Coolest little capital in the world

The journey to conquer the English language continues with a visit to New Zealand’s capital of Wellington. Are you ready to learn new English words and phrases as we trawl the city for treasures? Well then, let’s grab hold of your language passport and let’s go!

Wellington in the southernmost of North Island is as famous for its strong winds as it is known for its powerful mix of culture, history, nature and cuisine. In fact, this compact city nicknamed Windy Wellington was recently named “the coolest little capital in the world” by Lonely Planet.

Tease your tastebuds and soak in the culture

As the country’s culinary capital, Wellington is home to great coffee and some of New Zealand’s best restaurants, quirky cafes, and tucked away bars.

Take your tastebuds on an adventure along Hannahs Laneway where you’ll find mouth-watering treasures such as artisan peanut butter sold window-side at Fix and Fogg, hot chocolate and chocolate that will melt your soul at the Wellington Chocolate Factory, and piping hot handmade pizza at Pizza Pomodoro. There is also a good number of fantastic cafes like Leeds Street Bakery, and Lashings, as well as eateries like Gorilla Burger, and Shepherd Restaurant.

Cuba Street, named after an early settler ship, is an equally interesting neighbourhood. Channeling bohemian vibes, you’ll find vintage fashion shops and a local apothecary offering handmade botanical tonics, teas and skincare, alongside world-class cafes, restaurants, and bars. Indulge in perfectly poached eggs with a top cup of black coffee at Olive, or grab a bite of hand pushed pizza and Italian style hot chocolate thick enough to eat with a spoon at Scopa Pizzeria. Get your coffee fix and support a social enterprise at the same time at Stories Espresso Bar. Set up in a repurposed shipping container, Stories Espresso Bar provides training and work opportunities for the next generation of baristas with profits injected back into the development of youth in Wellington.

Ride the Wellington Cable Car

The Wellington Cable Car is widely recognised as a symbol of the capital. The one-way trip between the main shopping street of Quay and Kelburn, a suburb in the hills overlooking the central city, takes approximately five minutes. There are, however, numerous stops in between, where passengers can get off and enjoy various attractions. These include the Botanical Gardens, and the Cable Car Museum.

Learn the Magic of Movie-making

Movie fans, do not miss out on the chance to visit the Weta Workshop! It is at this Academy Award-winning special effects and prop workshop that your favourite movies came alive. Here is where the sets of blockbuster films such as Lord of the Rings, Avatar, and Thor: Ragnarok were imagined, designed and painstakingly built.

Take a tour of the workshop and learn about props, costumes and creatures created for the films as well as discover filmmaking techniques of miniature effects. Wander through miniatures from Thunderbirds Are Go and see how they fit an entire island, cityscape and mansion under one roof. At the Weta Cave retail store, be greeted by giant trolls, explore their mini museum and watch a documentary on the history of Weta Workshop’s creativity.

Discovering New Zealand’s Wildlife 

Zealandia Te Mara a Tane is a lush forest with over 40 rare species of native wildlife in the heart of Wellington. Walk amongst rare birds like the hihi, kakariki and takahe, and spot prehistoric reptiles like the tuatara sunbathing in the sun. After dark, this ecosanctuary transforms into a beautiful twinkling of lights, thanks to thousands of glowworms. Make sure to look out for the 150 little spotted kiwi that call Zealandia their home when they wake up from their sleep at night.

Discover History’s Great Treasures

Discover great treasures from around the world at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, whose name literally means container of treasures. Named as one of TripAdvisor’s Top 25 museums in the world, the 156-year-old museum’s vast collection of two million items include a dinosaur tooth dating back to 132 million years ago, some 30,000 taonga or cultural Maori treasures, items by the Pacific people, and contemporary arts.

The museum has also joined forces with Weta Workshop to recreate the harrowing experience of eight ordinary New Zealanders in the Gallipoli campaign – a military campaign in the First World War that took place on the Gallipoli peninsula, Turkey. The exhibition opens with larger-than-life models of these Kiwis, crafted at 2.4 times human size, and explains the monumental impact of the event through models, three dimensional maps, interactive displays and miniatures.

Words and Phrases to Learn:

conquer – successfully overcome a problem or weakness

trawl – search thoroughly

compact – closely and neatly packed together, dense

nickname – a descriptive name given instead of or in addition to the one belonging to a person, place or thing

culinary – cooking

quirky – unusual

tucked away – well hidden in a quiet place where very few people go

mouth-watering – smelling, looking or sounding delicious

artisan – food produced by non-industrialised methods

piping hot – very hot

bohemian – unconventional lifestyle

vibe – a distinctive feeling or quality capable of being sensed

vintage – denoting something from the past of high quality

apothecary – pharmacy

tonics – solution or preparation made from plants and herbs

indulge – allow oneself to enjoy the pleasure of

fix – to acquire a required or necessary amount of something

social enterprise – businesses that put the interest of people or planet ahead of shareholder gain

repurpose – adapt for use in a different purpose

suburb – mixed use or residential area

approximately – roughly

painstaking – done with or employing great care and thoroughness

miniature – a small replica or model

wander – walk or move in a leisurely way

lush – growing luxuriantly

in the heart of – in the centre of

rare – not found in large numbers

ecosanctuary – an ecological sanctuary where wildlife can be preserved

vast – of great extent or quantity

contemporary – belonging to or occurring in the present

monumental – great in importance, extent or size

impact – a marked effect or influence

ILTI’s long history in teaching Cambridge English is what sets it apart from other language centres. With over 35 years of experience and an alumnus of 40,000 graduates, ILTI’s reputation speaks for itself. If you’ve decided to master English why not do so with the best? Decide to learn only from the best, study at ILTI by calling 010-395 3067 or visit today.