As anyone who’s been camping or caravanning will know, when you choose to live a little more frugally some home comforts every now and then can be immensely enjoyable. So when Kasha and I arrived in Wellington after nearly two weeks on the road in our Escape campervan Honey, we were longing for a little time to stretch out and relax without hitting our heads or knocking our elbows on the side of the van. Little did we know that our arrival in this southernmost North Island city and New Zealand capital would also become one of the highlights of our trip so far, because we were invited to experience a stay at one of the most beautiful apartments we’ve ever had the pleasure to stay in – the Dancing Green Studio Apartment.
What’s the Story?
The apartment is run by Simon and Clare who live right upstairs – a lovely couple who left the UK for a quieter life in New Zealand. After their kids flew the nest, they realised their self-contained groundfloor studio was perfect for holidaymakers and opened their doors just in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The property itself sits high on the hillside of the appropriately titled Northland suburb in western Wellington and is about 20 minutes by car right into the heart of the capital.
This cushy pad comes equipped with a TV, double bed, sofa bathroom & shower, full kitchen and even includes a light breakfast of either cereal, fresh croissants, bagels, a loaf of bread and ramekins of butter and jam. If you happen to be travelling a long time like Kasha and I, you can even ask Simon and Clare to put on a laundry wash for you – something that was definitely long overdue in our case!
There is plenty of on-street parking if you have a car, and it’s an easy drive into the city as I mentioned earlier. However, if you don’t fancy driving or you want to enjoy a drink (or three!) there’s a bus stop under two minutes from the apartment (Simon will no doubt take you through one of the helpful bus timetables) where you can catch a bus ($3 each way) into town. You’ll also discover that it’s a half hour stroll to the Botanical Gardens – with some uphill bits – and under 10 minutes’ drive from the awesome Zealandia eco-sanctuary.
High up in the hills with views of lush national parks all around, you won’t bump into many other tourists, so you’ll definitely feel like a local wandering around here. Simon and Clare are very laid back hosts too, so if you fancy a chat they are very happy to offer advice on anything to do in Wellington, but for those keen to relax in their own space they are also politely non-invasive. According to the hosts, the apartment plays home to a huge variety of people of all ages, from young couples, families or even the odd adventure-seeking retired couple.
What we both loved about our stay at the Dancing Green Studio was the homely nature of the property. Soft, clean sheets, luxuriously warm showers and the chance to chill out on the deck after a hard day of sightseeing in a space that feels as cosy as your own home. Staying away from the main strip of hotels in the centre of town also gave us an idea of a resident’s perspective, and of course meant a much quieter night.
As many of our readers will know, Kasha and I had a horrible experience dealing with a road accident just before we arrived in Wellington (I’ll explain more about this in a later post). So when we were welcomed with open arms into such a delightful space, we were blown away by the experience. Anyone can stay in a hotel room, but if you want to make your stay in the capital extra special, spoil yourself with a visit to the Dancing Green Studio Apartment – you really won’t regret it.
*Pin me for later*
Our stay at the Dancing Green Studio Apartment was complimentary, but as always my opinions about this very unique apartment are entirely my own.
If you’ve enjoyed reading about New Zealand, check out my blog on the Auckland island of Waiheke.