On a recent trip to Wellington for our summer holiday, my wife and I discovered the quaint and charming seaside village of Eastbourne. Located just across the Wellington Harbour, we took the ferry from Queen’s Wharf in the city, around a 30 minute trip.
The ferry disembarks at Days Bay, one of a number of tiny bays in the Eastbourne area. Days Bay is a popular swimming beach, and features the popular Days Bay Pavilion Cafe. From there it is a ten minute walk around the coast to Eastbourne. Most of the houses along the bay here appear to be baches (seaside holiday homes), many of which have been extended, some to an almost palatial extent. Like much of Wellington, there are great examples of historical wooden housing, as well as homes with a distinctly Art Deco feel.
The Eastbourne township is centred predominantly on the main street (Rata St) with a number of relaxed and friendly cafes, a lovely art gallery (Rona Gallery) and a small but intriguing antiques and curios store (where I managed to find a long sought after Lindisfarne record!). My wife was particularly impressed with the gelateria (Gelissimo), a welcome surprise. As a coeliac, it is rare for her to enjoy such a treat, but all of the gelatos and sorbatos were gluten-free so it made for a special treat on such a hot summer’s day.
There are more good swimming spots at Eastbourne, as well as good windsurfing on Wellington’s frequent windy days. We jumped on one of the frequent buses to make it back in time for the return ferry, enjoying the views of the Wellington Harbour on the trip back.
I thoroughly recommend the trip if you’re in Wellington, especially if you want a quick getaway from the noise and bustle of the city. My wife and I will certainly be making a return visit when we get the chance.
In case you’re wondering, the wonderful photos are courtesy of my wonderful wife!