Postcard from Days Bay

It was the bluest day I’ve witnessed in New Zealand since arriving, and one of the best days I’ve had in the last month.


When I woke up with the sun on my face, after sleeping in for the first time this week, I knew it was going to be a great day. A day of adventure, exploration, and getting lost in beautiful places. My forte.


I researched heading to Days Bay a couple weeks ago but the weather was windswept rain with more than I touch of freezing, I couldn’t imagine being outside longer than necessary, and chose to spend my day curled up with chai tea and a good book instead.

Related: How to Easily Get a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa as an American


Today was absolutely gorgeous, so I couldn’t put off seeing a beach for the first time since I left Australia.


To get to Days Bay from Wellington is as simple as a bus or ferry ride. I chose the bus because I heard it was scenic, and I wouldn’t risk letting sea sickness ruin my day. The Valley Flyer bus 83 from Wellington Station costs $9.50 for the whole day. Deal. It took about 45 minutes to get to there, but it went by fast with the scenic views and good tunes on my iPod.


I first stopped at a local cafe for a ham and cheese croissant and quick read in the sun, an activity I no longer take for granted now that I live in Wellington and as the Starks like to say, Winter is coming.


From the cafe, I walked along the little beach looking out to the bay and headed into Eastbourne Village.



I kept looking at the hills in the background of my walk, wondering if there was a trail amongst them somewhere, because the view would be incredible from that height. Of course there was a trail, it’s New Zealand, after all.



I found the MacKenzie trail leading to Butterfly Creek and letting out almost back where I started on the border of Eastbourne and Muritai. It took about an hour to do the whole trail, including stopping to take a lot of photos. The first half I would consider a medium difficulty simply because it’s all a steep angle uphill. The second half was all downhill, but more treacherous with all the tree roots and shady covering that kept the path muddy. Both halves were drop dead gorgeous, and well worth the effort.




Hike accomplished, I paused at a bench and watched the sun setting over the water on my way back to the bus stop. It reminded me a lot of California, and how beautiful a sun setting over water can be – one aspect East Coast Australia lacked.



I wanted to share some pictures from today, because I couldn’t describe a more perfect day.



Have you ever been to Days Bay? What are your favorite day trips from Wellington? 

Mimi McFadden
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