20 September 2011
my city: wellington by chris sisarich
The globe trotting photographer and tv personality takes us on a passionate journey through his hometown.
Well known for his recent role as a judge on NZ’s Next Top Model, award-winning photographer Chris Sisarich grew up amongst the bush and beach surrounds of Wellington’s Eastbourne. After a stint living overseas in London and Sydney, Chris returned back to Wellington to study photography when he was 26. Despite travelling extensively around the world shooting advertising and landscape commissions for the likes of Lexus, VW, Air New Zealand and Tourism Egypt, his favourite place to shoot is still in the South Island of New Zealand – ‘It amazes me every time with its majesty’. Chris now resides in Auckland with his wife and two children and has just been selected as one of Lurzer’s Top 200 Advertising photographers in the world. Here the visionary photographer takes us on a tour of the breathtaking scenery of the city he once called home, Wellington.
This is where I grew up. I have many happy memories running round the tracks in the bush and the beach and riding my bike around the coast. They were very carefree years, and this was a magic place to be as a kid. Eastbourne is a lovely little seaside village backed by beach forest. Catch the ferry over and spend the day here.
The surf at Breaker Bay
It took me years to build the courage to surf this spot. It’s not a long ride, but it sure is a thrilling one. Set on the edge of the Cook Straight, Breaker Bay looks over to Pencarrow Head. The waves come out of deep water and unload on a very shallow rock shelf. The surf only really starts working when it’s over head high but when the waves do start to get solid, it can be extremely intimidating. Breaker Bay is also a great place to be a spectator too, you sit on the sand and can just see the look on the guys faces as they drop in.
The Matterhorn Bar and Restaurant
Right in the heart of Wellington, in Cuba Mall, The Matterhorn is a place of relaxed décor, with a fantastic wine and cocktail list and great food. Sit at the bar and order a whisky sour or go with a bunch of people and enjoy. (106 Cuba Street, Wellington)
You couldn’t do a trip to Wellington and not check the view from Mt Vic. My aunty used to live in Roseneath, which is set into the side of Mt Victoria. She had the most amazing house and view. There are some fantastic houses with some of the most spectacular views in the world here. The view from the top looks right up the harbour and the Hutt Valley, out across the city, east over to Eastbourne and south to the South Island. Stunning. As long as it’s not too windy.
When choosing a hotel in Wellington, this is undoubtably it. Ohtel boats a perfect location on the edge of Oriental Bay, still close enough to the action in town. It’s a small boutique hotel and I’m a huge fan of the mid century design furnishings within the rooms – very cool. (66 Oriental Parade, Wellington)
There is lots to love about this region – the raw and wild coast with amazing cold surf, the Martinborough Wine and Food festival and the fact it boasts some of the world’s best Pinot Noir. One of my favourite things to do is sit out amongst the vines eating and drinking as the sun goes down. Spend a few days here, the place is relaxing and beautiful. A couple of my best friends live here – look out for Poppy’s wines and wedding venue which opens next year.
The Wearable Arts Festival
This has to be one of the most spectacular shows I have ever seen. Everyone owes it to themselves to see it at least once in their lives.