Wellington is the compact, vibrant and cultural capital of New Zealand, offering visitors an energetic hub of fantastic food, craft beer, coffee and events. Here is our guide to help you see and experience the best of Wellington.
Firstly, a leisurely stroll along the waterfront and along Oriental Parade should be a compulsory activity. You could even take a cruise in one of the crocodile bikes, stop in at Kaffee Eis for a gourmet gelato or St John’s Bar & Restaurant to relax on a beanbag in the afternoon sun.
A scenic drive around the bays is another popular activity, recommended by most locals. Lyall Bay is a buzz of surf lifesavers and kite-surfers and home of the infamous Maranui Cafe, situated above the surf lifesaving club. Brunch and a thick-shake here, overlooking the bay, will not disappoint. You might even be lucky enough to spot some dolphins!
Mount Victoria lookout is must-do. It is easily accessible by foot, car or bus (No 20) and offers a spectacular 196 meter-high panoramic view of the city and harbour. To make the most of this experience, head up just in time for the sunset with a takeaway picnic from Mount Vic Chippery (found at the base of Mount Vic on Majoribanks Street). We recommend the delicious kumera fries!
A wander down Cuba Street amongst the skateboarders, street entertainers and buskers will provide the true alty, hipster Wellington vibes. If your lucky enough to be there on a Friday evening, the Cuba Street night market is not to be missed! This buzzing market has all sorts of arts and crafts, local produce, street food and performers to keep you entertained for hours.
Wellington is said to have more bars and restaurants per capita than New York City so you definitely wont be short of choice for a bite to eat. Towards the slightly more upmarket end, we recommend El Matador, Havana, Charlie Noble, Dragonfly or The Tasting Room. Bangalore Polo Club is another popular restaurant and bar with a range of cuisines. If your a pizza-lover, Scopa on Cuba Street offers delicious woodfired pizza’s and also pasta. Alternatively, there are a number of amazing Indians including Great India (on Courtney Place) or if you find yourself in Newtown, Planet Spice has possibly the best garlic naan ever. On the cheaper end of the scale, there is KK Malaysia and Ekim Burger which is an impressive converted truck at the top end of Cuba Street capturing the essence of Wellington’s hip and alty scene.
Wellingtonians are also known to have an unrivalled passion for a great beer, making Wellington the craft beer capital of New Zealand, offering many distinctive brews to get your taste buds dancing. You can follow the Craft Beer Capital beer Trail which will lead you to all of the best including Crafters & Co, Little Beer Quarter and Garage Project‘s new bar on Aro Street.
Lastly, to discover the culture and stories of Wellington, don’t skip Te Papa and Weta Workshop. For those adrenaline junkies there is also Adrenaline forest just out of the CBD. This multi-level aerial obstacle cause is sure to get your bloody pumping.
This list is definitely not exhaustive but with these hot tips you should be ready to wine, dine and explore your way through the infamous windy capital!