Wellington - The coolest little capital
They don’t call it the world’s coolest little capital for nothing! Home to Parliament, Wellywood and Te Papa, Wellington is brimming with arts and culture, stellar dining and easily-accessible nature escapes.
Dining and Nightlife
Foodies rejoice! Wellington is said to boast more bars and restaurants per capita than The Big Apple, and is known for brewing both a great craft beer and a strong cup of Joe. Charmingly bohemian Cuba Street is packed with street entertainers and vintage finds by day and neat little bars by night. Prepare to get your inner-hipster on, and don’t forget to get a photo in front of the Bucket Fountain.
Arts & Culture
No trip is complete without a visit to New Zealand’s National Museum Te Papa; general admission is free and the exhibitions showcasing our nation’s unique history and culture are as interesting as they are innovative.
With a thriving local music scene, Wellington has produced some of Aotearoa’s most internationally-acclaimed acts like Fat Freddy’s Drop! No matter your tastes, there’s something on every night of the week.
Movie-fanatic? Explore film locations on your own or with one of the many organised tours available, and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at The Weta Cave. Contemporary, boutique and specialised dealer galleries abound throughout the city precinct, with the City Gallery in City Square presiding over all. The iconic New Zealand Festival is of course also running from 21 Feb – 16 Mar with over 300 events to choose from!
You’ll be spoilt for choice with a range of markets to choose from. Snap up everything from fine handicrafts and freshly baked goods to artisan coffee, cheese and chocolates. Our picks? Hill Street Farmers Market (Saturdays 8.30am – 12.30pm) for your chance to buy fresh local produce bursting with colour and aroma, and Left Bank off Cuba Street for a taste of the night market buzz synonymous with Asia (Fridays 5pm - 11pm). Wellington Underground Market showcases work from emerging artists and designers, from exotic foods to beautiful handmade clothing (Saturdays 10am-4pm). Being underground also means you’re safe from the elements should the city attempt to prove just why it’s known as Windy Wellington that day - bonus!
There’s no better way to take in this beautiful city than from a vantage point, so make your way up to Mt Victoria Lookout by foot or car for 360-degree panoramic views. Or ride the iconic Cable Car from Lambton Quay up to another lookout point in Kelburn, where there’s also the Cable Car Museum and Carter Observatory. Then, just a 10-minute drive from downtown is The South Coast, home to a resident seal colony and well worth the exploration. Another fun activity also a 10-minute drive away is the Karori Sanctuary where you’ll get to be a part of a worthy conservation project and see local wildlife like kiwi and tuatara in their natural environment. There are a host of walks ranging in intensity and length to explore in and around the city.
By Arielle Tai