Visiting windy Wellington? Read on for what to see, eat and do in New Zealand’s quirky capital.
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Head out to Cuba Street, Wellington’s first pedestrian shopping street. It’s a bit bohemian, a bit hipster but 100% cool. Here you will find boutique shops selling vintage dresses, designer accessories and more. On Friday nights, the Wellington Night Market brings food trucks and other pop-up eateries to a small alley off Cuba Street.
The street is lined with bars and restaurants to please any palate. On a warm summer evening get your burger fix at Ekim Burgers, a unique outdoor restaurant at the corner of Cuba Street and Abel Smith Street. Served out of a permanent food truck, Ekim Burgers offers over 30 different types of burgers and burritos including several veggie burger options. Paired with huge potato wedges and a cold beer, it’s a unique setting to experience one of the hippest hangouts in Wellington.
A ride on the Wellington Cable Car is a fun way to see the city in a new way. A one-way ride costs 4 NZD and takes you from Lambton Quay to the hillside neighborhood of Kelburn. At the top, there is a cable car museum that explains the history of the funicular, complete with a restored original car.
Take in the views from the top and then work your way through the Wellington Botanic Garden. Over 25 hectares of native forest, plants and colorful floral gardens fill the hillside. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the gardens and back to the city.
Once you’ve made your way back to the city, head to the waterfront along Queen’s Wharf to grab lunch at one of the many restaurants and cafes along the water.
Wellington is blessed with having two great museums that are both free. If you’re pressed for time, check out the Wellington Museum.
This museum covers the history of the city and significant events in the city’ past like the Wahine Disaster. Take a journey through Wellington’s quirky history through the creative interactive displays. Make sure to check out the Time Machine in the Attic. It’s all housed in a historic wharf building dating to the late 19th century.
If you have more time to spare, spend a few hours wandering through Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum and Art Gallery.
The museum spans a massive six levels and contains exhibits on New Zealand’s natural and social history. Don’t miss the larger than life exhibit on the battle of Gallipoli.
Courtenay Place is the somewhat trendier street compared to the bohemian vibes of Cuba Street. Here is where you’ll find clubs, cigar bars, speakeasies and restaurants to suit any budget. For the best pizza and calzones, head to Pizzeria Napoli on Courtenay Place. The authentic Napolitan style pizza and pizza dough is absolutely addictive!
You can bar hop your way up and down Courtenay Place but make sure to stop by The Cavern Club. As the name suggests, this bar plays music from the 60s and 70s and hosts a live cover band on the weekends.
It’s not called Windy Wellington for nothing. Hike up to the peak of Mount Victoria for views of Wellington harbor. But hold on to your hat – it gets very gusty.
Wellington-born director, Sir Peter Jackson, brings his movie-making magic to The Great War Exhibition, an exhibit on the First World War. Movie-like sets depict the key moments of the war, year by year.
Detailed descriptions mark each display to educate visitors on this important event in our history. Accompanying each exhibit are hundreds of photographs taken during the time period. Each image has been colorized to bring their subjects’ stories to life.
The suburb of Miramar is a creative hub for the local film industry. Following the success of the Lord of the Rings series, Jackson and his team created studios, sound stages, and pre- and post-production facilities here.
The most well-known design and physical effects studio, Weta Workshop, offers tours of their facilitiy. Although they are most known for their work on the Lord of the Rings films, Weta Workshop, along with their digital and production departments, have worked on a diverse range of films such as Avatar, The Last Samurai and The Adventures of Tintin. The tour takes visitors behind-the-scenes into the making of movie props. You’ll try out a gun from District 9 as well as get a feel for a fat suit!