Where to Go and What to Eat in Wellington, New Zealand
Wellington: With it’s beautiful harbor, picturesque rolling hills, and cultural scene, is it the coolest capital city in New Zealand.
Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand. It is located on the southernmost point on NZ’s North Island. Wellington has a big city feel, but isn’t super crowded! It is compact and extremely easy to get around on foot. Surrounding it are beautiful rolling hills, sandy beaches, and a working harbor. It is the cultural capital of New Zealand; as it is home to multiple national museums and the place to see performing arts. Wellington is also known for it’s film tourism, with many famous films created there.
Here is some of the best of the colorful and lively Wellington.
Cuba Street – Cuba Street seems to have it all, 6 or so blocks of art, buskers, boutiques, and international cuisines. It is colorful and has so much going on, you could spend a full afternoon wandering up and down this pedestrian street.
Te Papa NZ National Museum – Even if you are not a museum person, I totally recommend this museum. It’s free (!!) and they have many different exhibits that cover an array of different topics that represent New Zealand’s identity in some way. When I was there, they had a Dreamworks Animation exhibit, a memorable “Passport to NZ” exhibit showcasing migrants to the country, and a Gallipoli exhibit that tells the story of the famous campaign in World War
Mount Victoria – Go to top and lookout over city. Mount Victoria offers a 360 degree view of Wellington, the harbor and the ocean. You can hike, drive, or take a bus – it is easily accessible and worth it for the spectacular views of the city below you. Stick around here one night for a great spot to watch the sunset.
Waterfront – Take a walk along the waterfront in the city. You can rent kayaks or rollerblades along the Wellington Harbour. Or follow the Wellington Writers Walk – which consists of 23 sculptural quotations from some of New Zealand’s best known writers.
Weta Cave – The Weta Workshops tour is SO cool to experience, even if you aren’t a huge Lord of the Rings fan. You get to go behind the scenes of the movies that made Wellington, Wellywood. Other films Weta has worked on include The Hobbit films, Avatar, King Kong, and District 9. The skill, talent and creativity the crew has that created the movies is unbelievable. You will walk away amazed and with a new appreciation for the film-making business.
Wellington Cable Car – The Cable Car goes from Lambton Quay (downtown Wellington) to the botanical garden. It is $7.50 for an adult return ticket and it is worth it to get an unique experience in the city. Once you get off the top of the car, you get beautiful views of the whole city.
Wellington Botanical Gardens – Take the cable car to the botanical garden. You can take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the beautiful gardens. Features of the garden include a rose garden, lounging areas, a cafe, duck pond, a children’s playground, and more! It is the perfect place to have a peaceful afternoon picnic.
The New Zealand capital is a food lover’s paradise, as it has a wide array of cuisines and locally brewed beers to indulge in. Wellington is also the place to get an exceptional cup of coffee in NZ. The city is said to have more bars and restaurants per capita than New York City.
Here are some of my top choices for the best food/drink of Wellington.
Fidel’s – This is located on Cuba Street and is a cute little cafe where you can get a good meal or coffee. Personally, I’d go for the milkshakes – the Snickers Milkshake was just what I needed for a cool down on a hot New Zealand summer day.
Stories Espresso Bar– This is an unique place to get your daily coffee! It is a espresso bar started out of an old shipping container. It has delicious coffee and has a cool background: it’s mission is to provide training and work opportunities to young adults.
Monsoon Poon – A good place to stop for Asian-inspired food. Beautifully decorated and delicious food mix together to create a great atmosphere for a enjoyable dinner one evening. The meals are decently portioned, so it would be a good for splitting meals with friends (and saving a bit of money as well!).
The Blend Bar– A good stop for some fun nightlife! It has a lively environment, loud music, and is a fun place to go for after-dinner drinks. And compared to other places in the city, the drinks are cheaper too!
Tommy Millions – A pizza and gelato store with some of the best pizza in the city! It is a good place to get cheap, delicious pizza. Eat in or takeaway at one of their two locations in the city.
– New Zealanders are known as “Kiwis” and you will hear this phrase multiple times a day.
– New Zealand as a whole isn’t exactly a major WIFI hub, but you can find some free WIFI in Wellington – try finding a McDonalds or there are a few internet hotspots along the Waterfront.
– Save money by traveling the city on foot! It is a compact city that is super easy to navigate and find your way. Plus they have signs and maps throughout the city to help you on your way.
– In the summer it can be very warm, but at night and in the winter it can cool down a bit so be sure to bring a sweater with you!