Wellington, New Zealand is underrated. Do this cool stuff.
A reader of my blog recently wrote to me and asked what there is to do in Wellington (the city I live in), and I had this sort of realization that people must have a hard time finding all the cool stuff that I’ve found in my city. So, I’ve decided I’ll share that list I wrote with you all. Perhaps, if you Google “activities in Wellington” or “things to do in Wellington” one day, I’ll be famous.
This list is my no means exhaustive, but documents some of the cool stuff I’ve found around here. It’s a great city, but I think a lot of information about it is hard to find or doesn’t surface very well online. I hope you enjoy my list!
- THE best burgers: Ekim (no questions, just go eat there)
- Best breakfast foods: Cafe L'affare, Spruce Goose, Maranui, Olive, Drexels (American style diner)
- Good cafe eats: Espressoholic, Sweet Mothers Kitchen, Enigma, Deluxe Cafe + The Lebanese Cuisine place (next door - best Kebabs!)
- Good dinner: Flying Burrito Brothers, Chow, Mexico, Florditas, Little India, Mediterannean Food Warehouse (great pizzas and pasta, two for one on Monday)
Coffee Coffee Coffee
We have pretty much the best coffee culture anywhere I can think of. If you don’t like coffee, you may suddenly find yourself loving it.
- Customs Brew Bar
- Flight Coffee
- Havana - to save you some hurt, they aren’t open weekends
- Wellington Chocolate factory (best hot chocolates in town)
We also have some of the best beer in the world in Wellington with microbreweries all over the place.
- Go see a movie at the theatre where The Hobbit and one of the LoTR movies premeiered, then, go see a movie at Peter Jackson’s theatre (this place is something special). If you’re looking for something even more romantic, go to Lighthouse Cinema (They have couches!).
- Te Papa is the generic place to visit if you’re into museums
- As for Laser Tag (yes, it’s fun for all ages), this place is killer.
- If you are considering Go-Karting, I would suggest going here. It’s by far the best in Wellington
- The Weta cave - see some of the work created for films like Lord of the Rings
- Pegasus Books and Arty Bees for cheap/great reads
- Aro Video for your hipster movie rental needs
- Old abandoned Army Bunkers/Base at Wrights Hill. If you’re lucky enough to be here at the right time of the year, you can go underground!
- Wind turbine + Awesome view + Old Army Bunkers at Brooklyn Hill (Go up the driveway in streetview on this link - it’s not private or anything and the view is worth it!)
- Botanical Gardens + Free outdoor bands and Night films are on during the summer. They have lights all through the gardens, it’s quite something.
- More abandoned army bunkers and incredible views + a walk at Breaker Bay (In this streetview image, there is a pathway up the cliff behind where the bloke in orange is standing). If you don’t do any of the other things, do this one. It’s worth it.
- Hit the beach. You could go to Oriental Bay, but if you don’t like crowds so much, a ferry across to Days Bay would be a fun day trip, or you could go to Scorching Bay instead.
- Red Rocks is a fun day walk/trip. Lots of seals!
- A day bike ride out to Pencarrow Lighthouse is fun too!
- Hit the waterfront of Wellington, hire some kayaks or go for a skate - it’s better to kayak in Days bay, though.
- Climb Mount Vic and see the awesome view
- If you like football, see a Phoenix game. If not, there’s always cricket at the Basin Reserve too. Or even better, a Roller Derby.
- Cuba Street night market on Friday nights.
- The diving platform on the waterfront (Warning: terrifying)
- Catch the Cable Car (this is a rite of passage in Wellington)
- Love mini golf? Love pirates? Great!
- Mountain biking: Makara Peak, Wainui trail, Aro Valley
- Walk part of the Skyline Walkway
- Lyall bay for surf/dog watching (it’s partially a dog exercise area!)
- Massey Memorial walk - a beautiful marble monument on top of a hill in Miramar that gives views of the whole of Wellington
Just outside of Wellington
- Owlcatraz (warning, this link plays sounds…) is awesome if you like Owls and Glow Worms - you go in the cage with Owls. They’re cute.
- Kaitoke regional park is a beautiful park/bush area just out of the city
- Adrenaline forest, a high ropes course near Porirua (around 30 mins by car)
- Pauatahanui inlet has some really awesome walkways and stuff, it’s a nice place to visit
- This park is a awesome place to lie in the long grass or fly a kite
- Otaki has lots of “outlet” shops - by NZ standards at least
- Swim in the river at Levin
- Lindale makes honey and awesome ice-cream and stuff
- Go see the creepy Mary statue in Paraparaumu
- Southlands car museum (if you like cars)
- Staglands (especially great if you have kids, or you are a big kid)
- Do the precarious drive up Paekakariki hill for the incredible view of the coast
This list is by no means exhaustive, I’ve likely missed lots of cool stuff I know about but have forgotten today. I’ll update it where I can, but if you think something’s missing, get in touch. Nobody paid me to write this, I just like these things.
v1.5 - Last Updated 3/09/14