Wellington claims fame as both New Zealand’s capital city, and “Capital of Cool” – thanks to its outlandish scenery, activities and buzzing atmosphere.
Situated amid a picturesque setting of rolling green hills and a glistening harbour, the city is a treasure trove of environmental and cultural splendours. Compact in size, New Zealand’s most populated city comes alive with cultural life, political landmarks and award-winning restaurants.
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Wellington is New Zealand’s culinary capital, renowned for its diverse range of restaurants and cafes.
Boasting more cafés per capita than New York, coffee and brunch choices are endless. Visit Cuba Street for a taste of the best cafés on offer in the city. Fidel’s Café, at the top of the street, has a cult-following, offering the freshest Havana coffee in town. A hang-out for hipsters and artists alike, Olive is a cosy café with outstanding coffee and meals – enjoyed in a sunlit courtyard sheltered by olive trees. Sporting the tag line “Premium coffee and delights for the discerning palate”, Mojo Coffee is steadily taking over Wellington’s café scene with over 12 coffee spots throughout the city.
Café culture isn’t Cuba Street’s only draw card, the bohemian street is Wellington’s go-to for all types of dining. Housed in a 1920’s banking chamber, Logan Brown is one of the city’s best fine dining establishments – excelling in character as well as cuisine. Viva Mexico serves real-deal Mexican, with an exciting menu of flavours and experiences. Rasa is Wellington’s go-to for Indian and Malaysian cuisine; its standout service well respected throughout the city. Perfect for people-watching, Floriditas is a smart and spacious space, well-known for its delicious baked goods, seasonal food and interesting wine list.
For a room with a view, it’s hard to go past the picturesque setting of Wellington Harbour. The White House Restaurant at Orient Bay consistently ranks as one of the city’s best fine dining restaurants. Dockside, in the heart of Queens Wharf, serves the best in New Zealand seafood. While Martin Bosley’s Yacht Club Restaurant, overlooking Clyde Quay Marina, enjoys panoramic views of Wellington, while plating up critically-acclaimed menu.
Wellington’s nightlife and bar scene is concentrated around Courtenay Place – a destination rich in choice of bars and nightclubs. For a relaxed drink head to The Library; rumours allude that cocktail vouchers can be found hidden in the books on the shelves. The Establishment holds one of Wellington’s few 24 hour licences. While Rain is the city’s longest-running nightclub, mixing an exciting atmosphere with a lively bar scene.
Shopping in Wellington is accessible and varied. The city enjoys a compact centre, with countless laneways and malls, boasting the best in New Zealand and international retailers.
Lambton Quay (nicknamed the Golden Mile) is one of Wellington’s main shopping areas – a must visit for retail therapy, featuring everything from high-end boutiques to fast fashion stores. High-end fashion retailers can also be found in The Old Bank Arcade. Around the corner sits the luxury department store, Kirkaldie and Stains – Wellington’s go-to for serious shopping.
Away from the harbour, fashion, books and music stores can be found on Willis Street. Just off Willis Street, sits Upper Manners Street, the perfect locale to explore speciality stores. Not only does this area host an exciting retail environment, it also holds a distinct atmosphere that fosters both the business-minded and creative.
Home to a wide array of quirky stores and cafes, The Cuba Quarter is Wellington’s go-to for eclectic fashion, independent boutiques, upcoming designers and vintage wares.
For a one-stop shopping spot, it’s hard to go past the recently refurbished, Westfield Queensgate – home to everything from fashion, home wares, groceries, electronics and footwear.
Discover the best in Wellington’s shopping and gain inside tips and recommendations from locals and pick up The Fashion Map from the visitor centre.