Wellington is an adorable yet exciting little capital in the heart of New Zealand. The culture is vibrant and there are plenty of ways to experience the way of life there.
Where to Stay
There are a wide range of hotels and hostels to stay in, all situated within walking distance to Wellington's main attractions. They range from a 5-star hotel experience at the Intercontinental Hotel to the backpacking grassroots lifestyle of a busy hostel. If you’re not sure what you’d prefer, perhaps settle somewhere in the middle and book a stay at Gourmet Stay in downtown. It’s a very affordable hotel in downtown with great reviews. And, you’ll save some money to do all the fun things around town.
Coffee is King
Now that you’re checked in, it’s time for a coffee. The coffee scene is booming and there’s plenty of places to enjoy a fantastic, freshly made latte the moment you arrive in town. Wellingtonians take coffee very seriously and there is a slew of independent coffee houses scattered all around town. Head to Sweet Mama’s Café downtown to experience the kiwi fresh coffee taste and a slice of freshly made pie if you’re hungry. The pie there is delicious.
A Taste of Cuba
Next, you’ll want to head up and down Cuba Street. This is the hub of the art and entertainment district packed with boutiques, cafes, music, restaurants and simply random shops. If you’re looking for some top-notch food to eat look no further than Fidel’s Café. This eatery sits near the top of Cuba Street and is renowned for its classic home-style cooking using ethically-sourced ingredients from local artisan producers. Locals love this place and it’s typically very packed, so be prepared to wait a few minutes for a seat! This street is buzzing during the day and if you’d like to enjoy some of the nightlife there too, you’d be making a great choice.
Head out late to Havana bar and enjoy exquisitely made cocktails to the sounds of respected local DJs spinning everything from funk music to Cuban jams. Or head to the famous bar, Rogue and Vagabond, to discover an extensive list of craft beers and local music acts.
Museums + Must-See Sites
Looking for museums and historical landmarks? Make your way to Te Papa museum. You can enjoy a wide range of exhibitions, ranging from Kiwi history to modern technology. Make sure to explore all floors to make the most out of it. When you have finished, you can step outside and be right at the cities vibrant water-front boulevard. This is one of the most enjoyable strolls in Wellington, so give yourself an hour or two as you’ll be distracted by all the great views and activities going on. Plus, you can take your photo with the famous 'Solace In The Wind' sculpture -- please just don’t fall into the water while doing it!
Wellington has a fantastic botanic garden walk as well, with a very convenient cable car ride to it. On a sunny day, this is a must-do for anybody new to the city. It’s short and sweet but will take you to the top of a hill where you will enjoy an incredible view of the sea line and the city. The botanic garden there is your two-hour stroll back down to the city again. With multiple paths to explore and a huge variety of plant-life to gaze over, it’s is a great time filler. The gardens are open daily from sunrise to sunset and entry is free.
Of course, no trip to Wellington would be complete without going on some walks or hikes in and around the city’s gorgeous landscape. The bays are a great start and offer walks ranging from one hour to five-hour returns. The Mount Victoria Loop is around 5k and will take a few hours to complete – this one is the best of both worlds. Prepare yourself for fantastic views and sore legs! If you want a super cool walk around a mini island near the bay, then sign up for the Somes Island day trip. You’ll need to take a ferry over there and back but it’s well worth it. The island is a nature reserve too for many species of birds and the infamous Weta bug.
There’s plenty more to do in the city so do your research, but hopefully, this is a good start! Try to visit during the summer months also as the winter months get very chilly. Kiwis are some of the coolest people I’ve ever met in my life, so go and meet some!
The FitJoy Team
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