Reasons to 💙Wellington

Wellington has all the right ingredients for a mini break. It’s vibrant and easy to get around, there are lots of things to do and see,  many many great cafes and an accessible, interesting waterfront. Even for this devoted Aucklander, it’s easy to see the attraction.

Wellington city is a destination in itself and because there are so many reasons to be there, the people come and infuse the city with energy.  Sure, it can get a bit messy on a Friday night and when the wind blows it’s hard to stand up straight but nowhere’s perfect, right? If you’re lucky enough to visit Wellington on a blue sky day, you’ll know why it is such a beloved city. Recently, on a weekend away with two of my favourite people,  I discovered a few reasons of my own to 💙 Wellington.

1. Top of the list is Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum. Always busy, exciting and interesting and not at all stuffy. Spend an hour or a day, you won’t be bored. The permanent exhibitions are amazing and there is always something special to see. On our visit we saw a fabulous exhibition of Impressionist paintings from France and America and got up close with some of the most extraordinary costumes from the World of Wearable Art events over the years. Don’t miss the haunting Treaty of Waitangi exhibition and make sure that you don’t run out of energy before you reach level 5 and some of the best of the national collection of art.

When you get weary, grab a comfy chair on level 4 for a wine or a coffee at Espresso, or grab some food in the cafe on the ground floor.  Te Papa will show you things that you’ve never dreamed of and you will  leave knowing so much more about what makes New Zealand tick. (

2. Poetry and art along the waterfront I won’t spoil the surprise because that’s part of the charm of wandering along and stumbling on art and words where you’d least expect them.

3. Joe’s Garage  (5 Tory Street). We ended up here by mistake after wandering around empty streets looking for somewhere with a big screen showing America’s Cup racing. When we stumbled into Joe’s it was like finding a miracle! Little did we know that not only was there a big screen but the coffee and the all day menu were fab. We can recommend the Sweetie (bacon & egg roll and porridge with nuts and fruit) and wished we could have stayed longer to try a homemade brownie, or a burger or any one of the other items on the menu.

4. Sweet Mother’s Kitchen (5 Courtenay Place). This is where to go for home-style cookin’ with New Orleans influences, Cajun and Creole dishes and Mexican snack food. It’s a cosy place, no reservations so get there early and leave room for some homemade pie.

5. Tommy Millions (cnr Courtney Place/ Taranaki St). Don’t be put off by the fact that this used to be an unappealing public toilet. This is the place to eat pizza by the slice. Say no more.

6. The coolest street in Wellington: Cuba Street. You can shop here, stay here , eat and drink here and walk in safety as it’s a pedestrian mall. This is a slice of bohemia and it’s always busy with locals and visitors.  Cuba Street has been a registered Historic Area under the Historic Places Act since 1995. Look up and see the architecture, you can read more about the history of the street here My favourites are Floridatas for Portugese custard tarts :), Ziggurats for recycled designer gear and Cosmic Corner a “funkstore” for things that you never knew you needed. Definitely worth a look.

7. Cocktails at Hummingbird Eatery and Bar (Courtenay Place). Say no more.

8. The Wellington Cable Car. In 2012 this little gem turned 110 years old. The entrance is hidden on Lambton Quay in the CBD . At the top is the Botanic Garden and the Kelburn lookout. The terminus at Kelburn is next to the Cable Car Museum which is free and there is a 2 minute walk to the Carter Observatory and Planetarium.  The Kelburn Village is only five minutes walk away and the Botanic Garden has interesting downhill walks which take you back to the city centre in 40 minutes. Don’t forget your camera.

Categories: New Zealand

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