How to spend a perfect day in Wellington

Discover a cool new culinary hub, night market, movie magic and much more on a mini break in the New Zealand capital.

Wellington by the water in the afternoon
  • Tiana Templeman
  • July 2018

Breakfast

Floriditas

Floriditas combines Art Deco styling with a dash of Kiwi cool. Channel your inner Goldilocks with a bowl of steaming porridge doused in brown sugar and cream, or get hip with poached eggs, smashed avocado, za’atar and grilled broccolini. Service is as polished as the old station clock above the counter.

Mid-Morning

Weta Studios

You don’t need to be a fan of The Lord of the Rings to enjoy a Weta Studios Tour. If you’ve ever wondered about the magic behind movie special effects, this tour will answer all of your questions and more. From how to make fake chainmail to creepy creatures with moving faces, this experience is packed with movie magic. There is also a Thunderbirds are Go tour that is ideal for visitors who remember the original show.

Lunch

Hannah’s Laneway

Culinary hotspot Hannah’s Laneway offers an intriguing collection of boutique shops, eateries and destination-focused providores in central Wellington. Enjoy a guided tasting and tour at the Wellington Chocolate Factory, a flight of fountain-style sodas at Six Barrel Soda and peanut butter tasting at cute hole-in-the-wall shop Fix & Fogg. If you’re still hungry, slip around the corner to Mr Go’s for delicious dumplings or “hot rocket” prawns.

Afternoon

The Wellington Cable Car

The Wellington Cable Car has been operating for more than 100 years, travelling from the CBD to Wellington’s Botanic Gardens offering views over the harbour and beyond. It’s best enjoyed in good weather when you can make the most of the view. Stroll back to the CBD via the gardens, filled with gracious old trees, flowerbeds and winding paths.

Wellington Cable Car
Wellington Cable Car

Dinner

Wellington Night Market

Wellington has plenty of great restaurants but if you’re in town over the weekend, head to the Wellington Night Market for dinner. Soak up the lively atmosphere, listen to well-known and up-and-coming bands and take a culinary trip around the globe at the food stalls. This night-time hotspot operates on Friday and Saturday nights from 5pm until 11pm.

An outdoor cafe in Wellington
An outdoor cafe in Wellington

Drinks

Wellington has a bar to suit every mood. Get your geek on at sci-fi bar PhotonFlux with a Robo Geisha or Romulan Ale cocktail, or step back in time at the Hawthorn Lounge – a 1920s-themed gentleman’s club that also welcomes ladies. With its jewel-bright colours, gilt- edged glamour and haughty peacocks overlooking the glass-fronted bar, the QT Museum Wellington hotel’s Hippopotamus Cocktail Bar is elegantly quirky.