I know I say this about every city I travel to, but Wellington is my favourite little capital. Vogue even declared it the coolest little city in the world, with their guide of 15 things to see and do in the capital. There’s no denying Wellington is hip, it’s home to many of New Zealand’s greatest writers and artists. Catch a Wellington Phoenix game and visit Parliament, or the Beehive as its commonly known. All these personalities make for an interesting, vibrant city. Walk along Cuba Street and you’ll immediately understand what I mean.
Nick’s sister, Catherine was in her last year of high school when Christchurch’s two major earthquakes struck. It makes sense that she and many of her cohorts decided to attend university in Wellington. Nick, Annie, and I flew down to Welly to spend three days visiting friends and attending Cat’s 21st birthday party. Let’s just say, I’d return in a heartbeat.
Here are some of my favourite spots in Wellington:
Hangar by Flight Coffee: Can we all just agree that the flat white originated in New Zealand, not Australia? You haven’t tasted a flat white until you’ve visited Hangar. Annie had a tasting flight (haha!) and was seriously impressed.
Lambton Quay: Annie and I were on a shopping mission during our first day in Wellington, and Lambton Quay was the ideal place to start. Right across from our hotel, the plaza features all New Zealand’s major designers – Moochi, Ruby, Ricochet, Kathryn Wilson, and the list goes on…all designed and made right in New Zealand.
Fidel’s Café: I’m probably the last person I know to dine at Fidel’s. Even my sister and cousins raved about the food when they visited Wellington (and I stayed home to study for exams) a few years ago. I finally dined at the Wellington mainstay (twice) during my most recent visit. The cuban burrito is pretty amazing. Whatever you do, please make sure you order the house made sea salt caramel milkshake, and share it with your first ever uni friend who you happen to bump into (for the second time) on Cuba Street. What did I tell you, Wellington is small!
Te Papa Museum: One of my favourite museums, Te Papa seamlessly combines New Zealand’s rich history with beautiful works of art. And it manages to cater equally to people of all ages, which is not an easy feat. We attended the Air New Zealand exhibit, which commemorated 100 years of the award-winning airline, and it did not disappoint.
twenty-seven names: Tucked away, just off Cuba Street is twenty-seven names’ original store. Another Kiwi staple, the brand is more tailored and streamlined than other designers. I couldn’t afford anything here, but I admired the classic shapes and styles, which are reminiscent of Parisian designs and of the highest quality.
Wellington Chocolate Factory: A theme is already taking shape in this blog post, and that is SALTED CARAMEL. I don’t know what it is about the sea salt in New Zealand (maybe the proximity to the sea?!) but man is it ever amazing! I purchased a handful of chocolate bars in an assortment of flavours (see photo below). This place seemed a bit hidden to me, but thankfully Annie’s friends made sure we stopped in! The owners were friendly and let us sample a myriad of flavours.
A few other spots to visit if you have some extra time in Wellington:
Midnight Espresso: yummy food, great espresso, fun atmosphere
Southern Cross: where Cat had her 21st birthday, they have a lovely garden patio.
Scorch-o-rama Café: Right on the water overlooking Scorching Bay (hence the unusual name), this is a beautiful spot to sit down for a delicious brunch.
The Library: I always make a point of stopping here for a drink whenever I’m in Wellington. It’s definitely one of the coolest bars I’ve ever been to.
Other city guides: