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Wellington is the kind of city that rewards the curious wanderer. From tasty holes-in-the-wall and walkways on the city’s cusp, to diving platforms off the scenic waterfront, Wellington’s got all kinds of hidden gems. Here are a few you need to know about:
Hannahs Laneway, also known as salted caramel heaven, is home to Leeds Street Bakery's salted caramel cookies and Wellington Chocolate Factory's salted caramel brittle. As well as watch the magic unfold at New Zealand’s first public bean to bar factory, you can buy delectable peanut butter out a factory window from Fix and Fogg, taste artisan sodas at Six Barrel Soda, and take a well-earned drinks break at one of the most colourful craft beer bars in town.
What’s not to love about waffles? At this little hole-in-the-wall you can pick up a freshly made hot waffle covered in scrumptious toppings like Lemon Meringue Pie and Caramel Cookie Crumble. If you happen to be in town on a Wednesday, pick up the ‘Waffle of the Week’ for only $5!
We’ll let you in on a little secret – Wellington is filled with quirky bars that only the most curious can find. Seek out Havana, C G R Merchant & Co, Foresters Lane, Hawthorn Lounge, The Library, The Black Sparrow and Alice Bar and you’ll be rewarded with some of Wellington’s finest cocktails. Also, make sure you step inside the wardrobe at Foxglove – trust us on this one.
Take a wander around the waterfront and follow the trail of sculptural poetry. See if you can find all 19 poetic sculptures, each of which contains a quotation about Wellington from a poem or piece of prose by one of the many talented writers who have made the city their home at some point in their lives.
Aside from sporting one of the punniest names for a cheese shop we’ve ever come across, C’est Cheese in Wairarapa, stocks an impressive array of specialty cheeses and gourmet local produce. Speaking of cheese, at only $5 a pop, the halloumi sandwiches from boutique cheese makers Zany Zeus in Hutt Valley are a great option for the trip back to Wellington.
One of the special things about Wellington is how the city is surrounded by incredible wildlife. Head for a walk or take a Seal Coast Safari along the wild south coast to Red Rocks to seek native fur seals basking in the sun. Make sure you take a few ‘sealfies’ while you’re there, but keep your distance!
Just a ten minute drive from the city lies one of Wellington’s true wonders – Zealandia. Tucked away in a lush valley, this 225ha ecosanctuary is home to some of New Zealand’s most precious creatures. Wander through the tranquil sanctuary and keep an eye out for native birds, insects and our very own living dinosaur, the tuatara. Take a Night Tour and you might be lucky enough to see the little spotted kiwi.
Fancy a dip? Wellington’s waterfront has a wooden dive plank and a jumping platform, which prove hugely popular in the summer.