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Wellington locals' summer essentials

We talk to two local Wellingtonians about their favourite things to do during summer in Wellington

Alison Bartley, Bartley + Company Art

Owner and director of Bartley + Company Art, a leading contemporary art gallery in the heart of Wellington’s Ghuznee Precinct, Alison has been involved in the Wellington art scene since the mid-1990s. Alison gets that summer feeling in Wellington by meandering around the city to look at art, swim, picnic and drink rosé in the sun.

mt vic views
The view from Mt Vic


Anna Ronberg at No16 on Jessie Street is number one for me because she makes shopping so much fun, but it’s getting harder to leave Ghuznee Street now with great offerings at ENA, Caughley and The Service Depot.

And coffee?

Spoilt for choice in Ghuznee Street. The love is shared between Scopa, Customs and Milk Crate.

Summer evenings

On a summer’s evening I like to wander down to Karaka Cafe at Te Wharewaka on the waterfront, and sit on the terraces in the sun by the sea with a glass of rose – and my dog can come too. And though I live in the city now, as a former Breaker Bay resident I am still pulled back to Wahine Park for a summer evening picnic, sometimes a snorkel and hopefully a great sunset.

No16 on Jessie Street

Adam Art Gallery

I’ve got a soft spot for the Adam Art Gallery at Victoria University. It’s a place that always rewards – having taken the time to climb the hill to get
there, you take the time to look properly.

Walk, brunch, art

My inner city favourite walk has got to be over Mount Victoria to Oriental Bay for a swim (and last summer with the sea several degrees warmer than usual, that was the wonderful norm), and then, of course, coffee or brunch somewhere along the way. Often throw in a wander around City Gallery Wellington in Civic Square, too.

Visit Bartley + Company Art at 56A Ghuznee Street

Nikau dining
Nikau Cafe in Civic Square
Nikau Cafe Civic Square
Adam Art Gallery at Victoria University



Nalini Baruch, Lot Eight Olive Oil

Nalini Baruch

Nalini is the owner and creator of Lot Eight’s award-winning cold-pressed and extra virgin olive oils made in the Wairarapa. A love of good food is behind the sustainably produced oils, which started as a weekend hobby and are now a full-time focus. Nalini’s summer is about long walks followed by long chats over wine and cheese platters.

Dragonfly's sultry courtyard

Cocktails & craft beer

Shaun Clouston at Logan Brown on Cuba Street is always happy to chat about the latest in craft beer – ParrotDog Pandemonium and Garage Project Wabi Sabi Sour are two of my current local favourites. I go to Dragonfly’s courtyard on Courtenay Place for Asian-inspired cocktails and chicken and coriander dumplings.

Gelissimo & Balaena Bay

Sage fried eggs for brunch at Nikau Café in Civic Square followed by a waterfront walk, stopping in for a gelato made from Lot Eight Yuzu Olive Oil from Joe at Gelissimo at Taranaki Wharf, then walking it off around the waterfront all the way to Balaena Bay and back to the city.

cable car sunny
Ride the Cable Car to the Botanic Garden

Cable Car & charcuterie

On a summer’s afternoon I like to catch the Cable Car to the top and look out at our beautiful city. I wander back down through the Wellington Botanic Garden (and get distracted by tui singing their hearts out) for a late afternoon drink and charcuterie platter at the Tinakori Bistro in Thorndon, and then walk back to the city through the beautiful grounds of Parliament.

Lady Norwood Rose Garden & Champagne

One afternoon when my husband and I first met, I packed a picnic hamper and asked him to meet me at the Wellington Botanic Garden after work. It was one of those beautiful Wellington summer days — roses in bloom, people strolling by, kids wading in the fountain, dogs out for their walks and there we were, watching life through happy eyes.

Find Lot Eight products at and Moore Wilson’s Fresh on College Street.

Tinakori bistro 2
Charcuterie and a glass of wine at Tinakori Bistro
Photo credit: Anna Briggs