Explore the best of Courtenay Place
Go for cocktails, have a dance, experience some Wellywood movie magic, get a slice of pizza and more in Wellington's favourite precinct of fun and entertainment
70 Courtenay Place, Te Aro, Wellington
Dragonfly is a contemporary Asian restaurant, bar and courtyard with rustic Asian influences. The menu is inspired by the owners’ favourite eating experiences throughout Asia and features classic dishes with a contemporary twist that are designed to be shared.
The red duck curry is a must-try, and definitely order some dumplings. There’s an excellent wine list with aromatic New Zealand wines that pair beautifully with the food, but make sure you take a look at Dragonfly’s cocktail menu in which Asian herbs and ingredients like lemongrass, lychee, coriander and ginger are incorporated into classic cocktails. Book a table in the chic and relaxed dining space indoors or if you’re feeling social, dine outside in their lively and beautifully lit-up courtyard – or pop in for a drink.
Embassy Theatre Wellington
10 Kent Terrace, Wellington
The Embassy Theatre is New Zealand's grandest picture palace. This historic theatre, originally built in 1926 was fully refurbished inside and out in 2003 for the world premiere of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Since then, the theatre has hosted an array of Australasian premieres and many of Wellington's finest film and art festivals of up to 750 guests.
The refurbishment included a new, giant cinemascope screen and state-of-the-art sound system; luxury seating; stylish environs and restoration that is faithful to its origins of the last century yet sympathetic to the new millennium. With this to build on, the Embassy has retained many fine features such as its marble staircases, wrought iron handrails, original tiled foyers, and exquisite plastered ceiling despite many upgrades over the decades.
16 Cambridge Terrace, Te Aro, Wellington
At the top of Courtenay Place near Embassy Theatre you’ll find a towering, threatening creature poised to run amok – but look closely and you’ll see it’s made from recycled mechanical parts including old camera reels, Nintendo Gameboys and a toasted sandwich maker. Weta Workshop was commissioned to create Tripod in 2005 to celebrate Wellington’s film and television industry and used recycled materials to pay tribute to the New Zealand screen industry's number 8 wire attitude and ability to create with whatever is at hand.
31 Courtenay Place, Te Aro, Wellington
Step off Courtenay Place and enter a world of island time. With a lush and tropical vibe, Lulu takes its inspiration from the islands of the Pacific.
The oceanic-inspired menu features delights such as Fijian snapper kokoda, banana leaf-wrapped fish with coconut and lime and taro chips with palusami (Samoan coconut creamed spinach) dip. When it comes to the drinks menu, think poolside at an island resort with pina coladas, tropical punch and drinks served in tiki mugs.
With a covered courtyard bar, Lulu is the perfect all-weather spot and a fun place to celebrate until late in the evening.
C.G.R. Merchant & Co
44 Courtenay Place, Te Aro, Wellington
Climb the flight of stairs from Courtenay Place to C.G.R. Merchant & Co and you’ll immediately be transported to an exotic world.
There’s a scent of spice in the air, lush green vines grow wildly up the walls and fans spin languidly above. C.G.R. (coffee, gin and rum), brought to you by Jonny McKenzie of the award-winning Hawthorn Lounge, specialises in making intriguing infused gins and rum using a variety of herbs and spices – their salted caramel rum is legendary. Order from the menu or let the bartenders create a custom-made cocktail, just for you.
22 Courtenay Place, Te Aro, Wellington
Oozing old-school elegance, Hummingbird occupies a prominent corner on Courtenay Place with wraparound windows enclosing a cosy inside that's perfect for taking in the view of what's going on outside on the street.
The multi-award-winning Hummingbird has been a landmark on Courtenay Place since 2000 and has earned a reputation for delicious, unpretentious food and world-class cocktails. Their food menu is made up of tapas-style small plates using fresh, seasonal and local produce - enjoy a snack with a cocktail or order more plates to make it a meal.
23 Kent Terrace, Mount Victoria, Wellington
‘Eat food, mostly tacos’ advises Boquita and when the tacos are as delicious as these, it’s an enticing proposition.
Entirely vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free, Boquita’s menu packs a punch of colour and flavour using local and seasonal ingredients. The menu is short and sweet: around four different tacos, some seasonal salads, and their own house-made totopos (corn chips) with guacamole or mole beans.
Boquita has a small dining space, but it’s perfect for a quick bite before a show or grab some takeaways for a picnic at nearby Waitangi Park. Boquita is fully-licensed and serves a small menu of beer, wine and naturally, excellent margaritas.
25 Courtenay Place, Te Aro, Wellington
With five locations around central Wellington, you're never far from a scoop of Kaffee Eis gelato in the capital. Since first opening a small ice cream shop on Oriental Parade in 2004, Kaffee Eis has built a reputation for high quality gelato.
In a city that loves ice cream, Kaffee Eis has become a favourite for their modern fusion of New Zealand and European gelato flavours and their excellent Mojo espresso coffee (affogato, anyone?)
Locally owned and operated, Kaffee Eis (pronounced “café ice”), which means coffee and ice cream in German, reflects the Austrian roots of the founder, Karl Tiefenbacher.