Fili Tapa's guide to a wild weekend in Wellington

Adventurer and self-described donut lover Fili Tapa and his partner Freina Sands visited Wellington for a jam-packed weekend

Stay at Rydges

Rydges Wellington is centrally located on Featherston Street, only one street back from the Wellington waterfront and within walking distance to Lambton Quay, Sky Stadium, Queens Wharf and Wellington Railway Station. 

The East-facing rooms have stunning views across the harbour to Matairangi / Mount Victoria and Oriental Bay and with 280 rooms there are plenty of business and leisure options to choose from. All rooms feature flat-screen televisions, iPod docking stations and kitchenettes.

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Matairangi / Mount Victoria

The best way to get your bearings of the city is by checking out the views from the top of Mount Victoria, or Mt Vic, as the locals call it – this is part of the Southern Walkway trail. Rising 196m above the city, Tangi Te Keo / Mount Victoria Lookout has stunning panoramic views of Wellington city, harbour and hills.

You can drive to the top of Mt Vic or walk there via one of the many trails in the Town Belt. Take a picnic with you, settle in on the hillside and relax while watching ferries and cruise ships sail into the harbour and planes fly in and out of the airport. Mt Vic is also one of the best spots in the city for taking in a sunrise or sunset.

Zealandia Twilight Tour

The world’s first fully-fenced ecosanctuary, ZEALANDIA is an incredible slice of wilderness isn’t what you’d expect to find a few minutes’ drive from the central city, but Wellington is all about the unexpected.

The best way to explore ZEALANDIA is with a guide - they really know their stuff. The two-and-a-half hour Twilight Tour is a magical experience. You’ll depart around dusk, explore the sanctuary by torchlight and spot creatures that only come out at night like cave wētā, ruru/owls and glowworms. If you’re lucky, you’ll even see a rare Little Spotted Kiwi, and you’ll warm up with a cup of bushman’s tea made with native kawakawa.

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Every time I come back there is always something on! If it’s not a music festival it’s bound to be a foodie event or something in the arts taking place…. and best of all, they’re usually within walking distance.

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Hannahs Laneway

Could Hannahs Laneway be the world's tastiest laneway? The culinary hub is home to bakers, roasters, grinders, brewers, chocolatiers, and pizza slingers, who work collaboratively together to bring life to a former industrial quarter.

Follow the peanut butter flag to find Fix & Fogg's cute shop window for a variety of nut butters with flavours from Smoke & Fire to Coffee & Maple and pop in to Wellington Chocolate Factory to watch their bean-to-bar chocolate being created right in front of you.

Leeds Street Bakery is home to the famous Salted Caramel Cookie, Lashings serves up dark and decadent chocolate brownies and Pizza Pomodoro slings traditional Neapolitan wood fired pizza. Finish off with a cold one at one of the laneway's four bars; Fortune Favours, Hanging Ditch, Eva Beva and Goldings Free Dive. 

 

Street art

Wellington is packed with street art-filled nooks and crannies waiting to be discovered by curious locals and visitors. Pictured here is Garage Project's Wild Workshop featuring a stunning new mural by Cracked Ink for Wellington City Council's Art on Walls initiative.

The mural is about nature surviving and thriving in cities which reflects Wild Workshop being an 'urban spontaneous brewery' that makes wild ferment beers and wines. In the near future, planter-boxes will be added to the higher reaches of the wall and green will creep down and across this wall adding another dimension to the mural.

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