What to do on a sunny day in Wellington

They say 'you can't beat Wellington on a good day', and we agree. The Wellington waterfront comes alive with friends having drinks in the sun, brave swimmers jumping off the diving platform at Taranaki Wharf and sun-seekers lying on towels at Oriental Bay

Oriental Bay

Oriental Bay, Wellington

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Just a few minutes walk from the city, this golden sand beach is a top spot for a bit of walking, cycling or people watching. It's a safe swimming spot for families and plays host to beach sporting events during summer. It's also home to some of the swankiest real estate in the city and great cafés.

Wellington waterfront

Wellington Waterfront Jervois Quay, Wellington

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Wellington’s waterfront is like the city’s backyard, where everyone goes to hang out and do recreational activities. There’s a wide footpath that stretches from the Railway Station around to Oriental Bay and beyond, which is a great place to walk, jog or cycle along.

Along the way, you’ll find many public sculptures, park benches and places to stop for a coffee or a gelato. On sunny days, stop by the Taranaki Wharf to watch as swimmers jump off a specially-designed eight-metre-high dive platform.

wellingtonwaterfront.co.nz

Scorching Bay

Scorching Bay, Karaka Bays, Wellington

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On a scorching hot Wellington summer’s day, the place to be is Scorching Bay on the Miramar Peninsula. Arguably Wellington’s most stunning beach, Scorching Bay has golden sand and impossibly clear blue water. It’s a favourite spot for a picnic, a game of beach cricket and a swim.

It's even got a popular beachside café, Scorch-O-Rama, which serves great coffee, milkshakes, and ice creams. You can have them ‘to go’ or opt to be seated across the road from the café at special seaside tables.

Chocolate Fish Café

100 Shelly Bay Road, Maupuia, Wellington

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Chocolate Fish Cafe at Shelly Bay is the go-to for enjoying a classic Kiwi seafood barbecue in the sun. Their specialty is seafood sandwiches featuring and mussel fritters straight off the barbecue - simple, classic and absolutely delicious. If seafood isn't your thing, there's lots of other options on the menu, including a great selection for kids. Grab a spot on a beanbag on the grass or nab a picnic table and soak up the beautiful views across the harbour, as the kids run around on the grassy lawn. It's a slice of heaven.

chocolatefishcafe.co.nz

Explore Matiu Somes Island

Matiu/Somes Island, Lower Hutt, Wellington

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Situated in the middle of Wellington's stunning harbour, Matiu/Somes Island is a tranquil retreat for both wildlife and visitors. The island, a predator-free scientific and historic reserve, is owned by local iwi (Taranaki Whānui) and managed by the Department of Conservation. Visitors can wander among native plant and bird life and take in the stunning views around the harbour. The island can be reached on the East by West ferry which runs daily.

wellingtonregionaltrails.com/matiu-somes-island

Go and play at Days Bay

123 Jackson Street, Eastbourne, Lower Hutt

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A sandy beach with bush-clad hills behind, Days Beach is a beautiful place to visit no matter the season. It's particularly popular during the warmer months for swimming and picnicking. Hire kayaks and paddleboards from Wildfinder or head up into the hills for a bushwalk. 

Days Bay has a couple of great cafés for lunch or dinner and an ice cream shop. To get there, drive around the harbour to Days Bay from Petone or take the East by West ferry across the harbour. 

huttvalleynz.com/days-bay

Pencarrow Coast

Pencarrow Coast Road, Lower Hutt

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Walk or bike the coastal trail along the Pencarrow Coast and take in the uninterrupted views across Wellington Harbour. Follow the beautiful (and flat) coastal trail along the Pencarrow Coast Road to the 1906 lighthouse on the shoreline - about an hour's bike ride. If you're feeling fit, you can also venture up to New Zealand's first lighthouse, once home to the country's only female light house keeper. Once you reach the lighthouse, you'll be rewarded with vast views over Wellington harbour and across to the South Island.

wellingtonregionaltrails.com/pencarrow-coast-road

St Johns Bar & Eatery

5 Cable Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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Situated in the historic former Wellington Free Ambulance building, this popular waterfront bar and restaurant is the place to be on a sunny day.

St Johns sheltered outdoor area has a grassy lawn where you can pull up a bean bag or a deck chair and enjoy an alfresco drink and snack.

Inside, the beautiful Art Deco-style building has been elegantly refurbished with period light fittings, plush velvet booths and potted palms. Soak up the lush atmosphere in the bar before heading next door to dine at the eatery.

stjohnsbar.co.nz

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