Your Wellington sustainable Christmas gift guide
Our round-up of this season's best gifts that support local Wellington businesses and producers, are kind to the earth and are what we're hoping to find under the tree on Christmas morning.
Adopt a star
40 Salamanca Road, Kelburn, Wellington
If you've ever looked up at the night sky and wished you could name a star, then we've got great news for you. Space Place lets you choose to dedicate a single star, binary star or a super bright star to a nominated person or event. You'll get a certificate to prove the star is yours and coordinates and instructions on how to locate your star in the night star.
Eco-friendly, ethical togs
99 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Nisa is a socially-minded local label that employs women from refugee backgrounds to make their organic clothing - first underwear and now bathing suits have been added to the lineup. Nisa's swimwear is made in their Wellington workshop from Econyl, a fibre made from 100% regenerated nylon, from fishnets and other consumer waste. The togs come in a couple of different cuts in a bold colour block style.
Te Wharewaka o Pōneke Māori Cultural Walking Tour
2 Taranaki Street, Wellington
See Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington from a different perspective on a guided walking tour with Te Wharewaka's knowledgeable guides. These tours are an opportunity to discover Wellington’s hidden Māori treasures and learn other fascinating facts about Māori culture in Wellington. There are two tours to choose from: a one-hour City to Sea tour or a two-hour Hidden Māori Treasures.
Wellington Underground Market
Wellington Waterfront, Jervois Quay, Wellington
Wellington Underground Market is one of Wellington's top shopping and visitor destinations and is a vibrant and fun snapshot of the creative capital. It’s held every Saturday from 10am - 4pm, no matter the weather, because it's all undercover. The market serves as an incubator and springboard for emerging local businesses and artists, who run stalls at the market to sell their locally-made designer homewares, clothing, craft creations and gourmet food products. Visitors can browse the array of stalls whilst enjoying live music from some of the region's finest musicians and soaking up the family friendly atmosphere the Underground Market offers.
110a Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington
The smell of essentials oils is heavenly as you walk into Wellington Apothecary – sandalwood, lavender and something you can’t quite put your finger on. This locally-owned herbal dispensary specialises in locally-made natural remedies, botanical teas, homemade skincare and gifts. There’s a focus on locally-made products that use high-quality organic ingredients – including cacao butter from nearby Wellington Chocolate Factory. The friendly team offer free advice or you can book a consultation with one of the qualified herbalists in the onsite clinic.
82b Victoria Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Trade Aid is an absolute treasure trove, full of objects that not only look good, but are good for humanity. A not-for-profit organisation focusing on fair trade, Trade Aid stocks beautiful homewares, jewellery and furniture made in developing countries from all over the world. The artists and makers who make the products get paid a fair and equitable return for their labours which enables them to work their own way out of poverty without resorting to aid and charity.
53 Waiapu Road, Karori, Wellington
Give the gift of unlimited free entry to Zealandia with an annual membership. For one year, Wellington's acclaimed ecosanctuary will become your backyard for walking, running, picnicking and general hangs. Each time you visit you can bring five mates with you who'll get half-price entry and you'll get discounts at the gift shop, café and 50% off tours.
Percinct 35, 35 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington
“A handmade bar of soap is really beautiful to use." says Ali Johnson of Sphaera who makes handmade soaps from a studio in Ngaio, Wellington. "The process of lathering it in your hands is gorgeous. It’s thick, it’s silky, it’s creamy. It’s a luxurious experience, but it’s not $2,000 worth of luxury. It’s a luxury you can have every single day in the privacy of your bathroom. It’s something you can do to look after yourself and feel like you have small pleasures throughout your day.” You'll find Sphaera soaps at Precinct 35 and you should probably get one for yourself, too.
42 Naples Street, Martinborough
Put a new spin on giving undies as a Christmas present with a pair of locally-made Thunderpants. This Martinborough-based small, ethical and family-owned company produces incredibly comfy underwear with playful and colourful prints. Thunderpants work hard to make sure that their garments are produced in the most ethical and sustainable ways possible, making them good for everyone involved in the produced process (including Mother Earth).
Te Aro, Kilbirnie and Lower Hutt stores
Commonsense Organics is full of things that would make wonderful Christmas gifts: pick a delightfully scented hand cream or organic lipstick, go for a bottle of locally-pressed organic olive oil and browse the fantastic range of stylish lunch containers, reusable straws, coffee cups and drink bottles. Or put together a gift hamper of your favourite local organic goodies including some Wellington Chocolate Factory and Good Fortune Coffee.
Give the gift that grows this Christmas
Ditch cheap plastic presents this Christmas and instead give a native tree which will be planted in New Zealand through Trees that Count. As well as being good for the environment, it's very affordable with native trees costing just $10. The recipient of your tree gift will receive a gift card and a notification as soon as their tree is matched with a planting project in the community.