A wild weekend at Wings Over Wairarapa
Whether you’re an aviation lover or not, this is a weekend for thrill seekers and lovers of good old-fashioned summer fun
Make the most of summer with an extended weekend of dining, aerial adventures, kiwi spotting, local shopping and some sleeping in.
One of New Zealand's biggest air shows, Wings Over Wairarapa is a good time whether you're a plane spotter or not with incredible aerial displays matched with delicious food and drink. You'll be heading on an unforgettable nighttime adventure at Zealandia, named by Time magazine in their list of the 100 greatest places on earth. Add in exceptional dining and spot of shopping and you've got yourself a wildly refreshing weekend.
Disembark and begin your weekend
You're in for a colourful experience as you check in to your hotel for the weekend. Naumi Studio Hotel Wellington is Cuba Street's newest hotel and fitting for a street known for it's vibrancy and creativity, the hotel is a symphony of colour, texture and art.
Have a drink at the hotel's grand bar - which we can say without a doubt is totally deserving of the title 'grand'. Under elegant vintage glass pendant lights, pull up a crushed velvet stool and sample delights from the curated cocktail list or selection of award winning New Zealand wines.
For dinner, the menu is Cuba Street: choose from exceptionally tasty cheap and cheerful chilli oil dumplings from Rams Crazy Dumplings or go for paua ravioli from award-winning Logan Brown. Perhaps you feel like beef rendang or masala dosai from Rasa or go for wood-fired pizza and seasonal salad at Loretta. Whatever you choose, finish your night with a scoop of ice cream from Duck Island's ice cream parlour.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? (it's a probably a plane)
Head over the Remutaka Range on a special Wings coach bus to Masterton for the biennial Wings Over Wairarapa festival. A lively mix of aerial theatrics and good summer fun, this is your chance to see aviation history, both in the air and on the ground, including Sir Peter Jackson’s world-famous assortment of antiques.
Easy like Sunday morning
Wake up late and take a short mosey from Naumi Studio Hotel Wellington to Harbourside Market. Take along your reusable cup for your freshly made coffee and order a fresh seafood sandwich from Food for the People’s popular stall. Find a spot to sit and look out at the harbour as you enjoy your breakfast picnic.
After all of that looking upwards yesterday, it's time to take to the skies yourself. Take a short walk from the market to Wellington Helicopters’ landing pad on Queens Wharf for an exhilarating helicopter ride to see the rugged, isolated beauty of Wellington’s South Coast. Within 15 minutes you’ll be hanging with some of the local fur seals and feeling like you’re in the middle of nowhere.
Go kiwi spotting
Zealandia eco-sanctuary is another incredible slice of wilderness, just minutes from the CBD. A night tour is a very special way to experience the sanctuary and spot nocturnal creatures like cave wētā, ruru and glow worms and if you’re lucky, you might see a rare little spotted kiwi. End your tour with a mug of hot bushman's tea made with native kawakawa leaves before heading back to Naumi Studio Hotel Wellington to your warm and cosy bed.
Is there anything better than a Monday off?
When you visit a city for the first time, there's that special feeling you get when you discover a locals' favourite spot – Prefab is one of those places. Run by Wellington hospitality legends Bridget Dunn and Jeff Kennedy, the eatery specialises in unpretentious food, done well, and bottomless filter coffee.
Next door to Prefab, Good Books is Wellington’s newest bookstore founded by Jane Arthur and Catherine Robertson, two writers who definitely know a good book from a dud. Nearby is always-on foodie market Moore Wilson’s, a perfect place to stock up on local products from olive oil to chocolate, cheese to craft beer.