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Advent Calendar photographers and locations

Meet the stars of the 2016 Wondrous Wellington Advent Calendar; the Wellington locations and the photographers that captured them.

Jeff McEwan

Jeff McEwan is a photographer, creative director of Capture Studios and a passionate Wellingtonian. He has a strong passion for photography, the arts and the exploration of new concepts – a natural evolution from a seven-year career as a press photographer and illustrations editor at The Evening Post and The Dominion Post.

Jeff produced images for days 1-5, 7, 9-16 and 19-24.

Mark Gee

Mark Gee is an award winning photographer, time-lapse filmmaker and digital visual effects supervisor based in Wellington. He has worked on many high-profile and Oscar winning feature films. His love of the New Zealand landscape is a big part of the inspiration for his photography.

Mark produced images for days 6, 8, 17 and 18.


Day 1: Oriental Bay

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.

Day 2: Courtenay Place

Advent Day 2 - Courtenay Place

Courtenay Place is the hub of Wellington's nightlife, best known for its trail of stylish cocktail bars, restaurants, pubs and dance clubs. Grab a slice of pizza from Tommy Millions or check out the view from rooftop bar Dirty Little Secret.

Day 3: Hannahs Laneway

Tucked away in this little laneway, you’ll discover a trail of boutique factories and eateries such as Golding's, Wellington Chocolate Factory, Six Barrel Soda Factory. and Fix and Fogg.

Day 4: Frank Kitts Lagoon

Frank Kitts Lagoon is a great place to people watch, soak up the sun and hire a peddle boat. On a sunny day pull up a bean bag or picnic blanket at St Johns Bar for a refreshing beverage, or relax on the terraced grassed area by Karaka Cafe.

Day 5: Wellington Zoo

Home to New Zealand's native treasures and endangered exotic animals, you can get up close and personal with wildlife at the Zoo. Explore the new walk-through precinct, Meet the Locals He Tuku Aroha.

Day 6: Wrights Hill

Visit this historic gun emplacement and 620 metres of underground tunnels constructed during World War II. Surrounding the emplacement are bush walks and picnic areas with fantastic views.

Day 7: Opera House Lane

Advent Day 7 - Opera House Lane

Wellington is a city full of charming nooks and trendy crannies. Tucked away in behind The Opera House between Manners and Wakefield Streets you'll find a hidden world of local street art and light installations from past LUX festivals.

Day 8: Red Rocks

Formed 200 million years ago by undersea volcanic eruptions, small amounts of iron oxides give the rocks along the rugged south coast their distinctive colouring. An easy walk to Sinclair Head leads you to a fur seal colony.

Day 9: Fergs Kayaks

Want to get out on the water this summer? Go for a peaceful paddle around Wellington’s inner harbour on a kayak or stand up paddle board from Fergs Kayaks. Alternatively, check out their rock climbing wall, hire a bike or try inline skating.

Day 10: Embassy Theatre

The Embassy Theatre is New Zealand's grandest picture palace. Originally built in 1926, this historic theatre has hosted world premieres and many of Wellington's finest film and arts festivals.

Day 11: A Very Welly Christmas Festival

Wellington's two-day Christmas festival on Lambton Quay (10-11 Dec) is filled with family-friendly festivities including a giant snow dome, performances from around the globe, community choirs, photo booths, giveaways, and of course Santa.

Day 12: Logan Brown

Logan Brown Restaurant takes fine dining to a new level. Offering a wonderful dining experience in a stylish yet relaxed atmosphere, it brings innovation, passion and joy to its diners. Be sure to try their famous paua ravioli.

Day 13: Cuba Mall

Wellington’s famous inner city slice of bohemia, Cuba Street, is a place with culinary and creative soul. It’s where people meet, busk, shop, dine and the best place in town to soak up the capital of cool’s culture.

Day 14: Lyall Bay

Wellington’s most popular surf beach is an ideal place for swimming, wind and kitesurfing, with a side order of plane-spotting. Catch all the action over brunch at Maranui Café or Spruce Goose.

Day 15: Wellington Night Market

Experience a melting pot of different cultures, bright lights, a buzzing atmosphere, and the biggest range of international cuisine in the city. The market is held Friday nights on Left Bank, and Saturday nights on Lower Cuba Street.

Day 16: Mount Victoria Lookout

The Mount Victoria Lookout is a Wellington must-do. Easily accessed via a bush walk from the city to summit, or by car or bus, you'll be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the city, harbour, and beyond.

Day 17: Point Halswell Lighthouse

Advent Day 17 - Point Halswell Lighthouse

Located at the tip of Miramar Peninsular, this iconic octagonal, checkerboard tower is a picturesque setting for keen photographers. Walk up the nearby hill to the Massey Memorial and the site of a historic WWII anti-aircraft gun battery.

Day 18: Brooklyn Wind Turbine

Wellington's Wind Turbine offers some of the best views across the city. Walk up to the turbine at the top of Brooklyn Hill for spectacular, breathtaking views of the Wellington region, Cook Strait and in the distance, the South Island.

Day 19: Wellington Botanic Garden

Enjoy over 26 hectares of unique landscape, exotic forests, native bush and colourful floral displays. Ride Wellington’s historic Cable Car to its lookout at the top of the Garden and then follow the Sculpture Trail back down to the city.

Day 20: L'affare Café

L'affare is Wellington's original café and coffee roastery, located on College Street. It's flagship café is a compulsory stop for coffee aficionados worth their salt and is loved for its fresh counter eats, all-day breakfast menu and delicious à la carte lunches.

Day 21: St James Theatre

Located in the heart of the entertainment district, this fully restored heritage building is one of Wellington's great venues for opera, dance and major musical shows, and it is home to the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

Day 22: Upper Cuba Street

Advent Day 22 - Upper Cuba Street

Frolic in a flash mob, bop to Brazilian beats and feast on flavoursome food at the vibrant street festival, CubaDupa (25-26 Mar 2017). Popular local haunts include Ekim Burgers, Laundry, Southern Cross Garden Bar and Fidel’s Café

Day 23: Harbourside Market

This bustling, open-air Sunday morning market next to Te Papa is the oldest and most popular market in Wellington. Stock up on an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, and delicious hot foods from a diverse range of local suppliers.

Day 24: New Year's Eve in the capital

Welcome in 2017 by heading down to Wellington's waterfront for New Year’s Eve festivities including family entertainment, toe-tapping music, finished off with a midnight countdown and a fantastic fireworks display.

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