People walking down Cuba Street, past the Bucket Fountain, an iconic kinetic sculpture.

The street’s architecture spans Edwardian, and Art Deco eras with most completed in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some modern structures have been added but the precinct has retained much of its turn-of-the-century charm. As the bohemian heart of the city, it is home to artists, students, and musicians. Its general quirkiness and street life make it a popular tourist destination.

Beginning a block back from the waterfront, Cuba Street runs south from Wellington’s central business district. The first block, dominated by the Michael Fowler Centre is partially pedestrianised. The following two blocks are an open-air mall populated with café and restaurant seating, plants, and the famous Bucket Fountain sculpture. The southernmost three blocks are open to cars.

Contrary to popular opinion that the street is named after Cuba, it is named after an early New Zealand Company settler ship. The Cuba arrived in Wellington Harbour in 1840.

Location details

Jurisdiction Wellington City Council
Permits required Yes, apply for a permit
Location descriptors Alleys, city, downtown, roads, shops, stores, urban, buildings, streets, cultural centres, historical sites, pedestrian zones, shopping precincts, public art installations, architectural landmarks, cafés, restaurants, water features, historical architecture, street art.