In the 2006 World of WearableArt show, people are dancing on stage with large feathers as confetti rained down. A large chandelier made of pink material hangs above them.

Your ultimate guide to WOW

What is WOW

Taking place over a three-week season at the TSB Arena, the World of WearableArt (WOW) Show is New Zealand’s single-largest theatrical production. Described as Broadway meets Cirque du Soleil, the show is a spectacular live event combining dance, aerialists, music, fashion, beautiful sets, models, and more.

At the heart of the show is the World of WearableArt Competition. Drawing designers from across the globe, the competition is the ultimate intersection of design, art, fashion, and drama. Designers enter various categories and the finalists are showcased in themed sections during the show.

The 2023 WOW Show: BEYOND, will take audiences into a futuristic world beyond their imaginations.  

QT Hotel


While you’re in town, base yourself at one of Wellington’s boutique hotels or luxury escapes.

QT Wellington is conveniently located on the waterfront with beautiful sea views, while still being close to the action of the city. The hotel is home to an eclectic and wide-ranging collection of art. With two restaurants and a lobby lounge, it’s a luxurious home for your Wellington weekend.

If you’re looking to dial up the WOW-factor, book a stay at one of the two Naumi Wellington locations. Naumi Studio and Naumi Hotel are sister properties and neighbours, sharing a lobby as well as a love for colour and bold styling.

The hotel side has large spacious rooms, whereas the studio options in a heritage building are cosier. Both are decorated with big, bold prints and colours. The sparkly elevator is a must for selfies.

The new kid on the block is The Cobbler Hotel. With 12 rooms, it’s a private and boutique oasis. Each room has a full kitchen, so you will be fully equipped if you choose to extend your stay. However, with its location on Eva Street handy to dozens of bars and restaurants in every direction, you’ll be spoiled for choice of where to eat. 


Fuel your stay at the capital’s numerous restaurants, bars, and cafes. With a compact and walkable central city, you can easily do a crawl of whatever tickles your fancy – wine bars, coffee roasteries, or even pizza places.

Wellington’s only Burmese restaurant, Mabel’s, is excellent for a pre-show meal or dinner with friends. Tasty comfort food is bursting with flavour, and the noodles, salads, curries, and snacks are perfect for sharing.

At the bottom of Cuba Street, Highwater is worth seeking out. The menu is based on sustainability and seasonality, with almost everything made from scratch in house.

Close to the TSB Arena, Pravda is a classic in the capital’s hospitality scene. The menu is modern bistro, with fresh ingredients and delicious flavours. It will have a pre-show menu for the duration of the WOW season.

Wellington takes its brunch seriously. Fuel yourself up for the day ahead with coffee and eggs whichever way you like them. Floriditas serves elevated Kiwi classics with a twist. Tucked into the corner of City Gallery Wellington, Nikau has excellent coffee and a solid roster of brunch staples. The fish kedgeree is famous.

Exterior of the CIty Gallery with 5-metre tall hand statue 'Quasi' standing atop.

Ella MacDiarmid


If you’ve got some free time around eating, drinking, and taking in WOW, Wellington has plenty of itinerary fillers.

Shopping in Wellington can provide hours of fun. Rummage through racks for vintage treasures at Hunters and Collectors, discover design treasures at KAUKAU, or get to know local designers like Yu Mei or twenty seven names.

Museums and galleries are numerous in the capital. Heavy hitters like Te Papa and City Gallery Wellington offer education and interactive exhibitions. Wellington Museum provides a local lens on history (and a Barbie-themed exhibition until 8 October).

Stretch your legs on one of Wellington’s local trails. A quick trot up Mount Victoria rewards you with sweeping views across the city and harbour. For something lower down, cruise around the waterfront, Oriental Bay, and beyond to the city’s eastern suburbs.