The ultimate summer weekend in Wellington
Spend an unforgettable weekend soaking up art, immersing yourself in culture, eating at award-winning eateries and exploring laneways full of art and good coffee
A drink in the sun
After you’ve checked into your seaside hotel, head for a drink on the grass at one of Wellington’s waterfront bars dotted around the waterfront - St Johns Bar & Eatery and Karaka Cafe are top spots. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, order a glass of locally-made craft beer and raise a toast to yourselves for choosing a weekend in Wellington.
For dinner, take a short stroll to Cuba Street for an array of dinner options ranging from delicious chilli oil dumplings at Rams, fresh handmade pasta at 1154, deeply authentic and delicious Malaysian food at Rasa or paua ravioli at Logan Brown.
After dinner, it's an easy stroll back to your hotel, stopping off for a quick nightcap at one of Courtenay Place's top cocktail bars - a salted caramel infused rum at C.G.R. Merchant & Co is the perfect sweet ending to your day.
Start with brunch
Start your day with brunch at one of Wellington's top cafés. Wellington is a city with beautiful coastlines, so why not head to one of our seaside cafés and soak up the views of the harbour while enjoying our city's legendary coffee and free-range eggs done just the way you like them.
Take a wander to Cuba Street to find your favourite piece of street art and check out the famous Bucket Fountain. This colourful and vibrant street is home to some of the city’s best vintage shopping - from clothing to records, books and watches.
While away a summer afternoon
Head along to one of Wellington's summertime festival. For fans of music, there's Downtown Shakedown (5 December), a new music festival that will take over Waitangi Park on Wellington's waterfront, and Jim Beam Homegrown (20 March) is returning in late March with their epic line-up of homegrown Kiwi music over multiple stages.
For the foodies, there's Beers at the Basin (28 November), Kāpiti Food Fair (5 December) and Wellington Food and Wine Festival (13 February 2021). These outdoor festivals bring together the best locally made craft beer, wine and food that the Wellington region has to offer, combined with live music and a fun atmosphere.
Love a street festival? So do we. Wellington's summer is dotted with incredible street festivals, starting with the Thorndon Fair (6 December) in December, Martinborough Fair (6 February & 6 March 2021) Newtown Festival (8 March 2021) and CubaDupa (27 & 28 March 2021).
A dinner to remember
Wellington isn't called the culinary capital for nothing: we have 24 of New Zealand's top restaurants as rated by Cuisine magazine in 2019. Choose from incredibly flavourful curries, biryani and breads at Great India, or go for best-ever yum chat at Dragons. Have a plant-based degustation at Hillside Kitchen or a grilled meat feast at Charley Noble. Wherever you choose to go, you'll be in a for a treat.
Easy like Sunday morning
Wake up late and meander down to the Harbourside Market to find some breakfast. At this colourful and bustling weekend market you'll find locals buying fruit and vegetables from local growers and fresh fish from fisherpeople who moar their fishing boat the wharf. Grab a coffee and a barbecued seafood sandwich for breakfast and find a spot to sit and people watch.
After breakfast, head to Te Papa to see World of WearableArt - Up Close (Ao KākahuToi – Kia Tata). This is your chance to see every detail of some of the most breathtaking wearable art garments from the World of WearableArt Awards Show (WOW) at this exclusive Te Papa exhibition (12 December 2020 - 14 February 2021).
Go meet some wildlife
Ride the historical bright red Wellington Cable Car to the top to check out the panoramic views over the city and harbour. From here, you can catch the free electric vehicle shuttle to Zealandia ecosanctuary, named by Time magazine as one of the 100 greatest places in the world. This incredible slice of wilderness isn’t what you’d expect to find a few minutes’ drive from the central city, but Wellington is all about the unexpected.
Head back into town for lunch at Mr Go’s, one of Wellington’s favourite fun eateries that serves up Asian hawker-style street food with a twist of Kiwi influence. The atmosphere is buzzy and laidback and it’s a great place for families and groups. Order up a bunch of things to share, some local craft beers or some of Mr Go’s renowned cocktails and you’re set.