How to have the ultimate WOW getaway

The perfect pairing: World of WearableArt and three days of Wellington luxury

Wellington knows how to do style, and with the iconic World of WearableArt (WOW) Awards Show set to thrill audiences this spring, it’s the perfect time to spend a few days indulging in some of the best experiences the creative capital has to offer.

Where to stay

Wellington has hundreds of beds to rest your head for a night or two, but few are as luxurious as QT Wellington and the Intercontinental.

  • The creative and enchanting QT Wellington is a hotel that has art and luxury at the centre of everything it does.
  • Global five-star hotel InterContinental Wellington offers everything you’d expect from first-class accommodation, but with an approach that’s uniquely Wellington.

Day one: Luxury from the start

Start as you mean to go on, by getting straight into relaxation and luxury mode at Spring Spa on Tory Street, where treatments include luxurious massages and facials. Occupying one of the city’s landmark heritage buildings, Spring Spa’s vibrant, creative and rejuvenating spa experience is the perfect fit with the energy, lifestyle and culture of Wellington.

Now you’re relaxed, get ready to add a bit of thrill to your day as you take to the skies for a Wharekauhau Heli-Lunch with Wellington Helicopters. Take off right from the city waterfront and enjoy spectacular views of the coastline, Remutaka Ranges and Orongorongo Valley on a short trip to Palliser Bay and Wharekauhau Country Estate. Here, you can experience a sumptuous degustation lunch and wine. After it’s just a hop, skip and a jump back to the city.

Hippopotamus, the in-house restaurant at QT Wellington, serves up exquisite French-influenced cuisine by executive chef Jiwon Do in a glamorous setting with stunning views over Wellington Harbour. The beautifully presented dinner menu has a mix of comfort food and fine-dining dishes with wine or cocktails to match.

Day two: Creative flair

Wellington is renowned for its creativity, so channel the spirit of WOW and fill your day with art and fashion. The city is home to a treasure trove of galleries, from City Gallery Te Whare Toi and Te Papa to a host of individual gallery spaces where you can browse and buy.

If a little retail therapy is in order, the city is stocked with beautiful things. From boutiques full of local and international designers to quirky gift stores, Wellington has everything on your shopping wish list. For something to wear to WOW, you might like Caughley, twenty-seven names, or Mandatory. If you love cracking the spine on a new book, visit Good Books or Unity Books.

To experience a different type of creative experience, book a behind-the-scenes tour at Wellington Chocolate Factory. Learn about their bean-to-bar ethos and try your hand at creating your own chocolate bar, or even take part in a chocolate masterclass.

Night two: Show time

For dinner, Wellington dining institution Logan Brown is still one of the city’s top, high-end dining options. Understated luxury and elegant surroundings are the perfect setting to enjoy exquisite dishes, with optional wine matching. Early bookings are available, allowing time for dinner before WOW show times.

As you make your way down to Wellington's stunning waterfront you'll feel the WOW buzz build. The WOW Awards Show is New Zealand’s single largest theatrical production and a not-to-be-missed annual event. The TSB Arena comes alive with incredible works of wearable art, dancers, aerialists, and music that makes the soul sing.

Post-show you'll want to finish the night with a classy cocktail or delectable dessert. The Library on Courtenay Place offers both. The bar is comprised of intimate booths and cosy nooks, each with its own set of shelves lined with books. Enjoy the warmth and old-world charm, with red crushed velvet seating, soft light from table lamps and the walls adorned with retro vintage framed prints.

Day three: Fine wine 

Just over an hour from Wellington in the Wairarapa district, is the boutique wine village of Martinborough, where you’ll find numerous cellar doors within a stone’s throw. Flat, and renowned for its mild climate, it’s the perfect place to cycle around the vineyards. Try a famous Poppies platter and glass of rosé, the stand-out riesling at Moy Hall or Te Kairanga’s Runholder pinot noir.

Finish your day with a cocktail at retro-themed Cool Change bar, before a fabulous meal at Union Square, where modern New Zealand cuisine with a French twist is based on the best seasonal, local and fresh produce.

With such a gem so close to the capital, it’s worth heading over for an afternoon, day trip, or stay the night at the Martinborough Hotel.

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