24 Hours in Wellington New Zealand

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Being my hometown, I really should be promoting a much longer stay, but in keeping with my theme of 24hr Guides, here is what you can achieve in 24 hours in Wellington New Zealand, may it be a layover or a guide to get your longer stay underway!


12 Midday – Start with lunch at the Karaka Café on Wellington’s Harbour Lagoon.  This relaxed café and bar utilises beanbags and tables out on the lagoon terraces, so that you can truly appreciate a hot summer day in Welly.  Their menu shows off the fabulous Hangi style food, such as smoked hangi hash browns!


Lagoon - 24 Hours in Wellington New Zealand


1:30pm – No visit to Wellington is complete without a visit to Te Papa, the National Museum of New Zealand.  Giving space for dynamic displays which help bring history to life, as well as important dialogue around the Maori people and the Treaty of Waitangi.  There are usually engaging and popular touring exhibitions on year-round too.


Te Papa - 24 Hours in Wellington New Zealand


4pm – If you’re up for more art, then head along the waterfront and over Para Matchitt’s whale bridge to the City Art Gallery.  This minimalist space hosts touring exhibitions of contemporary art.  Plus, the café attached, Nikau, is great for a mid-afternoon treat.


Para Matchitt - 24 Hours in Wellington New Zealand


If you’re all ‘arted-out’, head up to Cuba Street for some shopping – this eclectic street has big brands as well as small arty shops too.


6pm – For your aperitifs, head to The Library (Courtenay Place) for some laid back cocktails in this well-read lounge bar.


8pm – The Matterhorn (Cuba Street) used to be a weird Alpine themed café in the 80s… then it was the home of the indie dub-step scene (Fat Freddies Drop etc. played here) in the 90s / early 00s… and now it is a marvellous fine dining restaurant!


Cuba Street - 24 Hours in Wellington New Zealand


10pm – Head to San Francisco Bathhouse (Cuba Street) for some live music and cocktails – this is one Wellington’s premier live music venues.


*** Fall into bed at an undisclosed time ***


9am – Get yourself to PreFab (Jessie Street) for some stylish nosh and fabulous coffee.  They make their own bread onsite, so get yourself some hangover-curing breakfast and enjoy the smells of baking bread while you dine!


10:30am – There are two options at this juncture, as where I send you next really depends on your level of fitness…


Option 1 – Take a walk up Mount Victoria – this big hill is covered in houses, but once you get to the top, there is a rather marvellous look-out with views out over the harbour and also over the southern suburbs of Hataitai and the Seatoun peninsula.  You could also drive up if you have a car.


Option 2 – Take a leisurely stroll around to Oriental Bay.  This is the ‘Miami’ of Wellington – with expensive apartments overlooking the promenade and bay, it is a lovely spot for a walk and affords you views back over the harbour towards Te Papa and around the Quays.


Oriental Bay - 24 Hours in Wellington New Zealand


12 Midday – For your last meal, head down to the west end of Courtenay Place to a little dive place called Sweet Mother’s Kitchen, where you can munch on slow soul food and barbeque!


Wellington truly is a fantastic city to visit, especially for foodies and anyone who likes good coffee – GO! I hope you get to spend more than just 24 Hours in Wellington New Zealand!


Check out my 24 Hour Guide for London


All photos © Hannah Henderson and may not be used without permission (sharing this blog post is fine though!).



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