Our windy capital makes for the perfect weekend getaway. Wellington is rich with interesting sights, delicious food and coffee strong enough to make any caffeine junky weep. So, why not get blown away this weekend with what our capital has to offer.
Here are seven amazing things to do in Wellington this weekend.
Adventures in Zealandia
You would not be amiss for thinking you’ve stepped back 300 million years when you enter the world of Zealandia, a sanctuary in Wellington. Completely fenced off and predator free, this 225ha reserve is home to over forty different native bird species, including the nationally vulnerable takahē. It’s also home to thousands of invertebrates, several reptiles, including our living fossil, the Tuatara and hundreds of native plants. Spend your day enjoying the noisy Kaka swooping overhead, meet a retired takahē pair who spend their days constantly eating, all while getting lost in a hue of green.
Zealandia also offers guided night tours where you can spend your evening with our national bird, the kiwi, as well as be dazzled by an illuminating glow worm show.
Peanut Butter Appreciation
Hidden down one of Wellington's laneways is a holy grail for peanut butter lovers—The Fix and Fogg Window. Fix and Fogg is a local peanut butter company known for peanut butters that will make you salivate. At their window, they sell their peanut butter in jars as well as pails (which all diehard peanut butter lovers will appreciate), and also serve seriously delicious toast and warming porridge. All come with out-of-this-world toppings. It is truly the Willy Wonka of the peanut butter world.
Let’s Talk Coffee
Wellingtonian sure know their coffee. This sure fact hits you as the strong aroma of coffee seeps into your clothes as you explore. Home to dozens of roasteries, including Havana and Peoples Coffee Roastery, as well as a booming local coffee cafe scene, Wellington is a coffee lover’s dream. Make sure to make a pitstop stop at a roastry to see how the coffee bean makes its way from its original humble state into your cup of joe. Also remember to pick up some beans before you leave to try out at home. Many of these roasteries are closed on Sunday, so pencil them in for your Saturday caffeine fix.
You’ll need plenty of fuel for your adventures in Wellington, so make sure to stop at one of the many delicious Wellington eateries. Two cafes that are a definite must in our books are Cuba Street’s Fidels and Midnight Espresso. Fidels is a living homage to 1950s-era Cuba. They are home to the best vegan scones this side of the hemisphere, their burgers are out of this world and you can’t go past their delicious hot cajun spiced fries.
Midnight Espresso is somewhere you go if you are seeking hot coffee and hearty food in a warm and cosy environment. This place oozes character from the funky art lined walls, country tunes, and comfort-food heavy menu. While you enjoy your meal indulge in a game of Pacman or Space Invaders for that longed-for hit of nostalgia. Click here for more cafe inspiration and let's not forget about the glorious Press Hall.
Get lost in Te Papa
For a history and culture fix, head over to Te Papa by the Waterfront. Free entry for all, you can get lost in the past all afternoon while exploring this amazing museum. The Gallipoli exhibition walks you through the eight month campaign at Gallipoli in WWI, where you will encounter battle artifacts as well as giant soldier models. These were created in partnership with Weta workshop and you will be blown away at their level of detail. These models are accompanied by audio commentary from diaries and letters of the soldiers and from people back home.
Hunt In The Op Shops
The vintage scene is off the hook in Wellington, with op stores around nearly every corner. Rifle through racks of flower power dresses, fifty power suits and flapper numbers and you’ll be sure to find a unique number. For vintage street wear check out, Thrift, and for a good chance of finding genuine forties or fifties attire, hit up The Recycle Boutique. Otherwise there's a plethora of good options in our guide to Wellington's best vintage stores.
Walk Along the Waterfront
Wellington harbour is a great place for a sunrise stroll offering amazing views of the waterfront. Walk along, listening to the cries of the awakening seagulls and stop in and hello to the infamous Solace in the Wind statue that calls Wellington Harbour home. Make sure to wrap up warm, as it can get a little windy round these parts. After you’ve frozen your extremities off, you can warm up at one of the many cafes dotted along the waterfront.
So there you have it, now get out there and enjoy the delights of the windy city.
Image credit: WellingtonNZ, Fix and Fogg, Daniel Crichton-Rouse for Te Papa