I recently I spent three days in Wellington, New Zealand, to experience and shoot the streets as a local. I flew from one cool little capital to another and landed among creative precincts, chatty denizen's, smells of coffee that made me want to drink coffee and food the best I’ve tasted this side of Copenhagen.
Imagine if San Francisco, Hobart and Hawaii had a baby. They would have a Wellington. SF for the hills and houses, Hobart for the weather, harbour and walkability and Hawaii for the vegetation and reminders of earthquakes. I suppose when a place is new on your travel map you search for similarities & comfort by comparing trips elsewhere. Wellington really does stand strong alone though, and its architecture, food scene, friendly people and daily grind impressed the pants off me. Three days wasn’t enough. I could easily (actually) become a real local here.
Welly like a local would:
Egmont Street Eatery | 11 Egmont Street, Wellington | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
In an old carpark in an alleyway. Seasonal, simple, local produce. A hidden gem. Small space - book or arrive early.
Matterhorn | 106 Cuba Street, Wellington | Dinner
Originally a Swiss coffee house opened in 1963 and now a Welly institution. An all in one restaurant, cafe, cocktail bar and supper club. A favourite of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit stars during filming.
Charley Noble | Ground Floor, Huddart Parker Building, No 1 Post Office Square | Dinner
Wood-fired cooking, local ingredients, natural wine and craft beers. A haven for lovers of both seafood and meat.
Shepherd | 1/5 Eva Street, Wellington | Dinner
One of the newest kids on the laneway, Shepherd is brought to you by Shepherd Elliot from Leed Street Bakery and Ti Kouka cafe, and Sean Golding from Golding's Free Dive. Vibrant vibe. Fresh, seasonal, local and big on offal.
Prefab | 14 Jessie Street, Wellington | Breakfast & Lunch
An all in one eatery, coffee roastery, community hub, events facility and showcase for New Zealand design. The ACME & CO breads and bakery items are baked and served warm from the Prefab oven throughout the day.
Leed St Bakery | 6g/14 Leeds street Wellington NZ 6011 | Snacks
An institution since 2013. Go for baked goods including sourdough & salted caramel cookies. Watch the bakers bake next door as you munch on a handmade sandwich.
Lorettas | 181 Cuba Street, Wellington | Breakfast Through Dinner
The place I didn't get to eat at but everyone told me to go! Apparently everything is good here and isn't to be missed. Boo. Next time...
Customs Coffee | 39 Ghuznee St, Te Aro, Wellington
The coolest coffee kids in town. 'Roasting delicious coffee and creating meaningful coffee experiences for folks who simply love coffee'.
Havana | 32 Wigan Street, Wellington
A Cuban themed bar and haven for lovers of world music. A wide range of beer, wines and spirits, both Cuban and otherwise.
Hawthorn Lounge | Upstairs 82 Tory St, Wellington
Based on a gentlemen’s retreat/public living room. Hawthorn has all the grace one would expect from the 1920s - big band music, nattily attired staff and killer cocktails.
Husk | 62 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro
Wellingtons latest brewery, bar, coffee roastery & eatery. Expect to see a wide range of experiments pouring across 12 taps, including nitro and 2 handpulls, as well as barrel aged cocktails poured from cask.
Noble Rot Wine Bar | 6 Swan Lane, Wellington City
Non pretentious, ripper wine menu, cosy candlelit space. Delicious oysters, too.
Vessel | 87 Victoria St Wellington
Handmade domestic ware from some of New Zealand’s best ceramicists.
Precinct 35 | 35 Ghuznee St Wellington
Design store. Minimalism and quality, practical and beautiful.
Fix & Fogg | 5 Eva Street, central Wellington
Best peanut butter ever. Go.
Cuba Street is widely considered to be the coolest street in New Zealand with upmarket designers, diverse restaurants and craft beer bars coexisting happily. A haven for coffee addicts, buskers, emerging designers, artists and eclectics.
A former industrial quarter, now home to bakers, roasters, grinders, brewers, chocolatiers, pizza slingers and soda crafters.
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa | 55 Cable Street, Wellington
Wellington Writers Walk
Eleven text sculptures located along Wellington’s harbour from Chaffers Marina, Frank Kitts Park and along Oriental Bay. Each sculpture contains a quotation about the city from a poem or piece of prose by one of the many talented writers who have made Wellington their home at some point in their lives including Katherine Mansfield, James K. Baxter, and Maurice Gee.
Just a few minutes’ walk from the city centre, this golden sand beach and swanky realestate area is a top spot for a bit of walking, cycling, people watching or dining.
Thanks so much to @wellington_newzealand for welcoming me and showing me around.