Buvette Masthead

Wellington: A Canberra Girl’s Guide

Selina Greenville

Named on BBC’s hottest cities and rough guide’s top 10 cities for 2015, Wellington has been labelled the ‘coolest little capital in the world’ by Lonely Planet and a ‘locavore’s dream’ by Vogue.

Set on the edge of a stunning harbour and surrounded by rolling hills, it’s a city waiting to be explored and with direct flights now here (!!) it has never been closer.



New Zealand’s newest luxury hotel, Sofitel Wellington, has recently opened its doors in the city, bringing French hospitality and elegance to the country’s capital. Sofitel Wellington is the latest five-star, internationally branded hotel to open in the city in over 10 years. Sofitel Wellington has been designed to artfully blend the brand’s French origins and elegance with local culture
to create exceptional experiences. Set to become the capital’s must-stay destination for business and leisure, guests can enjoy beautifully-appointed rooms and suites in vintage gold and bronze tones with indulgent rain showers, complimentary wifi internet for multiple devices, Smart TVs with Bluetooth, a SOFIT gymnasium and state-of-the-art technology across three meeting and event venues.

11 Bolton Street 6011 Wellington New Zealand | sofitel.com


Museum Art Hotel is a 165-room boutique hotel located in the centre of Wellington city opposite Wellington’s beautiful harbour and New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa. The spacious lobby features opulent décor, walls adorned with original New Zealand art and a bar/café in which to relax. Voted amongst the Top 10 Hotels for art collections in the world by Yahoo!7 Travel, Museum Art Hotel shares a vast, varied and vivacious art collection with its visitors.

The hotel is currently undergoing some change, and will soon be known
as QT Museum Wellington Hotel. QT Museum Wellington will be the first property outside of QT’s Australian origins. With six boutique properties across Australia, Wellington will follow suit and be led by design, quirk and innovation, capturing the heart of Wellington’s creative culture. New Zealand’s most admired art hotel will remain a luxurious experience with an extensive contemporary art collection.

90 Cable Street Wellington 6011 New Zealand | museumhotel.co.nz


Conveniently located adjacent to the iconic harbour waterfront. Shops, museums, galleries, the café culture, and the city’s vibrant nightlife are all within walking distance. Recently named New Zealand’s leading hotel suite and best conference hotel, the InterContinental offers 232 superbly appointed guest rooms. Head concierge, Jason Eade, was named joint Australasia’s Top Concierge in the International Hotel Management Awards and is on-hand to make your experience at the hotel seamless. Adding to the experience, InterContinental Wellington’s most recent addition to its team includes
a luxurious 2015 Bentley Flying Spur car, to be used for guest transfers and touring.

2 Grey Street Wellington 6011 New Zealand | intercontinental.com/wellington




Wellington’s markets are filled with colour, vitality, local and international flavours. Soak up the aromas of roasted coffee, fresh vegetables and sizzling spices. Browse handmade craft from cheesemakers, jewellery designers, chocolatiers and dressmakers.

Various locations throughout the city.



From classic theatres to boutique venues, art lovers can take their pick from exciting performances and nightly shows. Enjoy live performance at its best at Circa Theatre and Bats, while the Opera House, Michael Fowler Centre and St James Theatre are larger venues that house the Royal New Zealand Ballet, opera, music, and more.

Celebrated as New Zealand’s arts and cultural capital, Wellington’s love for creativity is evident throughout the city. From great galleries to specialist studios, there’s something to suit every artist and admirer. We recommend checking out the City Gallery Wellington and Peter McLeavey to get you started. Public sculpture is also a key thread in the cultural capital’s fabric, with dozens of public artworks to be discovered in the city’s gardens, parks and streets.

Various locations throughout the city | tourismwellington.com.au/ explore/arts-culture


Visit Te Papa and experience New Zealand in one building at this bold and innovative museum. Te Papa is New Zealand’s national museum, where you can explore the great stories of this fascinating land and the people who live there. Recently named in Lonely Planet’s Top 50 Places on the Planet, the past, present and future are exhibited here in provocative, challenging and entertaining ways. Be sure to pop in to the Te Papa Store for high-quality souvenirs, books, clothing, jewellery, and treasures.

55 Cable St Wellington 6011 New Zealand | tepapa.govt.nz


Since its humble beginnings in a small gallery, Dame Suzie Moncrieff and her team have shaped WOW® into the biggest design competition in the southern hemisphere. Taking place in late September each year, breath-taking works of art designed for the moving body take to the stage in a kaleidoscopic showcase of colour, choreography and astonishing creativity. This high energy show needs no narration, no explanation and has no language barriers – bringing over 100 garments to life in a two-hour non-stop spectacular, combining dance, theatre, music and art. 

TSB Bank Arena Queens Wharf Wellington | worldofwearableart.com/ticket


From boutiques featuring local and international designers, to quirky gift stores, Wellington is a treasure trove of beautiful things. Best of all, the easily walkable city makes a day’s shopping nice and simple.

Browse through top New Zealand designers including Karen Walker, twenty-seven names, Kate Sylvester and Trelise Cooper. For classic tailoring you can’t go past Cuba Street vintage stores Ziggurat and Hunters & Collectors. Or for quirky gifts and wares get lost browsing the shelves of Iko Iko, Tea Pea and Vessel.

Luxury international brands have made the newly opened David Jones their home in the city. The first to be opened outside of Australia, this store will be stocking the finest brands across fashion, beauty and home.

Various locations throughout the city

Mount Victoria view_WellingtonNZ_feature

Eat and drink

Said to have more bars, restaurants, roasteries, breweries and cafes per capita than New York City, Wellington is one of the world’s great food cities. Here are some of the must-visits.


Discover Wellington’s vibrant food scene with Zest Food Tours. Experienced guides will introduce you personally to their favourite Wellington gourmet food stores, coffee roasters, cafés and restaurants, as well as some of the artisans behind these culinary experiences. Perfect for people with an appetite for culinary adventure and discovering new places through food and wine.



The elegant and refined restaurant, Whitebait, has a seafood-focused menu which is also translated into Maori as a way to pay homage to the regional kai moana (seafood) used. Other local touches include stone aggregate floor from Wellington’s Red Rocks and oversized paua shell-shaped light fittings.

G04/1 Clyde
 Quay Wharf, Te Aro Wellington 6001 New Zealand | white-bait.nz


It’s official — foodie heaven exists. Right in the heart of Wellington city, this tucked away laneway is home to a trail of delectable flavour-filled factories. Here, you can sample artisan chocolate, bread, peanut butter, soda and locally-roasted coffee. After you’ve stocked up, you can then relax over a craft beer and pizza at the super colourful Golding’s Free Dive. Find out more about what is quite possibly the world’s tastiest laneway.

6G/14 Hannah Factory Laneway, Te Aro Wellington 6011
New Zealand | wellingtonnz.com/discover/ things-to-do/eat-and-drink


With well over a dozen roasteries in Wellington, you’ll often catch the warm aroma of roasting coffee on the wind. It also means you’re drinking the freshest, liveliest coffee around. Each roastery has a distinct approach to the craft, and tours are enlightening as well as refreshing. You’ll want to check out Customs Brew Bar for Supreme Coffee, Milk Crate for Peoples Coffee and Lamason for espresso and siphon brewed coffee.

coffeesupreme.com/locations/ new-zealand/wellington/customsmilkcrate.co.nz  | facebook.com/lamason- brew-bar


Wellington is fortunate enough to be tucked between two of the country’s best wine regions. As well as enjoying the wine lists in the city, take a quick trip to either the Wairarapa or Marlborough regions to sample from the source at some of the award-winning wineries. Stay in boutique accommodation and cycle the vines for a relaxing weekend or day trip close to the capital.

wellingtonnz.com/discover/ things-to-do/sights-activities


Time your trip with one of the Wellington region’s excellent food and wine festivals. Held over the last two weeks in August every year, Visa Wellington On a Plate! is the ultimate food festival with over 100 events, dedicated menus and the highly anticipated Burger Wellington. Let Visa WOAP! surprise you with a feast of foodie fun for the whole family. Taste the unexpected, challenge your palate, open your mind — or just have fun! — with 127 Festival Events. Gelato making, beer brewing, all-you-can-eat, truffle feasts, street eats and breakneck feeds to name a few.

wellingtonnz.com/discover/ things-to-do/events

You can read this article in full and more in our latest edition of Magazine: The Dream Issue. Available for free while stocks last. Click here to find your closest stockist.