Wellington – New Zealand’s ‘creative capital’ – is a city on the edge. Built on hills around a deep harbour at the southern tip of the North Island, this is a destination rich in art and culture.
Our resident Kiwi and expert in all things New Zealand, Partnerships and Contracting Manager, Rebecca Maitland lets you in on her Luxury Escapes Insider Secrets to Wellington’s must-see, taste and explore experiences.
Insider tip: If you fancy riding along the bay check out Switched on Bikes.
Did you know that Wellington is said to have more cafés and restaurants per capita than New York? For true foodies, if you visit in August, don’t miss the inaugural Visa Wellington On A Plate festival.
In the last 10 years Wellington on a Plate has continued to grow from 30 events and 43 dine menus in 2009 to 148 events and 100 dine menus in 2018. During the 2017 festival 112,000 burgers were consumed as part of the event Burger Wellington and they were served with 67,000 matching Garage Project beers a 36% increase on the 2016 event. During the month of August international visitors, particularly Australian visitors to Wellington increases year on year.
In 2018 there was a total of 148 events, 180 burgers, 63 cocktails, 100 dine menus, and 267 hospitality businesses taking part
Insider tip: Discover the best of them with your guide by your side, sharing local stories and an insider’s view of Wellington’s foodie scene. Enjoy a foodies tour through Zest Food Tours (and check out Cuba Street).
It’s a great look behind the scenes of how special effects and props are used and created for television and film. Miramar’s Weta Cave – a mini-museum and shop front of the world famous, Oscar-winning Weta Workshop – is a compulsory stop for Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film fans.
The latest addition to Weta is the Window into Workshop at Weta Studios. Visitors are treated to a behind-the-scenes look into the inner workings of Weta Studios with a guided tour of the exhibition space.
Visitors can also catch an up-close look at various props and models created by Weta over the years and learn about some of the processes the ground-breaking staff used to create magic for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies.
Insider tip: Get there early to avoid the queues and make the most of this once in a lifetime experience for movie buffs.
The city’s popular waterfront precinct provides the perfect book-end to any day with cafés and restaurants overlooking the tranquil harbour, serving fresh, quality fare and the famous New Zealand flat white coffee.
Insider tip: “Enjoy a local beer or wine in the sunshine at one of many bars on the water that have bean bags or picnic areas set up”, says Rebecca.
Wellington city should keep you pretty busy with its array of entertainment and eats, but should you want to venture further, check out the Wairarapa and Martinborough food and wine region.
The peacefully rural Wairarapa region – just over an hour from Wellington – is a world away in style. The climate and soils are ideal for growing fine foods and beverages. Premium boutique wines from the Martinborough Wine region echo the history of Burgundy in France with its small-scale vineyards and acclaimed Pinot Noir.
Zest Food Tours has put together a gourmet Martinborough Food and Wine Producers Tour that takes you to meet owners of these typically personal businesses, producing high-quality olive oil, fruit and specialist culinary products, as well as wines from Martinborough.
Written in collaboration with Tourism New Zealand
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