I’ve lived in the windy capital for the last 12 years after returning from Sydney, and now describe myself as a fairly typical Wellingtonian. I’m the CEO and founder of Fix & Fogg. I feel really lucky to be doing what I do, as no two days are ever the same and I get to work with an amazing group of people.
I enjoy everything about the city—the surrounding areas, the amazing local businesses and epic eateries, especially when autumn comes around. The city’s geography is unique; hemming in people, houses and businesses, and pushing them up against the harbour. I ride my bike most places and love how easy it is to move around and catch up with friends in the many cafés, bars and restaurants.
Feast on Food and Views
My family and I enjoy heading out to Huckle & Co in Seatoun for some classic fish and chips. The owners are the loveliest people, and you’ll get an incredible experience every time you stop by. I usually go for the fresh fish of the day or the halloumi burger, and then head over to Seatoun Beach or Scorching Bay to sit on the sand and take in the view.
Browse the Boutiques
Iko Iko on Cuba Street covers so many bases and has a large selection of local gifts, from handmade ceramics to Apostle Hot Sauces, books and knick-knacks. They also have the full range of nut butter from a local company in-store … hint hint. I’ve been trying to get my eight-year-old boy, Otto, into reading (we’re getting there …), and Good Books on Jesse Street has a wide variety of books for any age. The staff are super friendly and know their stuff too.
Day Trip in Nature
I am partial to a weekend drive out of town, and Kaitoke Regional Park is a family favourite for picnics, walks and river swims (or quick dips in autumn!). It’s about a 45-minute drive from Wellington, and if you know where to look, you’ll find some superb swimming holes. The park is pretty special with giant native trees and lots of birdlife, so it’s well worth taking your time and making a day of it.
Devour Pizza and Wine
If you find yourself out in the Wairarapa, Colombo Winery in Martinborough is a must-visit. The kids can run around and fill themselves up with delicious pizza while you sit back with a tasting flight of local wine.
Clock Up Steps on a Hike
If you can hit a still autumn day, the Paekākāriki Escarpment Track is excellent. The views are fantastic, and it’s family-friendly (although you may need to pack a few snacks …). We’ve done it a few times as a family, so don’t let the steep terrain put you off taking the kids. You’ll be treated to big vistas of Kapiti island and a rather cool swing bridge.
Book in a Night of Boutique Luxury
I’d book The Intrepid Hotel on Ghuznee Street for a staycation. It’s an ultra-chic, sophisticated boutique hotel with only a dozen or so rooms. Personally, I like the small, considered details that make a stay here feel so special—the artwork, the large kentia palms and the pressed tin walls. The end result is a place where you’ll feel relaxed and rested. Plus, it’s above Puffin, my favourite natural wine bar in Wellington, and only a stone’s throw from Cuba Street too.
Eat Your Way Around Town
Head to Tomboy Cakery on Majoribanks Street. I can never go past one of their cream-filled pillows; it’s like a doughnut but ten times better. Trust me. Just down the road from our factory, Romeo’s is my go-to stop for a quick lunch—try their eggplant parm sandwich. It’s also been great having The Oatery set up a physical spot down Left Bank as now we can pop down, get a bowl of the good stuff and head back to the Fix & Fogg factory around the corner.
Immerse Yourself in Wildlife
Zealandia is a favourite autumn pick for sure. Particularly the Night Tour, where you can spot Kiwis literally within arm’s reach! It’s about a two and a half hour tour with an experienced guide who makes sure you see everything there is to see... and not get lost!
Gallery Hop Around the City
I like walking around the city during my lunch break, and it’s always an idea to keep up to date with what’s going on at Bowen Gallery or Play Station, an artist-run gallery on Willis Street. Play Station has interesting talks, workshops and other events happening all the time. The City Gallery also never disappoints. Their latest Hilma af Klint exhibition was spectacular. The sheer size of her work is something you just have to see for yourself.
Gemma Adams and Nathan Speeden
We decided to migrate South mainly as an entry into the housing market, plus for a change of scenery from the big smoke of Tāmaki Makaurau. Nathan had spent his formative years in the glorious Hawke’s Bay (Gem hails from the far North), and we thought we could head back any time we like. But here we are eight years, three renovations, three kids and a business later, and we still think it is the best move we have ever made.
Gemma Adams and Nathan Speeden