Wellington Holiday Shopping Guide
With an emphasis on locally made and managed businesses, we’ve compiled a list of our top neat places to shop locally for the holidays in the Wellington region.
Words by: Zack Holmes
It’s that time of year again, when the more organised among us are putting the finishing touches on handmade and carefully sourced gifts from around the world, and the last minute shoppers are attempting to figure out what to buy their father-in-law and new nieces and nephews before the shops close on Christmas Eve. What do you get the person who has everything? For the one who loves everything floral, where do you even begin?
45 Willis Street
If there’s one clothing store that really understands sustainability, it’s Untouched World. A pioneer of long-lasting, quality and truly ethically made clothes, it’s also the first and only lifestyle fashion company in the world to be recognised by the United Nations for sustainability. Rest assured any item on their racks would make a fantastic gift for friends or loved ones, and a percentage of every purchase goes directly to the Untouched World Foundation which runs programmes for young New Zealanders who have a passion to do more within their communities around sustainability.
7 Leeds Street, Te Aro
Craft beer fans will be gleefully tearing off the wrapping from their favourite Fortune Favours beer this Xmas, and with free shipping on all orders over $100 during the month of December it’s hard to go past the delicious range on offer. If you’d rather visit the iconic brewpub itself during the holiday season there are gift vouchers available which can be redeemed on site, so why not make a day of it and reminisce over a beer about what a year it has been.
Adrenalin Forest Wellington
Okowai Road, Aotea, Porirua
One for the thrill-seekers, experiential gifts can famously be hit-or-miss, though you can be certain that a trip to Porirua’s aptly named Adrenalin Forest will go down an absolute treat for those who are hard to buy for. You’ll spend the visit swinging, climbing and tearing your way around a ropes course high in the trees, plus the tracks start off easy and get progressively more challenging as you proceed, so while Adrenalin Forest may be no walk in the park, it’s certainly an experience that won’t be quickly forgotten.
Pickle and Pie
2 Lombard Street
Wellington’s version of the infamous New York style deli, Pickle and Pie takes wholesome food to the next level in their modern light-filled cafe on Lombard Street in the CBD. Best known for their namesake homemade pies and moreish reuben sammies, they also stock a massive range of jams, chutneys and rubs alongside a selection of the best pickles money can buy. Definitely the place to go for stocking fillers or quick and easy gifts for condiment lovers and preserve aficionados.
108 Tory Street, Te Aro
For the person who always puts others first and deserves some quality ‘me’ time in their life, Spring Spa has you covered. Putting a fresh spin on relaxation in the heart of the city, Spring’s social-spa philosophy is what really sets it apart. The staff understand the importance of making their clients feel relaxed and from start to finish the customer service is friendly and client-centric, perfect for those who are new to putting their own comfort in the hands of another. If you want to put some Spring in someone else’s step, custom gift vouchers are available in store or online.
Cnr Blair & Wakefield St, Wellington
Some people have a very specific ‘theme’ in their lives, from the colours they dress in to how they furnish their home. If that’s the case, then a visit to Small Acorns on Blair Street might be in order. Your one stop shop for beautiful furniture and homewares, their curated gift guides are a fantastic place to start. With collections for the floral obsessed, little ones and entertainers or stunning gifts under $50 for the budget-conscious and much more, your Christmas shopping will be efficient and stress-free.
73 Miramar Avenue, Miramar, Central
A potentially controversial gift, Hoi Studio removes any possible contention from the ‘fit gift’ category with their approach to exercise and mindfulness through movement. Hoi is all about empowerment, a relaxed atmosphere and guiding students to make conscious movement decisions in a positive way. The bright and airy space is the perfect place for fitness lovers to experiment with reformer Pilates in a small group setting. With lots of membership options available, the First Time Teaser intro pack is a bargain at just $99 for five classes.
193 Adelaide Road, Newtown
Located in the creative neighbourhood of Newtown lies The Axe, a beautifully curated furniture and homeware store with a twist. Described as “beautiful, fun and affordable”, The Axe stocks carefully selected classic, timeless pieces that you won’t find anywhere else. From notebooks to candles and solid wood cabinetry there’s something for everyone to fall in love with, and with delivery available throughout the region it’s never been easier to give great gifts.
311 Willis Street, Te Aro
Get inked this Christmas with some original wearable art from Wellington’s famous Union Tattoo. The custom tattoo parlour was opened by Craigy Lee and his wife India, and the space itself is spotless and inviting. The crew cover a broad range of styles, including fine line and delicate works, and like to liaise closely with clients through the design process to the on skin application. A great gift for a friend or treat yourself—or why not both!
One Percent Collective
If you’re the type of person who loves to make a difference but is overwhelmed by all of the options out there, signing up for One Percent Collective is the perfect gift for yourself this Christmas. Run by a small team based out of The Biz Dojo on Tory, this registered charitable trust makes it easier than ever to donate 1% of your income to some of the best smallish Kiwi-based charities out there. You can choose your donation interval to match your pay schedule, and joining takes less than five minutes, plus you can also give a one-off donation if you can’t give regularly.
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The perfect accompaniment to any decent “you can’t beat Wellington on a good day” day, hit the cobbled streets and take a look around some of these incredible art spaces around the CBD
Embracing the Thrift
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Esther’s food production kitchen and her “flavours in jars” grew from requests from customers across Wellington.