There's plenty to do in Wellington - so take a peek at our guide to discover the best places to eat, drink, shop, and more in New Zealand's capital city.

Rated one of the world’s windiest cities, New Zealand’s neat little capital has a reputation for ruining new umbrellas and fancy hairdos, but don’t let that put you off. Wellington has much more to offer than the weather forecast would have you believe.

Chosen as the first major planned settlement for British immigrants in 1839 (and stealing the title of ‘country capital’ off Auckland in 1865), the population of creators, musicians, politicians, business people, students, and travellers will agree that this is a place worth settling down in.

Home to the much-loved Te Papa museum, Wellington hosts many museums, libraries, theatres, and festivals, giving this city the melting pot of culture and fun it is so well known for. Hardly a day goes by without a festival of some sort or another — whether it's the World of Wearable Arts, Wellington on a Plate, or the International Comedy Festival to name a few.

Proud Wellingtonians are known for their dress sense – just take a walk down colourful Cuba Street and you’ll soon see. Their love of eating, drinking, shopping, theatre, and gigs are just a few of the many reasons why this city seems to be constantly buzzing with activity.

12 Hours Wellington

A customer and baristas standing inside the timber-lined Customs coffee shop.

The neatest things to see, eat, and do.

10 Trails in the Hutt Valley and Where to Treat Yourself After

People biking on a trail in native bush.
Hutt Valley

Nestled within the lush, rolling landscapes that make up the lower North Island, the Hutt Valley offers an expansive network of interesting walks appealing to both seasoned hikers and casual strollers alike. Whether you’re after a leisurely meander or a more challenging multi-hour ‘slog’, the Hutt Valley trails offer a variety of native bush landscapes and panoramic vistas, meaning there really is something for everyone. Fortunately, the adventure doesn’t have to end with the last step of the walk; the Hutt Valley also offers a yummy selection of culinary spots to reward the tired explorer. Our guide below unveils ten of the best walks in the Hutt Valley and our suggestion of the perfect places to treat yourself afterwards.

Beers, Bites, and Bowling: A Guide to Upper Hutt’s Brewtown

People walking under a large 'Brewtown' stign.
Hutt Valley

Just a stone’s throw from Upper Hutt train station lies Brewtown, a 6,000 square metre entertainment and dining hub that effortlessly attracts families, parties, and thrill seekers from around Wellington and beyond.

Top 9 Barbers and Hairdressers in Wellington

Black barber chair in front of salon mirror at Boar and Blade in Wellington
Wellington

When it comes to looking your best, it helps to have a hairdresser you can trust. With so many options in the capital you might be overwhelmed by choice, so here is your guide to some of Wellington’s top hair professionals.

A Beaches, Brews and Views Guide to Kāpiti Coast

The ocean on the Kapiti Coast.
Kāpiti Coast

Kāpiti Coast is renowned for its stunning views, beautiful coastline and petite villages brimming with interesting discoveries. Tucked between the mountainous Tararua Range and the Pacific Ocean, this narrow strip of land is home to creative communities, bakers and brewers, nature lovers and ocean enthusiasts, culinary aficionados and those in search of a slower pace of life.

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La Bella Italia

The exterior of La Bella Italia on a sunny day.
Place Hutt Valley
Goods key icon. Restaurants key icon.

Down an unassuming side street in industrial Petone, you’ll find La Bella Italia, Lower Hutt’s very own Little Italy.

Comes & Goes

Coffee brewing equipment on the counter at Comes & Goes café in Petone.
Place Hutt Valley
Cafes key icon.

Comes & Goes is a brilliant addition to the Wellington café scene, bringing an explosion of edible flowers and culinary masterpieces that Wellingtonians are welcoming with open arms.

House of Good Fortune

Exterior of mint-green character house in Petone Wellington
Place Hutt Valley Lower Hutt
Cafes key icon.

Petone’s myriad side streets hold plenty of delightful surprises, and if you’re lucky enough, you might just stumble upon the House of Good Fortune.

Schrödinger's Books

Male worker behind the counter of an independent bookstore in Petone Lower Hutt
Place Hutt Valley Lower Hutt

As the winner of NZ's Best Bookshop Award in 2021, Schrödinger's Books will hold any bookworm captive with its well-curated selection of books housed in a beautifully restored space in Petone.

Tartines French Cafe

Fresh tuna salad and aperol spritz on an outdoor French style table
Place Hutt Valley Lower Hutt
Cafes key icon.

Tartines offers a small slice of French culinary delight, with handmade tarts, pastries, fresh bread and classic dishes that will have you mistaking Lower Hutt for Lyon.

Percy Scenic Reserve

Grassy picnic spot with benches and ducks wandering around in Percy Scenic Reserve
Place Hutt Valley Lower Hutt
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Once a private family garden in the late 1800s, Percy Scenic Reserve is today one of Lower Hutt's most cherished public spaces to take in serene vistas, explore historic plant collections and picnic by the duck pond.

Trade School Kitchen

Barista pouring milk into freshly made coffee at cafe
Place Hutt Valley Lower Hutt
Cafes key icon.

Described as the ‘living room of the Naenae community’, Trade School Kitchen is a not-for-profit community based cafe doing what it can to give back to its people.

The Merry Go Round

Retro posters on the wall, an old Space Invaders arcade game, and a vintage wooden table laden with retro crockery for sale at The Merry Go Around.
Place Hutt Valley
Fashion key icon.

Head to The Merry Go Round to find out why one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Seashore Cabaret

View from inside the first floor Seashore Cabaret cafe out to their deck area where people are dining with a view across the harbour to Wellington city beyond.
Place Hutt Valley
Cafes key icon.

This café definitely takes out the title for best view of the city.

Take Me Back Traders

Eclectic mix of ceramics and vintage prints on walls and shelves of vintage secondhand shop
Place Hutt Valley Upper Hutt

Take a trip down memory lane at Take Me Back Traders, a family-run vintage and retro store that specialises in sourcing one-off treasures – from unique collectables to furniture and homeware.

Tricky's Sandwich Co

Chicken sandwich being placed on the table at Tricky's Sandwich Co
Place Hutt Valley Upper Hutt
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It’s hard to beat a good sandwich – and Tricky’s Sandwich Co is a family-run sandwich joint that have made it their business to be unbeatable.

Twenty Eight

Someone holding a plate of pancakes with strawberries at cafe
Place Hutt Valley Lower Hutt
Cafes key icon.

Named for their address on Cornwall Street, Twenty Eight is a modern, well lit and welcoming Lower Hutt cafe serving up interesting cabinet food, a thoughtfully crafted...

Viva Mexico

Interior of Mexican restaurant with exposed brick walls, Mexican skull mosaics and Day of the Dead decor
Place Hutt Valley Lower Hutt
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This is not the place to be ordering chili con carne or hard-shell tacos. At Viva Mexico, you'll be treated to a true taste of Mexican in the Hutt.

Goldie

Clothes and homewares on display on shelves in a retail store.
Place Hutt Valley
Fashion key icon.

Nestled in the seaside village of Eastbourne and online, Goldie is a beautiful home and lifestyle corner store (and paradise) for design lovers.

Dough Upper Hutt

Bakery interior with royal blue tiles and a cabinet filled with delicious baked goods
Place Hutt Valley Upper Hutt
Cafes key icon.

Come for the art, stay for the coffee and doughnuts at Dough Bakery in Upper Hutt – conveniently located in one of the town's most popular cultural haunts.

Miss Fortune's

Coffee machine and bags of coffee on a colourful counter in Miss Fortune's cafe
Place Hutt Valley Lower Hutt
Cafes key icon.

Lower Hutt’s industrial precinct isn’t exactly where you’d think to head for a slice of quintessential Wellington hospitality, but at Miss Fortune’s, you’ll find one of the region’s most charismatic little brunch spots.