A Night Time Wine Crawl through Wellington City

A hand holding a glass of rose next to a plate of food.

With some of the country’s finest wine bars conveniently at hand, Wellington is a great place in which to embark on a wine crawl.

Words by: John Son 

Photos by: Anna Briggs 

Sure, Wellington is renowned globally for its coffee - but New Zealand’s capital is also a fantastic spot for a bit of wine crawling.  

With world-class cafés on virtually every corner, Wellington has earned a global reputation as a coffee lover’s haven, and deservedly so. But as the day goes by and the caffeine wears off, residents love to indulge in a different kind of beverage: wine.

It’s just as well, then, that Wellington is also home to some of New Zealand’s best wine bars. And with its famously walkable city centre, it’s incredibly easy to embark on an impromptu wine crawl. So once the sun sets and you’re ready to sip on some serious vino, just follow our wine crawl itinerary through Wellington’s best spots.

Noble Rot

6 Swan Lane, Te Aro

Your night begins at Noble Rot, one of the city’s classiest watering holes. Conveniently located just off central Cuba Street, it’s the ideal place to start your journey. The wine list here is unrivalled, so enjoy taking your pick, and pair your wine with a charcuterie board to get your appetite going.

Puffin

Bars key icon.

60 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro

Now you’ve had your first wine and a bite to eat, make the short walk over to Puffin. The Ghuznee Street spot is neatly tucked away from the street (just look for the little wine bottle by the entrance), and with its dark, moody vibes and plush green seats, it feels a world away from the noise of the city. Park up in a booth or grab a seat in the courtyard, and let the friendly staff walk you through the extensive wine selection, dominated by organic and ‘minimal intervention’ wines. With a small but punchy range of bar snacks (think cheeses and cured meats), it’d be rude not to grab another bite for the road.

Garage Project Wild Workshop Cellar Door

Furness Lane

With your night now truly underway, it’s time for some wine-based mental stimulation - and what better place for that than at Garage Project’s Wild Workshop Cellar Door? The beloved brewery’s lab in the heart of Te Aro is where they experiment with barrel-aged sours, spontaneous ferments, beer-wine hybrids, and other weird and wonderful concoctions. And for those looking for something a bit more familiar, the natural wine selection here is a very safe bet. Embrace the smells and sounds of a working brewery and let the crew take you on a mini tour behind the scenes of one of one of Wellington’s favourite brands.

Highwater

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54 Cuba Street, Te Aro

Time for a breather and a well-earned dinner, and a meal at Highwater Eatery is the piece de resistance of this itinerary (make sure you book in advance!). The elegant restaurant oozes charm and class in equal measure, and that’s before we even get to the food. The seafood dishes are always highly rated, or opt for the chef’s menu for an unforgettable feast. With sustainability a big part of the Highwater ethos, there’s a fantastic organic wine list here, which the staff are happy to help you navigate.

Ascot

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2/55 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro

And now to finish the evening at the Ascot, one of Wellington’s favourite rooftop venues. The all-natural wine list means you can choose a quality, guilt-free vino as your nightcap, enjoyed above and away from the noise of Cuba Street. And if, somehow, you’re still feeling a bit peckish, Ascot’s famous hot dogs (vegan options available) are on hand to pair with your wine for one last bite before bedtime.

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Arcade games inside Brewtown Entertainment at Upper Hutt.
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Long synonymous with Wellington’s unparalleled craft beer scene, Brewtown is quietly but effectively growing a reputation as the region’s ultimate...

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Catching on to the retro cycles trend, the clever people behind Bicycle Junction's new neighbourhood bikery, describe themselves as “Urban Specialists”.

The Dutch Shop

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The Dutch Shop is a perennial favourite among Petone locals and visitors alike - particularly for those with a penchant for cheese.

Deadly Ponies

Black bag by red wall.
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Fashion key icon.

Deadly Ponies have delivered collection after collection of iconic leather goods, each with its own personality.