Named after an early settler ship, Cuba Street was once a thoroughfare for Wellington trams, but now this street offers pedestrian-only access to Wellington's most popular street. Channelling bohemian vibes, you’ll find vintage shops galore on Cuba Street, alongside the abundance of world-class cafés, restaurants, and bars. On any given day you’ll see buskers playing instruments, flash mobs dancing to Spanish music, and small children engrossed in the bucket fountain water feature that marks the city’s innermost playground. You’ll be forgiven for eating, sleeping, drinking, and dancing all in the perimeter of Cuba Street and not feeling like you’re missing anything at all.
Newtown has a distinct scruffiness yet achingly cool feel. Originally a working-class suburb, in more recent years, Newtown has attracted a wave of students, immigrants and young creatives making the neighbourhood a place to seek out for many. The longstanding and much-loved Newtown Festival that takes place every year attracts Wellingtonians from across the city. With diverse cuisine, exceptional coffee, vintage stores and bars, there's much to fall in love with on the quirky side of the city.
Nestled between the ocean and the hills, Paekākāriki is the southernmost township of the Kāpiti Coast. The offerings of this quaint village are dotted along its main street, aptly named Beach Road. As one end of the popular Escarpment Track, plus a variety of other tracks of various lengths, the village bustles with walkers during the weekends throughout the year, and over the summer months, it attracts herds of beach holidaymakers. The locals of this tiny town are a creative bunch, and if you happen to visit when the monthly market is on, you’ll get to glance at a variety of products and produce from the area. Another way to appreciate its inhabitants is to take the Paekākāriki Arts Walk, which showcases poetry and visual arts by the people who call this special spot home.
The beating heart of Kāpiti Coast, Paraparaumu, is the unofficial capital of the region. Everything you might need can be found here, from essentials such as banks, supermarkets and cinemas, to back alley breweries, local roasters and authentic dining experiences. True to the nature of the coast, there are also plenty of walks, bike tracks and other outdoor activities to keep visitors entertained. Paraparaumu Beach is home to a number of quality boutiques, specialty plant stores and destination restaurants. The heart of the village sits right on the seaside, and walking along the streets, you can feel the salt in the air and catch glimpses of the glistening ocean with the silhouette of Kāpiti Island in the distance. Paraparaumu is also the launching spot for tours to Kāpiti Island, one of Aotearoa’s oldest nature reserves.
Raumati is the Te Reo Māori word for summer, and this is a town that truly shines in the sunshine. The beach, while not directly in view from the village centre, is within reach, and a few minutes stroll will have you walking on golden sand.While the drawcard of this coastal town is naturally the beach itself, the village offers an impressive array of boutiques, gift stores, restaurants and cafeé to keep visitors intrigued. Local artists’ studios give glimpses into the creative side of the town, and the kids can be kept entertained at the Marine Gardens, complete with a water play area. A few minutes' drive from the beach sits Raumati South, a tiny settlement known for its charming eateries. This is where you’ll find live music and chilled vibes most weekends, or a place to grab a coffee to enjoy while strolling through the beach side streets of this unique place.