Miriama Grace Smith's Wellington

Miriama looking to camera.

I am a Māori artist based in Wellington. I dabble in a few different areas within the creative arts, as a curator, muralist, illustrator, fashion designer and film art and wardrobe director.

My favourite things to do in Wellington city are checking out the street art, exhibitions, events, live music, food and places to have a drink and dance with my friends. I also enjoy shopping at the boutique stores on Cuba Street, and taking my little dog Putiputi for walks on the awesome tracks Wellington has to offer.

Street art & beers at Fortune Favours

7 Leeds Street, Te Aro, Wellington

I always send people here to have a beer and check out some of Wellington’s sensational street art. Fortune Favours sits above a car parking area which is full of murals. My favourite is David Bowie, a giant piece done by my friend Xoe Hall. I love how massive it is. This piece has become iconic to Wellington now.

The exterior of Karaka Café.

Support Māori musicians at Karaka Café

Every Friday afternoon, Karaka Café has live music from local Māori musicians. I try to get here at least once a month to meet up with friends. Karaka Café is owned and operated by the Retimanu whānau, and their vision is to promote Māori and Pacifica culture in a positive light. It’s a nice, sunny spot by the water and they do hangi and have heaps of yummy kai moana. 

A view of a sunset from Mt Victoria Town Belt.

Walk the Town Belt

Level 2, 57 Willis Street, Wellington

I like to take my little dog Putiputi for walks in the Town Belt Reserve. There are fabulous views of the city and heaps of different tracks that eventually link up in different spots. I enjoy how our walks can be different each day, depending on what track we want to follow. Eventually, you’ll get to the lookout where there’s a brilliant view of the whole of Wellington.

Emerging art at Enjoy Gallery

Galleries and museum key icon.

211 Left Bank, Te Aro, Wellington

Enjoy is a great contemporary art gallery on Left Bank, off Cuba Street. It’s been around for 20 years and their strong focus is on emerging and contemporary artists. I’m on the board for Enjoy Gallery, so I’m quite involved in what they do there. It’s a great place for anyone wanting to check out new, local work. There are a few other galleries down Left Bank as well.

Artist studios at Toi Pōneke

61/69 Abel Smith Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Toi Pōneke is a creative space run by Wellington City Council. This is where I have my art studio. There is a gallery space at the bottom, and then there are a whole lot of creative studios you can wander through if you’re wanting to check out the local, arty, creative scene. Everyone’s really friendly and there’s a new exhibition opening every month, as well as regular workshops run by artists.

Liquor bottles behind the bar at Moon.

Live music at Moon 1

167 Riddiford Street, Newtown, Wellington

Moon 1 in Newtown is a great place to discover local music. Before lockdown, the $10 pizzas on Wednesdays was a regular thing for me. There’s always something different - poetry, DJs, bands or rappers. There are gigs here most nights. On Wednesdays they do $10 pizza. I love to go along for pizza and beer, and just see what cool and interesting music I get served up.

The inside of the art gallery at Hunters and Collectors.

Hunters & Collectors hidden gallery

134 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Hunters & Collectors has a gallery space upstairs which supports local artists to exhibit. There’s always something cool on. The shop below also supports a few local clothing designers by selling their designs. Of course, Hunters & Collectors is most well known for its awesome and amazing vintage clothing. I wear a lot of bright colours so I'm like a magpie hunting around for the bright stuff. I bought a maroon-pink and gold kimono here recently that I’m completely obsessed with.

See a show at Bats Theatre

Theatre and performance key icon.

1 Kent Terrace, Mount Victoria, Wellington

I love to check out theatre and arts shows at The Bats Theatre. It’s a really friendly, local vibe that’s super-supportive of the creative arts in Wellington. The theatre space is quite intimate and the foyer is more grand. FYI, the bathroom has, what I would say is the best selfie mirror in Wellington. It’s a full head-to-toe shot, the lighting is really good and the tiles in the background are really nice.

New brews at Garage Project Tap Room

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Aro Valley

The Aro Valley Garage Project Tap Room is a narrow little house that’s been converted into a bar. The walls are covered in art by local artists and the mirrors help it feel bigger. It’s so popular with the locals, it’s quite hard to get a table - we usually end up awkwardly standing along the sides. You know how busy it is by the number of bikes parked up outside. I adore the Pernicious Weed. It's between a pale ale and an IPA - a bit tangy, but not too much.

Neat Wellington Places

Brewtown Entertainment

Arcade games inside Brewtown Entertainment at Upper Hutt.
Place Hutt Valley
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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...

Bicycle Junction

Close up of a woman on a bike.
Place Wellington
Cafes key icon. Services key icon.

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

Someone slicing a wheel of Dutch cheese in specialty food store
Place Hutt Valley Lower Hutt
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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.
Place Wellington
Fashion key icon.

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