Photos captured with the Canon 5D Mark III
So it turns out that a trip New Zealand doesn’t need to involve extreme sports or heart-stopping adventures. In a recent trip to Wellington, the nation’s capital, I was as charmed by the vibrant culture of the city as I was by the stunning natural landscape that surrounds it. Not to mention, award winning film makers Peter Jackson and James Cameron call Wellington home, so you know there must be something quite inspiring about the place.
Located on the Southern tip of New Zealand’s North Island, the picturesque city of Wellington sits aside a stunning harbour, nestled at amongst the luscious greenery at the base of the surrounding hills. Widely regarded as New Zealand’s cultural hub, Wellington has a flourishing arts scene and a strong food and drink culture.
Just an hour drive from Wellington is the spectacular landscape of the Wairararapa region. This quiet escape from the city is spread with a host of vineyards, olive groves, quaint cafes, restaurants and boutique stores to keep you busy.
Stay: Museum Art Hotel, Wellington
This 4.5 star harbourside hotel is located right in the heart of Wellington, a short stroll from some of the city’s main attractions such as Te Papa and the Cuba Street Mall. As the name suggests, this place is just as much an art gallery as it is hotel. From the large mural on the building’s exterior, to the many paintings, sculptures and installations on display in the foyer, the hotel’s collection of art gives the Museum Art Hotel a charming character and truly unique hotel experience.
Drink: Hawthorn Lounge, Wellington
As one of the most acclaimed watering holes in Wellington, this 1920’s style bar prides itself on the creativity of its cocktail menu. Ever had a cocktail that comes paired with a freshly shucked oyster? Although it may sound odd, this is one of the unexpectedly delightful Hawthorn Lounge specialties that makes this bar a must visit place to unwind and indulge in a cocktail or two.
Drink: The Third Eye
The Third Eye acts as a Tasting room, brewery and cellar door for Tuatara Brewery and boasts a relaxed modern pub vibe. A great place to chill, eat, drink and sample some of many Tuatara beers on tap or even take a few bottles away with you.
Drink: Poppies Winery, Martinborough
After years of experience in the winemaking industry, Shayne and Poppy Hammond set up Poppies; their own premium winery in the Martinborough region of Wairarapa, with a cellar door experience that perfectly compliments the quality of their wine. With a winning combination of fine wine, stylish architecture, gourmet food, engaging wine tastings and personable hospitality, Shayne and Poppy have created an atmosphere that is fun, relaxed and free of the pretentiousness of commonly associated with the world of wine appreciation.
Drink: Martinborough Brewery, Martinborough
Martinborough Brewery is a great place to relax outside in the garden whilst sampling their premium craft beers. If you want to learn more about their brewing process, staff are happy to take you out the back for a brewery tour to show you the hands on process that goes into each drop of Martinborough Brewery beer. And when I say by hands-ons, I really mean it. Even the bottle caps and labels are applied by hand.
Eat: Egmont St. Eatery
Even before you step inside, it already feels like the cool place to eat. Tucked into a quiet alleyway, this architecturally immaculate restaurant is one of Wellington’s hidden gems. From the drinks menu to the food on offer, the Egmont St. Eatery has a focus on fresh local ingredients the as they dish out a high standard of modern cuisine. A must visit for an exceptional meal and dining experience.
Eat: C’est Cheese, Featherston
If you’re the type of person who wishes it were socially acceptable to bite into a block of cheese as if it were an apple, then pencil a visit to C’est Cheese into your itinerary. This specialty store stocks a variety of cheeses, cured meats, chutneys, relishes, breads and more.
Eat: Schoc Chocolate, Greytown
A visit to this artisan chocolate maker is a must for any chocoholic. Schoc Chocolate are not afraid to experiment, boasting a bold and adventurous range of chocolate flavours which include lime and chilli, smoked paprika, and carrot and coriander.
See: Hurricanes Rugby
Rugby is like religion to Kiwis and the 2015 Super Rugby finalists Hurricanes are the pride of Wellington. The electric atmosphere at a Hurricanes home game is an experience all sports fans will appreciate as the local stadium affectionately referred to as “the Cake Tin” comes to life.
Photos via Hurricanes
See: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Te Papa is a bold piece of architecture at the harbour’s foreshore with 6 floors of history, stories and artifacts shedding insight into all the things that make the region what it is today.
See: Harbourside Market
Much loved by locals, the array of fresh produce at the Harbourside Markets breathtaking. Even if you’re not on the hunt some fruit and veg, it’s worth a stroll through just to enjoy the visual delight presented by the bold colour spectrum of the foods on display.